March 11, 2005
– Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
Coming into the game we were very concerned with Virginia Tech’s ability to go off the dribble. They’ve had an outstanding year, winning games in the league and I thought they did it off their ability to go off the dribble and create shots. They really play unselfish. I thought Seth’s (Greenberg) team really played extremely well together all year. A big key for us was stopping them off the drive and not get in a situation where we had to help out as much as we did in Atlanta. Offensively I think we moved the ball well. We had 13 turnovers in the first half, but some of that may have been first day jitters, at least for a couple of our young guys. I thought we settled down in the second half and moved the ball well. We had Will, B.J. and Jarrett controlling things so we knew we would get good shots.
(On the defense) — That’s what we do. When we are playing well, we defend well and we rebound well. I was particularly pleased that they only had five offensive rebounds in the first half. When we’re doing the things that we’re supposed to do – defend, rebound and get out in transition, then we’re winning. Having B.J. Elder back on the floor makes our transition game a little more dangerous and also gives our defense a little boost. When you’ve got a guy like Jeremis Smith who is such a good offensive rebounder, then you get some second shots and that gives your defense a boost. When we defend the way that we are capable of defending, it makes us very optimistic.
(On Dickey’s performance) — I had to sit Luke because of foul trouble and Ra’Sean played hard, which is something that he has to learn how to do every possession. I didn’t like how he took care of the basketball, but I had to stick with him and ride it out with him. He did a great job rebounding and put a lot of energy out there.
(On the NCAA Tournament chances) — I don’t know if this win puts us in. I told people before this started that we have a chance to take all doubt out of the equation, so our mindset was to come in here and win this first game and see if we can keep it going through the weekend so that we don’t have to talk about the bubble. I know that if we win two more games we’re in for sure.
Georgia Tech guard B.J. Elder
I thought we did a great job. Our main focus was to limit their dribble penetration and I think we did a good job of that. They made some plays on us that we shouldn’t have given up, but overall I think we played the type of basketball that we wanted to play. We got up and down, got the ball inside and moved the ball real well.
(On the first five minutes of the second half) — We came out and really picked up the tempo in the game, starting on the defensive end we got a couple stops in a row. We were able to get out in transition and push the lead up.
Georgia Tech guard Jarrett Jack
We came out and played with tremendous energy today, one through 14. Our young guys did a wonderful job for us off the bench, guys like Mario West, Ra’Sean Dickey, Jeremy Smith and Anthony Morrow. B.J. Elder was our catalyst on offense and he led us to victory.
Georgia Tech Senior Luke Schenscher
(On team’s goal for Virginia Tech game) — All year we have been saying, as long as we play good hard defense, the offense will work itself out. That was our major goal coming into the game, to just worry about defense.
(On the current state of the team) — We all think that we’re sitting pretty right now. We’re as healthy as we have been all season and things are looking good.
Georgia Tech Freshman Anthony Morrow
(On his role on the team) — When coach puts me in he wants me to bring energy. The other guys work hard, so when I come in I want to make sure we keep the energy up while they are getting a rest.
(On the best quality of the team) — Right now it is probably our defense. We want to keep getting better on defense. We don’t want to give any slack at all. We want to make sure we stay on top of teams, get them down and keep them down.
Virginia Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg
First of all I would like to congratulate Paul (Hewitt) and his team. They are playing at a very, very high level right now. Obviously B.J. Elder means a great deal to their team. He is a terrific player and makes them a better team. I’m extremely disappointed with the way we represented ourselves today. That was not representative of the last seven months and the hard work we put in. We picked a bad night to play the way we did today. Georgia Tech was a part of that. But we just didn’t play at the level that we need to play to be successful. At halftime we were down five and I thought we were in pretty good shape. It was kind of where we had been before. At the start of the second half we did not play with a sense of urgency and a toughness we need to play with to beat a team as good as Georgia Tech. It kind of snowballed and is extremely disappointing. It should not take away from what we accomplished this year. No one expected us to be in this game. No one expected us to be competitive in this league. That is why it hurts so much. We have been competitive and we have done some good things. To play that way today, on this stage, hurts, because they have a lot invested in it. Hopefully it will motivate us to work even harder and continue to build our program so we can be more competitive in a setting like this.
(On difference in second half) — We just didn’t have the energy and put enough pressure on the ball. They got some things in transition. They got to the offensive glass. If someone would have told me we would have turned them over 22 times I would have thought we would have been in pretty good position to be successful. We just didn’t contain the basketball. We didn’ t defend with a sense of energy and purpose that we pride ourselves on.
Virginia Tech Forward Carlos Dixon
Like Coach (Greenberg) said, B.J. Elder is a great player. He makes their team a lot better. He made some big shots for them tonight. With that said we didn’t come out and play the way we needed to in the second half. We had a little mental lapse there at the beginning of the second half. We know we have a chance to play another game so have to go back and get ready for that.
(On having the opportunity to play in the ACC Tournament) — The atmosphere was great in the MCI Center. We just didn’t have the outing we wanted to. Our fan support was good. It was just not the outing we wanted to have. Hopefully we will have the chance to play again in an atmosphere like this.
Virginia Tech Guard Zabian Dowdell
The game was determined at the beginning of the second half. We came out a bit flat and they increased their lead. After that we could not get back into the game.