Jan. 9, 2005
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but, Not bad for a team that doesn’t play hard. We’re battling an awful lot of stuff right now in terms of injuries. Isma’il is a little banged up, Will’s a little banged up, but the one thing I don’t think anybody should ever question with this group is how hard they play and how much heart they play with . When we play unselfishly, we’re good. We may not be good every night, but these guys leave it out there. People didn’t expect an awful lot out of these guys when they arrived on campus, and they’ve worked hard to become one of the best teams in the country. They do it with work.
At halftime, there were no complicated speeches. I just said, Guys, you’ve got a chance to be 2-0 in the ACC. If Virginia comes out in the second half and plays better basketball than us, we’ll shake their hands and go home. All we asked them to do was contest every shot, run down every loose ball and run the floor as hard you can in transition. That’s what we’re about. This team is built on defense, effort, running the floor hard. If people can keep up with us, most nights they’re going to beat us. If they can’t keep up with us, most nights we’re going to beat them. We just played exteremely hard in the second half, despite all the things going on. Will got hit in the head. I think Ra’Sean is going to be OK. Tonight what you saw is how we’ve been practicing. What you saw tonight is exactly how we’ve been practicing for the last two weeks, and we finally put a half together exactly how we’ve been practicing.
“Elton Brown really concerns me, so we put a lot of emphasis on him and doubled him in the post (in the first half). When you double, you leave yourself in scramble situation. In the second half we decided not to double him. We just told Luke and Ra’Sean to just guard him and we would try to give help where we can. He was doing an excellent job of throwing out of the double team. Here we are rushing at them and they were beating us off the dribble, so that’s why we were sending them to the foul line an awful lot. In the second half we made the adjustment. We just said, If he beats us, fine, but just make sure every shot is contested and every box out is made.
“We’re an unselfish team, and if he’s (Jack) open, he’s going to get the ball. If you come see us another night, he may not take a three and somebody else is going to get some open shots.
VIRGINIA HEAD COACH PETE GILLEN
“We lost to a very good basketball team tonight. I thought we played a pretty good first half, down only six, but I thought we missed too many free throws. We were 12-20 in the first half and you’ve got to make free throws on the road, probably about 17 or 16 out of 20. I thought we missed free throws and couldn’t score in the second half and got frustrated and then didn’t get back on fast break defense and they really hurt us on the offensive boards.”
“Jarrett Jack, who’s a great point guard, had a great night. The guys that really beat us, besides Jack, were the two freshmen, Dickey and Morrow, who are terrific players. Dickey had 11 points in the first half which was the difference – we could have been tied or up a couple if it wasn’t for him and Morrow. We decided to cheat on Morrow but then we let Dickey get the ball too deep. Those two were the difference.”
“We did a decent job on Schenscher and Bynum and Jack had a great game and we just didn’t control him.”
“They are a terrific team and they played great defense. We just couldn’t score and we got frustrated and then things fell apart.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
On the game — “We just wanted to come out here and make a statement. Last game, I don’t think we played to our ability for the entire 40 minutes. Tonight we knew that we had to go against a tough Virginia team and we knew that we had to go on the road this Wednesday, so we had to grab two [wins] at home.”
On having the hot hand tonight — “I try and pick and choose my spots. Early, we try to get Will [Bynum] and Mo [Anthony Morrow] going and Isma’il [Muhammad] going. But I just try and take what the defense is giving me.”
On the freshmen’s play — “It’s expected. There’s nothing catching us off guard, we’re putting them in there to produce and Anthony Morrow and Ra’Sean Dickey are playing great minutes for us and hopefully they keep it up throughout league play.”
On getting to 2-0 in the ACC — “Every win in the ACC is great. We wanted to come out and establish ourselves before we go away to UNC.”
On the turning point of the game — “At halftime, all we talked about was defense. We knew that we could score, that wasn’t a problem, it was just the defense. We just did a better job defending them in the second half.”
NOTING GEORGIA TECH
Anthony McHenry tied his career high with 13 points. He also scored 13 vs. Cornell in 2001-02. His previous high in an ACC game was seven vs. Duke last season . . . Jarrett Jack’s five three-pointers are his career high. His previous high was three . . . Luke Schenscher tied his career high with five blocked shots. . . Tech’s 14 blocks are a school record for an ACC game. The overall school record is 15 vs. Univ. of the South in 1982-83. Tech’s prevous high in an ACC game was 13 vs. Virginia in 1992 . . . Tech’s 23-point victory is its largest margin of victory in an ACC game since a 24-point win over NC State on Jan. 11, 2003 (85-61).