Dec. 16, 2013
GEORGIA TECH COACH Brian Gregory
“I thought we did some things well tonight. But we weren’t as consistent as I’d like to be. I thought the last eight minutes of the first half we played very, very well. And to be honest with you, that ended up being the difference in the game. We just kind of held on there in the second half. It ended up being a five point difference in the second half, but that’s more so due to the last two minutes. Give them credit. They played with really good energy and got 14 offensive rebounds. That shows how hard they played. They didn’t shoot the ball as well from the three as they have been shooting. They shoot a lot of threes and we wanted to take that away from them. I thought our defense overall was pretty good, but not as good as it needs to be. And our offensive rebounding was good. The other thing that I thought we did well in the last four minutes was take care of the basketball against their pressure. That was the first time we saw a team in full court pressing and trapping. We executed our inbounds well and once we got it in I think we only had one turnover in the last five minutes of the game against that full court pressure. We also got a couple layups off it too so that was a positive. We take a win like that where you didn’t play as well and we need to start getting better. We need to just keep working. We have two very difficult road games coming up to close the non-conference and then we start conference play with two road games. We don’t play at home for another month. And it’s important that we continue to keep improving.”
What did you think of the shooting from your three front court players?
“I thought at times that all three of them settled for some jump shots when we could have gotten the ball into the post. I thought Kam [Holsey] hit a post move for us in the second half. But all three of them can shoot. Daniel was six of nine, Robert was five of six, and Kam was three of six. That’s 14 of 21. That’s a pretty good percentage and plus between the three of them they had 12 offensive rebounds. So those three guys came to work today and were very effective both offensively and defensively. I thought at times they anchored our defensively pretty well as well.”
What did you think of Trae Golden’s performance to end the first half?
“He did a good job. Unfortunately, some of the guys around him didn’t play as well as we need them to play. So as a senior he recognized that we were lacking a little bit. At times, we play hard. But sometimes we lack some crispness and sharpness. He recognized that at that particular time and did a good job of creating a little bit more energy and little bit more sharpness. In those last eight minutes it was 19-4 or so and that ended up being the difference in the game.”
On using the trap on the defensive end of the floor
“I thought it was very effective. I thought there were a couple times where we got a little sloppy in our coverage behind it. But we just need to keep working on that. It has been effective at times like last year at Miami. We have bigs that can move their feet and they did a good job in those possessions.”
What did you think of Jason Morris tonight in his first minutes of the season?
“My goal is to have him over the hump in terms of playing time for the start of the ACC schedule. So we have three weeks of practice, games, and so forth. And getting him a few minutes I thought was good. He did a couple good things for us. His job right now is to find a niche that can help us become a better team. Now that’s a challenge when you only have 21 games left as a senior. I’m pulling for him and I think everybody is. He’s put the time in to come back and I’m not sure he’s entire back yet. He’s physically fine, but to me basketball is a rhythm game. And when we’re in rhythm we are a good team. It’s the same thing as a player and Jason needs to find a way to get that rhythm back.”
On Robert Carter Jr.’s double-double
“He was a man on the glass. The thing is he does that sometimes so effortlessly that you don’t realize how hard he is playing. As a coach, you always want more from guys, you do, but he just got 15 and 15. Do you know how hard that is to do in a game? That’s hard – in only 30 minutes. He had a rebound every two minutes. That’s off the charts. He’s five of seven from the free throw line and he missed that one and one in the second half and that ticked me off a little bit because he’s been shooting the ball better from the line. But that was a good effort from him tonight and sometimes the way he does it you don’t say ‘oh he’s really grinding out there.’”
On the perimeter players’ rebounding effort
“That’s something we need to get better at. As perimeter guys they need to be in there ratting out those balls. We gave up 14 offensive rebounds. To be honest with you, that’s too many.”
What did you think of the play of the bench?
“Unfortunately the bench was outscored 30-15 today. I think our guys off the bench have to take that as a challenge. Not necessarily that we didn’t score, but that they scored 30 points. I’m looking for guys coming off the bench that are going to give us consistency and know their role in order to help the team. We haven’t been consistent as we need to be.”
KENNESAW STATE COACH LEWIS PRESTON
“I thought for about 32 minutes we did a very good job being aggressive, attacking the basket and being in a position where we could put some pressure on them. I told the guys in the locker room that we can’t leave 15 free throws out there on the road and expect to win. I thought outside of that, I thought we had a couple guys with good performances individually, but once again this is a team game. We have to build off of this and look at the mistakes that we made. With exams being over and focusing on basketball, we need to get into the gym and guys getting shots up. I don’t think it was necessarily what they did on defense; we missed wide open shots. We missed quite a few of them.”
On missing free throws in the first half when you had a chance to close the gap…
“A lot of them fell in the first half, missing front ends and things like that. It kind of deflates you a little bit, because you’re making a run at them and we were in it with the lead. They took the lead and kind of separated themselves. They were 18-for-29 so they left 11 of them on the free throw line. You cannot come on the road as a team and expect to miss 15 free throws, wide open jump shots and we missed three or four layups in the first half. You go into the locker room and feel like you can be tied or maybe up at the half as opposed to being down.”
On Andrew Osemhen’s development…
“This is probably the second best game he’s played since I’ve been the head coach outside of Charlotte last year at home where he had 14 and 10 that game. He really just established himself down low, stayed low and kept his hips down. I’m trying to get all our big guys to understand that. We can take a bit of a lesson from Robert Carter, Jr. and Daniel Miller in regards to how they play. Once again you can’t be a big guy at the Division I level and play straight up, standing up; you’re going to get demolished.”
On staying with them on the boards in the first half, but not in the second half…
“A lot of that comes back to missing shots. They shot 46 percent for the game and we shot 38 percent, but once again, I thought we had great looks from the offensive standpoint. I thought the game plan was there. We put ourselves in position, but we have to step up and knock down shots. We need to recommit to getting in the gym on days on and off.”
On putting pressure on Georgia Tech and taking shots it normally doesn’t take…
“I thought we got that stretch before the four minute media timeout where we had it to eight points. One of the things at that point was that we picked them up at three-quarter court and put pressure on them it got some guys out of rhythm a little bit. It was a huge three by Trae Golden there at the end of the shot clock. It gave them a little bit of breathing room, but once again that’s what fifth-year seniors are supposed to do. I think the most important thing for us is that for 32 minutes we came out and fought. We just have to put the other eight together and play a complete 40 minutes.