Feb. 20, 2003
Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt
“We got beat by a very good basketball team tonight. They executed well, they were bigger, they were stronger, more physical, and they just beat us. Justin Gray is a big lift for them, to have a guy come off the bench and give you 20 points. Tonight was just a case of getting beat by a very good team in a lot of different ways.
“The guy [Howard] goes 9-for-11 for 24 points, seven rebounds, six steals. He’s the Player of the Year in the league, and each night he goes out and just keeps reinforcing that thought.”
“They did a good job pounding the glass, and they executed very well. One time they scored, we just weren’t alert and didn’t realize someone was behind us, and another time they scored off something that came right out of the scouting report, and that rarely happens to us. It was disappointing. That’s one of the reasons why I called that timeout, to try to jump start us in terms of being alert defensively. We were living by the three and actually tonight it was falling for us, but against a team like this, you’re not going to gimmick us. You have to play solid, tough basketball.”
“They just played better than us. Obviously I’m not happy about it, but you’ve got to give them credit. They played much better than we did.”
Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser
“I’m proud of our guys. We’ve had a long week and our team is a work in progress and we have to learn how to deal with certain things. We didn’t deal with the adversity in terms of travel against Maryland, which is perhaps a part of the function of youth, but I thought we dealt with it better against Georgia Tech. I think Georgia Tech is an excellent team, I think they are a tournament team. They just keep coming at you. I thought they weren’t ever going to miss a shot down the stretch. I kept looking at the clock and telling it to go. We felt extremely fortunate to come out of here with a win and we understand it’s a rarity here against Coach Hewitt’s team.”
Did you talk about rebounding at half time?: “We did. They’ve (Tech) has done such a good job recruiting long kids that we felt that we couldn’t just out-jump them – that we were going to have to push back because the guy is 7 foot and our guy is 6’8”. Chris Bosh is a long kid with long arms. We did talk about it at halftime with trying to make more of a concerted effort to push back with our blockouts.”
On the 17 point lead Wake built in the second half: “It’s gratifying but you don’t feel real safe – especially on the road. I marvel at our kids. They just adopt a tremendous sense of resolve which eminates from Josh and Steve (LePore). Georgia Tech, though, missed some shots in that stretch that I think they normally make. We went on about a six minute lull where we were trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as well.”
On the play of Justin Gray: “We missed him when he was out. He was out nearly a month and missed a number of games. The one thing he has is a tremendous amount of courage and obviously made some big shots tonight. He allows us to give Taron a few minutes of rest. I thought that he played very, very big tonight.
On Wake Forest being a physical team: We knew coming in they were going to be a real physical team and coach told us throughout the week that we could not back down from a challenge, that we would have to respond every step of the way.
On the tempo of the game: The beginning of the first half we started to determine the tempo, but as the game went on we allowed them to get offensive rebounds, one of their pet peeves in their game plan and the game just sort of went their way.
On looking ahead in the schedule: You have people always in your ear telling us to look ahead but in the ACC you really can’t overlook any team. We really don’t have any dominate team in the conference. We have to take it one game at a time and play it like that
On the weekend off: It will be a time for us to relax, kick up our feet, save our legs and do some justice to our body. We can go home, play some video games, watch movies, just chill out.,
On Justin Gray: Coming in we knew he was a shooter. Against Duke, he came out playing with a lot of confidence. We knew he was coming out to shoot the ball. We knew he was a good three- point shooter and he hit a lot of big baskets tonight.
On the first home loss of the season: We came out and played hard – we just came out on the short end of the stick. Regardless of where we play, we have to go out and play hard mentally and come out and play hard physically. The last four games wrap up the season and hopefully we can end on a good note.
On Josh Howard: He’s a good player. He is one of those guys who comes out and works hard on both ends. He is hard to stop. He can score and do everything. He is a senior and he steps up when they need a basket. When they need a stop, he does that as well.
On Wake Forest’s confidence: hey have a lot of confidence in their team and what they can do. They stay at it – pounding the boards. They stick to that all night and they do it well.
On going through a tough spot in his season: When you are used to playing one way and they deny you the way that you are used to playing you tend to get more frustrated but you’ve got to push through it and keep your composure and not commit any stupid fouls or dumb mistakes. ‘ve never really experienced this but there is a first time for everything and my teammates and I are going to work through it.
On being tired: Being this is my first year, I don’t let it get to me. You have to play though it. I’m a basketball player and I ‘m going to go out and give 100% – it doesn’t matter if I’m tired or not.