Nov. 18, 2014
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
“I thought we did some things tonight that were pretty good and some things, obviously, that we need to continue to improve on. Give them credit. They played hard and they were active in that zone early. I always say three of the key stats to look at for us are our rebounding, and we did a great job on the glass today. Even though with 20 offensive rebounds, you have to get more than 20 second-chance points. It’s important that we convert more. We did a great job of getting to the free throw line. Not a great job of converting at the free throw line. So the second stat is the free throws and anytime you get to the free throw line 27 times compared to your opponent (12) it puts you in a good position. But you’ve got to make more free throws. And the last one is our assist to turnovers and we didn’t do a good job. So those last two areas we really didn’t do as good of job in those categories or statistics that we need to. So we’ve got some improvements to make.
“I thought Marcus was exceptional tonight. His stat line won’t show it, but that’s why sometimes you can throw stats out the window. I think he had 13 or 14 deflections. He was so active. Kept some balls alive and got on the floor a couple times. He played that game as hard as he played Friday night. And that’s what you need from your leader. That’s what you need from your guy who is supposed to be the rock of the team. So I thought he was tremendous. I thought Josh Heath played well being kind of thrown into the fire as a starter today. I thought he played great. You know he had the seven assists, zero turnovers and he was in control. We need him to be aggressive and to hit some of those open shots. And he made good decisions today. And then I thought Robert Sampson, again you know stat-wise may not show it, but I thought him in the second half was a big key for us. Defensively we were better and rebounding-wise we were better. You just got to keep him out of foul trouble. And that’s just something we’ve got to work on because we’re pretty good when he’s on the court. We’re a very good defensive team because of his versatility.
On strong offensive stretch in the second half after Alabama A&M cut lead to 13 points
“As a matter of fact, during that timeout, we said this is a critical four-minute stretch right now. And our guys responded. We played much better defense. We didn’t give up many second-chance baskets. We pushed the ball and got to the free throw line and made some. And then we made some extra passes as well. I thought offensively that four or five-minute stretch was probably the best of the game. So our guys responded pretty well. And it’s hard. You get up 25 points, and you battle the human nature of being undisciplined and getting that out of yourself in these games when you get the lead. And it takes maturity and it takes strong leadership.
“That’s where I was proud of Marcus, because he did a really good job of that. And for the new guys, these are new situations for them where they are asked to be much more responsible and dependable in their performance than they ever have been. So I think that’s something we need to address and get better at. And I think our guys will. Hey, because they’ve done everything we asked of them so far, and this is a new situation for them. I think they’ll respond well.”
On the younger guys getting quality minutes
“I think the only one who hasn’t had extended minutes was AD. I thought it was good. I thought those guys did some good things. Again, one of the hardest thing for freshman to understand, is there are good players everywhere. And even though they may have never heard of Alabama A&M, they’ve got some pretty good players. The West kid is good. Tabb is good. They ran some good stuff and just missed some shots. But now all of sudden our freshman are going up to grab a rebound, and they think they have it, but they don’t. So that’s why you get four years because sometimes that first year it’s a lot of ‘lesson learning.’”
On Tardic Jackson’s play
“He just didn’t make any shots. I never evaluate how a guy plays if he makes shots. I’d like him to make more. He made two threes tonight, the problem was they were both after someone got fouled. So they didn’t count. But he was much more aggressive on offense and made good plays offensively. He was good at the free throw line, but he was just 0-6 from the three-point line. But he was 3-for-5 from inside the three, and only one turnover. So I thought he did some good things.”
On the guards ability to create plays for the big men inside
“I thought Tadric had good penetration, Chris had a couple of really good drives down the middle. So did Marcus, and I thought Josh Heath was really good at that. I said that this is a team that’s going to be a little different. Quinton was so good the other night but kind of just played a role tonight. I thought Demarco played well offensively but didn’t rebound as well defensively as we’re going to need him to. Charles had good stats, but I didn’t think he played as well. But some other guys played better. And I think that’s the kind of team we’re going to have.”
ALABAMA A&M COACH WILLIE HAYES
“They beat us on the offensive glass. I think they had about 20 offensive rebounds if I can remember correctly. And anytime you give up 20 offensive rebounds you’re not going to be successful. The big kid [Charles Mitchell] had at least nine himself. Anytime you give up offensive rebounds and second chance points you’re going to get beat. They’re a big physical team, and they can shoot the ball. They executed on the offensive end. They went high-low on us, and we’re not as deep in the post-game. We are missing two of our guys, and they did exactly they are supposed to do – go inside. We just have got to do a better job of our interior play.”
Difference between Georgia Tech and last week’s opponent, Dayton
“Tech is a lot more physical. They a lot more physical inside. [The] two big kids inside can really bang. When you’ve got two guys like those two guys that are real physical that you can go high-low with. That’s the biggest difference from them and Dayton. Dayton’s got some size, but they’re not as physical as Georgia Tech is. ”
Upcoming road-heavy schedule
“It’s an opportunity for us at our level. It’s an opportunity for these young men to go some places they’ve never been or never would get the opportunity to go. This arena has been re-done. We played here a couple years ago before they changed it out, but to come in here and see it like it is now. This is gorgeous. The only thing I hate about it is coming up that ramp to talk to you all. Other than that this is a great facility. I would love for us to have something like this. I like it because the crowd is right there on the floor. They’re right there close to you. It’s not spread out. When you have those games against Duke or whoever that comes in here and to have your fan base right on top of them, that’s something good to have.”
13 point deficit at 12-minute mark
“We subbed. We went to our bench and some guys just didn’t step up like we they needed to. Guys that played well against Dayton didn’t step up and they didn’t rebound. Some guys got tired when we got it to where it was a reasonable game. We had an opportunity to close the gap and we subbed and guys went in and didn’t do their part. That’s why you have to have a bench in this game. You’ve got to have a bench. You have to have somebody else to come in and give you a spark. We had Justin Coleman who came in and gave us a spark, but after that nobody really gave us a spark.”