Dec. 23, 2003
– Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
“We felt like we had to keep the five-second count on them at all times because we thought they were going to try to spread the floor and we wanted to make their ball-handlers work. We felt like we had to do something to initiate tempo, even if they were going to spread the floor, just to make them work and see if we could get into their legs a little bit and wear them down. We still are not shooting the ball up to our capabilities. But there’s going to be nights when the shots fall and maybe you don’t deserve them to fall. You’ve got to be strong defensively every night. Again, this afternoon we did a nice job defensively.
[on Jarrett Jack] “You’re seeing this kid mature before our eyes. He continues to be the general out there. I’ve said that B.J. Elder is probably our best player, and in my mind, Jarrett Jack is probably our most important player.”
“I thought we had stalled over the last three games, and today I thought we got better. We only had five turnovers, and that’s a pretty darn good job. When you defend like we did today and you only have five turnovers, that’s very good.
“When you add a guy like Will Bynum to the mix, that makes us even deeper, and now we can really get out and pressure the basketball. I was concerned that we might wear down guys like Jarrett and B.J., but now that Will is out there, he does a nice a job for us. He changed the game for us in the first half. The Marist zone really had us off-balance and we took some bad shots, but Will got in there and got a couple of penetrations and kick-outs that got us in a flow offensively. When that ball’s going through the net, that does even more for your defensive intensity.
“This is a veteran team. Players are the difference. Coaches can talk as much as we want, but when you’ve got guys like Marvin Lewis, Clarence Moore, Jarrett Jack, who understand what this is all about, they handle that stuff. Of course I’m going to make reference to it from time to time and remind them that we’ve got a lot of games left to play, but they’re the ones that go out and handle it.
[on Luke Schenscher] “Since that Connecticut game, he’s been playing very well. Luke is a good basketball player. The only thing he doesn’t have right now is a completely physically mature body, and that’s going to come with time. He understands the game exceptionally well, he’s got excellent hands, he passes the ball well, he runs the floor and he can finish. The thing that you’re seeing now is him getting those strong rebounds in traffic.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: With an 11-0 record, Georgia Tech has equaled the best start in school history. Tech’s 1962-63 squad also started 11-0 . . . The 40 points allowed by Tech equals the fewest allowed in the shot-clock era. The last time Tech allowed fewer points was Feb. 18, 1980, when Georgia managed just 38 . . . Over the last three games, Luke Schenscher has hit 21 of 26 shots from the floor . . . For the fifth time this season, Tech forced the opponent into more turnovers (21) than field goals (15).
Marist head coach Dave Magarity
Who is the best defensive team you have ever coached against or seen?
“Back in 1982, I coached against Georgetown and they were the No. 1 team in the country and had Patrick Ewing and that’s the last time I’ve seen a team that good defensively and that active, that deep and that versatile until tonight. They take you out of everything, everything that you want to do, they’re that good.”
On Tech’s defense:
“The thing about them that makes them different is that they don’t let up and don’t stop playing. We lost that game by 50 points and it wasn’t because Paul was worried about the score. He put his subs in with over 5 minutes left and they still scored.”
“We didn’t play well. We played tentatively the whole 40 minutes and that’s very disappointing for us. Over the past 3-4 years, we’ve hung in there with nationally ranked teams on the road and played well in those settings. But, the difference is we’ve had better guards and better players.”
On the turnovers that Tech forced:
“Georgia Tech forced those turnovers with their ability to deny every pass and force us to have to work hard to get open. They exposed a lot of the weaknesses in some of our players. 21 turnovers is probably a season-high for us and for a team that up until a game or two ago had a positive assist-turnover ratio.”
“Tonight was very disappointing because we are 8-9 games into the season and we knew what to expect. But, Tech really makes you have to worry about making the next pass in every possession and we did not handle that well. It’s tough to head into our Christmas break with this loss, but we’ll have to rebound from it.”