Dec. 29, 2003
– Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
“You have to give VCU and Jeff Capel a lot of credit for hanging in there and battling the way they battled, but that was not a surprise to us. They’re a very good offensive rebounding team, and we knew that physically, we were not going to overmatch this team. They’re a physical team led by a senior guard who’s an outstanding player. I thought in the second half, they asserted themselves better than we did, in terms of getting to lose balls, getting second shots. On second chance points, they beat us by five, and that was a big stat for us coming into the game. Obviously we’re happy to get the win, but as I told the guys in the locker room, this was a very good game going into what we’re about to walk into Saturday afternoon. It’s going to be an emotional game, and we’d better come ready to scrap and play hard. Again, we’re happy for the win, and probably more than anything, we’re happy for the fact that we got an eye-opener tonight.
[On Clarence Moore] “He’s getting closer to the form that he had when he left two years ago. As much as he’s doing for us off the court, I know that when he gets in gear, he could be our best all-around basketball player. He shoots the three, he defends, he rebounds, he can pass, he can dribble. He’s still just rusty, but when we get him back to where he was, he’s a guy who can fill up the stat sheet for you.
“They were just more aggressive than we were for stretches in the second half. In the first half, I thought we were very aggressive, but they were more aggressive than us in the second half. Again, that didn’t come as a surprise to us. We came out of the locker room and had that burst that got it to 30 or 31, then we might have just kind of laid back a little bit. But give Jeff and his players a lot of credit for doing what they did.
[On best start in school history] “It’s nice for these players, but we’re not playing for December games. We’re trying to put ourselves in position to play some meaningful games in March.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: Georgia Tech is 12-0 for the first time in school history, bettering the 11-0 mark by the 1962-63 squad . . . VCU is just the second team to shoot 40 percent against Tech this season; Saint Louis was the first . . . Anthony McHenry had a career-high eight rebounds . . . Clarence Moore’s 14 points was a season high . . . No team has yet scored 70 points on Tech this season.
VCU head coach Jeff Capel
“First, I want to congratulate Georgia Tech. They are a very, very good basketball team. They really get out and pressure you and they have great guards and I’ve always felt like you win when you have good guards. Their guard game is very, very good with Jarrett Jack, Marvin Lewis and BJ Elder.”
“I felt like we did some good things, but we came here to try and win a basketball game and there are no moral victories tonight. We just didn’t do enough good things for 40 minutes. We knew it was going to take an almost perfect game from us in order for us to have a chance to win and to be in the game. I felt like we did some really good things, we made a run in the second half, but we couldn’t sustain it and the main part of that is because of Georgia Tech.”
How do you feel you played without Alexander Harper?
“We certainly struggled a little bit. He’s the only true point guard on our team. We had another, but he transferred early in the year, so this loss is big from that standpoint. He’s the guy who is calming influence on our guys and he allows Domonic Jones to score and not have to worry as much about bringing the ball up and getting us into sets. One of the things that I was concerned about was throwing one of our freshmen into the fire at the point. We certainly missed his presence out there from a defensive standpoint, but we know he’s out 4-6 weeks, he had surgery this morning and we have to learn out to deal with it and grow up, and I thought we did have players do that tonight.”
What did Georgia Tech do in their early run in the first half?
“They got us playing their pace and we talked about that for three days in preparation for the game. They were gambling on defense and really getting after it and sometimes they were missing steals, but it got us in such a frantic pace and it looked like we had some openings, where we really didn’t, and it forced us to have possessions where we had one pass and a shot. If you make those shots, then that’s fine but if you don’t, that’s like a turnover to me.”