Jan. 7, 2005
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“Playing without B.J., the thing that we talked about before the game was making sure that everyone understood they could get the call at any time and when you come into the game you need to be ready to contribute, specifically on the defensive end. And of course, when the shots are there by moving the basketball, the go ahead and take them. I thought we did a good job with that tonight. We moved the ball very well. We found Anthony (Morrow) early and got him going. We found Ra’Sean down low early. I thought that was the key stretch of the basketball game. Certainly Will and Jarrett Jack steadied us in the second half when they made their runs at us, but I thought the key stretch of the game was that first half run when the two freshmen came in and put up some points quickly to get us a 12 or 14 point lead. From there we were able to hold on.
“Obviously B.J. is very, very important to us because he can carry us on any given night. While he’s out, other guys are going to have an opportunity to gain some valuable experience that should help us as we move through the season. As competitive as the league is this year, I really think it’s going to come down to a numbers game and depth is going to be extremely important. We need B.J. back, and I’m not going to rush him back, but now there’s a chance for some guys to get some shots and play in some quality basketball games.
“Not only in our conference, but around the country I see Top 25 teams getting beat at home. It just seems like the gap in college basketball is down to zero and every game is going to be tough. Nationally, I think you’re going to see a lot of hard fought games, and I hope those guys that cover the game will drop that term `bad loss.’ There’s going to be no bad losses this year.
[On Miami] “I saw the Florida score and then I ran into Billy Donovan on the recruiting trail and I asked him about Miami. He told me, They have as good a guard combination as you’re going to see all year. But he didn’t talk about the big guys. I’m going to call him tomorrow and tell him how great those big guys are on the glass. They’re outstanding rebounders. They’re a very good basketball team.
“I was glad to get back on the court (after Kansas game). That was probably the toughest regular season loss I’ve ever experienced.
“They spread us out and it led to a lot of offensive rebounds. When you get spread out and they start to drive and you’ve got to start helping, that opens a lot of offensive rebounding lanes, and these guys attack the glass.
MIAMI HEAD COACH FRANK HAITH
Was there nervous energy in the first half? — “I don’t know if it was nervous energy, I think it was more we weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be. We seem to allow them to set their defense and we didn’t attack in the first half like we should have. We did a much better job of that in the second half in terms of we were more aggressive in terms of execution but defensively, we didn’t execute. Our front line allowed them to dribble penetrate and our back line defense didn’t come over and help and they were able to get to the rim quite a bit on us.”
“I thought we had a couple of chances that we let slip away tonight. We had the game to 1 or 2 points and Robert has a wide open three pointer and misses and he had a great look and then we got a stop and Will Frisby has a layup in transition that we could have taken the lead on. I thought if we could have taken the lead late in the game, we could have given ourselves a chance to build on that. But, we were unable to get over the hump and we missed a lot of free throws and a lot of layups.”
“They are a good basketball team and I think the one thing we’ll learn playing in this league is that the margin for error is very slim. Whereas where we were playing some of those teams early, you can miss a layup and you can miss a lot of free throws and still win those games. In this league, that’s tough and you have to take advantage of those opportunities to give yourself a chance.”
“We are a young ball club playing on the road against a top 10 ball club and a very experienced ball club and we knew that was going to be a tough challenge for us. But, I thought in the second half I was very pleased with our kids’ competitiveness and how hard we played.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
On the game — “We knew that they were going to be tough. They came from behind against Florida and we knew they were going to come out strong in the second half and we were ready for it. They played real tough.”
On feeding him in the post when the game got close — “No, it’s just way the offense came about. We just kept reversing the ball and then that leaves all the driving lanes or gives me a good seal on the basket and I can get a good shot out of it.”
On getting that first conference win — “It’s definitely a good feeling. We came in here, playing our first ACC game, we were ready for it and it was good to get that first win. We have to get ready for a good Virginia team this Saturday because anyone can beat anyone in the ACC.”
On his performance tonight — “I was just out there making plays. Coach was calling my play a lot since B.J. [Elder] was out, I knew that I had to step up, so I just was trying to make plays.”
On everybody contributing — “I don’t think it’s one guy, it’s a lot of us. Anthony Morrow, Jarrett [Jack] always plays well, everybody stepped up.”
On Anthony Morrow and Ra’Sean Dickey — “Everybody knows that they’re great talents, there’s just little things they have to learn on defense. Other than that, they’re not afraid of anything and they’re ready to play at all times.”