Nov. 19, 2004
– GEORGIA TECH COACH Paul Hewitt
“We’re going to see a lot of zone until we start knocking down some shots. B.J. struggled, 1-for-9 in the first half. If he makes a couple of shots maybe they’re not able to stay in the zone. But give them credit. They stuck with the zone and contested a lot of shots. Then when we started getting more movement in the second half, we started to find some openings in the zone.
(second half run) “The whole thing was keyed by our defense. Mario West is so active defensively, and the he gets on the offensive boards and keeps a lot of balls alive.
(Tech’s press) “We’ve got to change it up a little bit. We stayed in “22” the whole time. It’s kind of like seeing a 90 mile-an-hour fastball; if you see it enough times you get adjusted to it. We’ve to throw some changeups in there as far as our press.
“Our constant pressure maybe wore them down a little bit. Early on, we came out with a lot of energy. I’m proud that despite how we shot the ball, our defensive energy never fell off. The sign of a veteran team is what you saw tonight. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we kept up the defensive energy.
“I was glad to get back out on the court. We feel like we have another chance to be a very good basketball team this season, but as you saw today, we have a lot of work to do. Now we can really start focusing on this year’s team, and helping this team improve each game.
“Certainly we can do a better job knocking down free throws and making open shots, but the defense is what we’ve been preaching since Oct. 16. Today just showed them that they can be a great . . . not a good, but a great defensive team. I often tell them that when you stop people and get out in transition, the open man is always going to get a shot. When you have five seniors and guys not worrying about how many points they score, you can focus on defense and getting out in transition, and then everyone will get their fair share of touches.
NOTING THE JACKETS: The 37 points allowed by Tech is the fewest by a Yellow Jacket opponent since Wofford managed 37 on Jan. 31, 1977. The last time a Tech opponent scored fewer points was Alabama with 34 on Mar. 4, 1948.
ALABAMA STATE COACH ROB SPIVERY
“With just about 11 minutes to go in the game, we were down by 12 with the basketball and we turned the ball over, and from that point, it just went downhill. I thought our guys played the matchup zone extremely well, and made it difficult for them to build up a sizeable lead, and the defense kept us in there for a long period of time. You know how it is, if you don’t score any points, eventually, the other team is going to go ahead, and I thought that’s what happened.
“I felt very proud of the effort and the competitiveness of which our guys competed tonight.”
(on what makes Tech’s defense so effective) Number one, they’re big. They’re in position, and anytime you have big guards, that helps. They’re physical and quick. They play with a lot of strength, they’re a veteran team, and so it makes it tough on the opponent, particularly for teams such as ours. We’re so inexperienced right now that they made it very tough for us to score tonight.”
(on the pre-game dunk leading to a technical foul) “Our guys know that they’re not supposed to dunk in warm-ups and get on the rim, so, I guess he did it, and that was the reason for the technical foul.”
(on the play of their younger players) “They’re going to have to play for us. We’ve only got three guys on this team that have played in a Hornet uniform prior to this year. Bosh has been a very good surprise. He’s very active and he’s not timid by any means, and he can score. As a freshman, over a period of time, I think he’s going to be an outstanding player.
(on how Tech compares to other comparable teams you’ve played) “They match up very well. Anytime you can go to the final game and compete for the national championship, and be rated as high as they are right now in the preseason, they’re doing a lot of things well, and they have the talent and strength that they need to play with.”