Feb. 4, 2006
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“For this entire streak, for some reason or another, we just can’t come out of the locker room with the type of energy we need. As I told the guys, it’s obviously something we’re doing as a coaching staff. We just can’t seem to get things going at the start of the second half. In the first half I thought we did a pretty good of focusing on Diaz, Hite and Harris. They combined for 15 points in the first half, and our goal was to try to keep them under 40 for the game. The first two plays of the second half, you could just see we weren’t in it. I called that quick timeout, and I thought we showed some signs of life. But then they changed to that 1-3-1, and we weren’t prepared for it. We tried to exploit the high-post area but just didn’t execute it very well.
“As I told the guys, we have to make some changes. I’ll probably make some lineup changes just to shake some things up because our effort has been spotty. A lot of that is probably due to guys maybe thinking too much. It’s not a thing where this is going to be some magic formula, but we’ve just got to make some changes to shake things up. I told the kids that if you take it personally, then you’re being awfully selfish, but I don’t think anyone will take it personally. Right now I don’t specifically what changes, but Mario West is going to start the next game. He gives up a little spark.
“There were times in the second half when I thought we did (hang their heads) but throughout this stretch I thought we’ve played pretty hard, generally speaking. There was a two-game stretch (Clemson-Maryland) when we didn’t play hard enough, but the rest of the games we’ve competed very hard.
“The place you’ve got to look is to look at yourself, and I told the guys after the game, obviously something I’m doing isn’t working, so I’ve got to start thinking about making some changes.
MIAMI HEAD COACH FRANK HAITH
On playing the 1-3-1 defense: “It’s something that we’ve started going to. Against Wake Forest we played it almost exclusively, against Florida State we played it some, but we recently started playing it quite a bit. In the second half against Wake Forest it was really good for us. Today, we played it a little bit in the first half but the second half we just stayed with it on defense more. Whatever defense we decided to play today, we were going to have to do a better job of defending the shooters. In the first part of the game, Morrow got loose on us and Clinch got loose on us and we didn’t do a good job in the post defense. We were playing behind in the post and letting those guys catch it. In the second half, we were able to do a better job of stopping that.”
When you look at Georgia Tech, do you see a team that doesn’t have the talent, or a team that can’t seem to get it together?
“I really have a tough time dissecting my own team to worry about somebody else’s team. I look at Georgia Tech and see that they are very young. I think that they’ve got a lot of talent, and I think that Paul is a hell of a coach and it’s just a matter of time before they start winning again, the way they’ve always been winning.”
Any secret to your road success?
“Our kids have just held some poise and played with some savvy. If you’ve got good guards, you’ve got a chance and our guard play has been really good and of late it’s been excellent. We had the one game at Virginia where we did not play well on the road and Virginia played well. Other than that, we’ve done a pretty good job of that and I think we’re just starting to get better and better. Our post players are starting to get better and the biggest thing is that we’re just playing with a lot of savvy.”
GEORGIA TECH GUARD Anthony Morrow
On moving without the ball — “That was the difference for me today, offensively. He [Paul Hewitt] wanted me to get off the strong side of the ball, it was kind of clogging the floor, and get over to the opposite side or the weak side and it worked out. I was just trying to move without the ball, and just be a player, get rebounds, make plays and play good defense. But we came up short.”
On other players scoring to create more room — “That was huge, Ra’Sean’s [Dickey] play was huge in the first half. We really fed him the ball. I made sure that I got him the ball down there, and also Jeremis Smith as well. They started crowding the guys down there so I made sure that I moved without the ball and got into their vision, so when they drew double teams they kicked it out to me and I was able to make some shots.”
On the toughest part of the losing streak — “Walking into the locker room after the game. It’s like six or seven straight losses; this is the worst feeling I’ve had in my entire life. It’s something where we have to dig down deep inside ourselves and look at ourselves, before we look at anybody else. I’m going to go home, look at the walls and find out what I need to do more to help us start winning again. We have to look inside of us, and how much are we going to give to win games, and that should be everything.”
GEORGIA TECH CENTER Theodis Tarver
On the difference between the first and second half — “We have to play more aggressively in the second half. We score most of our points in the first half and right now we are a first half team, and we have to become more of a second half team.”
On Miami’s 1-3-1 Zone — “We had opportunities to score; we just didn’t take advantage of them. We had a lot of chances to go in and make shots, we just didn’t do it.”
GEORGIA TECH CENTER Ra’Sean Dickey
On the losing streak — “It’s very frustrating. We keep dropping these games, that in my opinion, we should be winning. Everybody is getting frustrated. Everybody keeps saying that we have to play through it, but it’s getting old. This constant losing is getting old.”
On what it will take to get going in the right direction — “We just have to stay together. Practice what we preach. Keep playing hard.”