Nov. 30, 2004
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“Gary Maxwell, the referee, also had our game in Chicago, and towards the end of the game, he ran by the bench and said `Where was this team last Monday night?’ The game is a lot easier when you make shots. You’ve got to give Will Bynum a lot of credit for creating momentum early on. I thought the crowd did a great job of getting us out of the gate, and then Will knocking down shots early. The thing that I’m proud of thus far is our defensive effort. Despite our poor shooting early, our defensive effort has been very good, which is the sign of a veteran team. And now we’re starting to hit shots and it just raises your defense up to another level. I’m very optimistic about what this team can do. But as I told them at halftime, it’s only the fourth game of the season and we’ve got to take every opportunity to get better.
“I think every coach wants to start our like that, but those plans don’t work out all the time. We just felt that our defensive pressure is good enough and our depth is good enough that we can force people to make plays. Their guys who are outstanding players had tough nights. I think they were a little leg weary from their trip, so the pressure just worked to our favor.
[On Jarrett Jack] “I hear people talk about different players, and here’s a guy who led his team to the Final Four and was Most Outstanding Player of the regional. When they talk about the best players in the country . . . I know I’m biased, but how can this guy not be mentioned. He’s one of the best players in the country, flat out. He’s a team player, he defends, he passes the ball, he works on his game, he’s a good three-point shooter now. There’s not a whole lot Jarrett Jack can’t do.
“We shot the ball well. When you’re making threes, it gives you a boost. And in this building, as loud as it gets, it’s a major boost when you shoot the ball.
MICHIGAN HEAD COACH TOMMY AMAKER
“Certainly we are not very pleased with the way we played tonight. It wasn’t indicative of the type of team that we’ve had all year. I give a lot of credit to Georgia Tech and the way that they played. I thought they played extremely hard and early they shot the ball extremely well and it really put us back on our heels.”
On the team’s direction: “We are concerned about our team. We are concerned about the psyche when you lose a ball game with this point differential and the margin of victory by Tech. I’m confident that we have good kids in our program that are going to continue to work and we’re going to solve any problems that we have. I think our kids are going to work hard this week and work hard for our next game which is Notre Dame on Saturday.”
“Every defense we tried they seemed to have an answer for. I know they shot the ball extremely well, they shot it from three and then they got layups and it became a track meet and it was no match for us.”
On the play of Daniel Horton and Dion Harris: “I thought their floor game was horrendous and we aren’t going to be a good team or even have a chance of competing at the level of the teams and programs we are going to have to face if those kids don’t play better, make better decisions and at the very least we can have them out there on the court. They had foul difficulties, but they put us in those positions and we didn’t respond properly and we take all the responsibility for that but there is no question that those two starting guards have to recognize their value and their responsibility to our team.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES
On the start of the game — “We came out with a lot of energy and tried to keep it on as much as possible. We jumped out on them during the first nine minutes and built a big lead.”
On the crowd — “They’re out sixth man on the court. We get into it as well, try and dig in and limit them [Michigan] to one shot and get out in transition.”
On Michigan — “We knew they were a physical ball club and like to get their hands on rebounds at both the defensive and offensive ends. We focused on limiting their opportunities and their chances in the post.”
On playing in front of his family — “I always seem to play well when I know that my parents are watching back home. My sister was in the crowd for the first time tonight as well, so that was good.”
On shooting from 17 feet — “We practiced that play in practice all week and I kept knocking those shots down. After I made the first one, coach called the play again and I hit the jumper.”
On early season play — “We barely squeaked a win away in Chicago and wanted to prove that we were still a good team. I think we did a good job of that tonight against a good Michigan team.”
On Jarrett Jack’s play — “He had a great game tonight. He found me in the right spots and I was able to knock down the shots.”
On getting open — “It’s just a matter of finding the right spots on the floor and spacing. You have to move out there, if you’re standing still you’re not going to get open and when I was open, I was knocking shots down.”
On watching the banner come down with the former seniors at mid-court — “All season long we wanted to come out and establish ourselves and tonight we did that.”