Dec. 22, 2004
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“It’s always good to get a win going into the Christmas break. I thought we played much better in the second half. That might be the best half of basketball we’ve played since the first half of the Air Force game. We’d better start putting some good halves together because it’s going to get hot and heavy here pretty soon.
“There were a lot of lessons from that [Gonzaga] game. Tonight you saw us start the game by getting the ball inside to Luke. I thought we did a very poor job of that against Gonzaga. We made a point in our film sessions to establish him.
“You’re going to see those guys play a little more because the one thing can do is score. They can really score: Zam, Anthony, Ra’Sean. I’ve just got to find a way to get them into the lineup, Anthony in particular. With his size and length, if he defends better, he’s going to get more minutes. My thought process coming into the game tonight was to try to get him in position where he could kind of get himself going. He came up with 11 points and played better defense in the second half. I thought his defense was poor in the first half, but he did a much better job in the second half. [What he said to Morrow when he came out of the game] I told him, This is your first double-figure scoring game; I hope there’s a lot more to come.
“When you depend so heavily on a short number of guys, you put yourself in position where if somebody gets hurt or has a bad night, you’re going to lose. I’ve always tried to create quality depth where guys can come into the game and do some damage, so if somebody gets hurt, or you don’t think someone is playing up to his level, you can put another guy in there. For us to be good this year, we’re going to have to have some depth. I look at the other night against Gonzaga, and I relied on too few guys to score. Anthony should have played more. That was a huge mistake on my part to play him only three minutes. Zam, Ra’Sean, same thing. Those guys can score. I’ve got to find a way to get them to be able to defend at the level that we want and also feel comfortable enough on the court that they can be aggressive offensively and make good decisions. As a freshman, the game is moving so much faster that their decision making isn’t as good. We’re getting to the point, nine games into the season, where the game is slowing down for them. But when we get to ACC play, there’s going to be another adjustment they have to make.
“B.J. is our best player and one of the best all-around players I’ve ever coached. I just think he’s got a lot more to give, and I’m running out of time to get it out of him. I want to see the B.J. Elder I know that can be the best player in the ACC every time he steps on the floor, every possession of the game. He’s a special, special talent, and I don’t want him to save that ability for the next guy. I want to see it here. I want to see him play every possession the way he’s capable of playing.
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN HEAD COACH JIM PLATT
On playing a team like Georgia Tech: “It’s pretty much like a freight train hitting you and you are kind of standing on the tracks waiting for it to come because I think that’s pretty much the way it feels. I thought there were a lot of possessions that the kids played hard and made a good effort. We were pretty much out-manned and overwhelmed in a lot of situations and certainly that was evident tonight.”
Is there ever a point in time when you take on a team like Georgia Tech when it becomes counter productive?
“I think that depends on how you handle it. To me, as you watch the game unfold tonight, it tells you exactly where you are and where you are not collectively as a group and individually as players. I think if you look at it collectively as a group we see these are the areas that we need to get better at, and individually if a kid realizes that these are the areas that they need to get better at to be a Division I athlete, then I think it’s productive. The reality is that we played maybe as good a team as there is in the country tonight and the reality also is that we’re not going to face many teams at that level so we stretched ourselves to the limit. It’s part of the way that we schedule at Charleston Southern and I’m hopeful that we can make a positive out of it.”
“I think our team when we settle down to our level and settle down a bit, we have a chance to be a very good college basketball team. We’ve faced some very high level of competition and sometimes we’ve responded well, and sometimes we have responded not so well. We certainly need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball against those type of athletes and we had defensive breakdowns. At times, though, we were just over-manned athletically.”