Feb. 13, 2005
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“A tough night for us offensively. NC State has always done a good job of closing down the lane when you drive. They gave us some outside shots that we didn’t make and we had some unforced turnovers that really made it difficult for us to win this game.
“It’s always going to be a close game. I’ve got to manage the game better down the stretch. If they were completely one-sided affairs, maybe I’d say that we’ve got to examine what we’re doing, but every game kind of plays out the same way. They get a lead, we come back, then in the last four minutes, they make free throws or a shot to beat us.
[Tech’s last shot] “We wanted Jarrett Jack to try to turn the corner. The next thing was to have Luke dive to the basket. We did put B.J. there just in case they did double the ball screen so that if he was going to kick out, he would kick out to a shooter. It looked like he had a pretty clean look.
“We’ve just got to keep moving forward. Obviously we’re going to watch the tape and go over some things that we need to do better offensively, but we’ve got to prepare for Florida State. That’s all we can do right now. We had some pretty decent looks out there, and we hurt ourselves at the free throw line as well. Normally, I would tell the guys, If you don’t shoot well, make it up on the defensive end. I thought we put out a pretty good defensive effort. Typically if you hold somebody to 53 at home that’s good enough for the win. But NC State played very good defense, and we didn’t knock down some of the looks that we had.
“They made some tough shots. The shots that they made deep into the shot clock didn’t disappoint as much as some of the times they got the tough rebound, where we forced the miss and they get the little put-back. Or the one time we had Hodge doubled on the baseline and he just bulled his way through. Those are the ones that really frustrate you.
“Am I disappointed with some of the losses? Yes. But I wouldn’t characterize this team as a disappointment. I still enjoy coaching these guys, and this team practices as well as any team that I’ve been around. Again, any theories I could give you are just excuses, so I’d rather not.
NC STATE HEAD COACH HERB SENDEK
“I’m really proud of our guys effort tonight. I thought they really executed very well with the things we talked about and I couldn’t be more pleased with the character that this group continues to demonstrate. Georgia Tech is an outstanding team and anytime you come down here and can be competitive, it speaks highly of the performance your men gave.”
On the sixth straight win over Georgia Tech — “It’s really just one of those things and it has nothing to do with anything. It really doesn’t. And to try to draw any conclusion from it would almost be madness. There are so many variables, when you play, some beyond your control. I know that BJ Elder is just working his way back into shape, and we went through a similar experience with some of our guys. To draw or make any connection with that is insanity. In so many of those games, a possession here or there could have easily gone either way.”
On the timeout after the made basket — “We had one timeout left and they are so good in transition. During the middle of a game, they are likely to score on a made basket because they push the ball so fiercely and Jack is such a great player in the open floor that we thought we’d be better off if our defense was set as opposed to letting them quick in bound and letting them attack.”
On running the shot clock down during their possessions in the second half — “We were obviously in some very serious foul trouble seemingly from the get go and certainly that (running the shot clock down) was a consideration. We just really tried to control the tempo to allow us to shorten the game a little bit under those circumstances.”
On the defense on Tech’s last possession — “It’s a tough position to be in because you have to protect against penetration because you know they are going to be attacking. At the same time, you have to be aware of the three because that’s the way you could lose, at least with the two you have a chance to play another five minutes. We were able to do a good job of covering Jack, who eventually got the ball to Elder in the corner. Our freshman Ced Simmons did a great job of coming out of nowhere and getting his big long arms up in the air and perhaps that had a slight affect on the shot.”