Nov. 16, 2006
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“I thought Georgia State did a very good of hanging in the second half. They hung tough. They continued to move the basketball and they attacked us off the dribble and got to the foul line quite a bit. They were in the bonus with 13-1/2 minutes to go. I’ve got to give those guys credit because to get into the bonus that quickly, you’ve got to play aggressive basketball and take it at your opponent, which is what they did.
“I thought we played pretty well in the first half. We didn’t pass the ball as well as I would have liked in the second half and that led to a lot of bad, contested shots. Usually when you take bad or contested shots, it leads to run-out opportunities for your opponent. They got some easy baskets.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with 3-0. Now we’ve got a very good test coming up on Monday.
“If we take good shots, we can shoot the ball well. We’ve got to move the ball and make the extra pass. There were too many times when we looked like a grade school team – we got the ball under the basket with two or three bodies around us and we just said, I’m close so I’m going to shoot it. At this level, it doesn’t matter how close you are, with two or three bodies around you, you’re going to get the shot blocked. That’s one of the reasons why we only shot 16 free throws, because I thought our shot selection deserted us in the second half. But our defense was good in the first half. We got out and pressured and got some transition buckets.
[Is Crittenton further along than Jarrett Jack at this point] “Probably offensively. He’s not where Jarrett was defensively. Javaris has got a lot to learn, especially about off the ball defense. But offensively, he’s probably further along. He’s shooting the ball very well.
GEORGIA TECH GUARD Lewis Clinch
“We definitely have to continue to improve on defense. Coach Hewitt always talks about rotating on defense. Help defense is just as important as on-the-ball defense because if a guy gets beat, you’ve got to be there to take a charge. As you can see tonight, we gave up a lot of baseline drives. As we go on, the teams are going to get better, so we’re going to have to meet guys outside the paint and take charges.
GEORGIA TECH GUARD Javaris Crittenton “A lot of the shots came off of good penetration. We just did a good job of rotating and passing the ball to each other tonight, and when the opportunity came, we knocked down shots. We work on shooting every day. We do a lot of shooting drills in practice and work on shooting overall, whether it be three-pointers or mid-range shots.
“Thaddeus found his rhythm in the second half. I knew he was hot and I was trying to find him. He knocked down the shot every time the ball got to him. In the first half, I was hot and my teammates and my teammates were finding me. The second half was time for me to distribute the ball more.
“I think we’re going to have to do a better job of keeping the other team off the boards and getting offensive rebounds. We do a good job sometimes, and then sometimes in the game, we allow teams to get a lot of offensive rebounds. As we play teams in the ACC, that could be an issue so we need to do a better job.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets recorded back-to-back 100-point games for just the fourth time in school history and the first time since December of 1994.
11-13-06, Tech 100, Jackson State 70
11-16-06, Tech 103, Georgia State 74
12-3-94, Tech 100, East Carolina 74
12-10-94, Tech 112, Lafayette 84
12-19-90, Tech 112, Georgia 105 (3 OT)
12-22-90, Tech 135, Loyola Marymount 94
2-14-70, Tech 104, North Carolina, 95
2-17-90, Tech 101, Georgia State 62
GEORGIA STATE HEAD COACH MICHAEL PERRY
The last team to beat you by 30 or so points went to the Final Four. Is Tech going to the Final Four (this year)?
“I tell you, they looked pretty good. I knew they were good because I had seen Thaddeus Young and (Javaris) Crittenton during the course of their high school career, and I thought they had pretty special talents. I think that Paul (Hewitt) said it best last year, when we were at a Sports Council Dinner and he was giving Crittenton an award, that `Mike, next year, Crittenton is going to make me look like a pretty smart coach. This year I don’t look too smart, but next year, I’m going to look pretty smart with that kid.’ And we knew that. He is a good player, and Young is a big-time talent. They make plays that are sometimes indefensible. When we came into the game, we wanted to make it a half-court game because they are all pretty good in transition. Knowing their talent and knowing what they have returning and what those kids were going to do for that team, as well as when I saw them on film, my first reaction was `wow.’ I thought they were as good or better than the Final Four team that they had a couple of years ago. That was my first reaction. I thought that they were very good, and we wanted to get the game into a half-court game. For the first three or four minutes, that’s what we did, but then they made some plays and some shots. I thought that the three threes by Crittenton broke the game open and they were off and running then. He’s not noted as being a really good three-point shooter, he’s more of a guy that attacks you off the dribble and creates and penetrates. But he jumped up and made three threes, and each one of those was heavily contested. Then Thaddeus hit a couple of threes, and with a hand in his face. There isn’t a lot of defense when a 6-5 guy jumps up over your guards and shoots it from three and then when a 6-9 guy jumps up and shoots it from three. There isn’t a lot of defense you can do for that. They are a very difficult team to guard, and our turnovers in the first half certainly led to transition baskets for them. It was almost overwhelming at times with that. You want to try to create and make plays, and you play right into their hands. They have very good talent, a good team, and are very sound. If they can get out and into transition, they are very good. I thought that tonight they did a good job even when we slowed them down and got them into a half-court game, particularly with their shooting. I think that’s what it’s going to be like through the year. I think that people are going to try to slow them down and won’t allow them transition baskets, making it a half-court game. They are going to have to jump up and make shots and that’s what they did tonight”
Were you game-planning that they weren’t going to shoot that well from three-point range?
“They hadn’t really shot it that well, and we also knew some of the history of some of the kids. We didn’t think it was one of their strong suites. There are a lot of strengths in their games, but the lesser of the evils was to defer them to three-point shooting, and those were the things that they were very effective in shooting. And then it was kind of like a snowball effect. The ball just kept rolling, and everyone else seemed to join the party. I think that Faye hit a three and then some of the rest of the guys jumped up and knocked down threes, and it was a snowball effect in that it just kept getting better for them and worse for us.”
Would it benefit State to keep playing Tech ever year?
“This is our first time playing them since I’ve been around, and I’ve been here 10 years. I guess you could always question if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I would have liked for the series to have started last year vs. this year. But it’s one of those things that, in this business, if mid-majors play majors long enough, you might have a chance to catch them. I’ve walked into this locker room with the University of Richmond team and we were, I think, the first non-conference team to beat Georgia Tech. People remember the wins but forget about the losses. We had plenty of losses against Tech, and the same is true for Wake Forest. We played them every year, and we took our lumps against Wake Forest, but everybody will remember when we beat them. So you have to play them to beat them. You’re going to have some nights like this and we’re still going to jump on you and get after you pretty good, and your team builds from there. We know that this is a very good basketball team. You’re not going to see teams like this night-in and night-out on our schedule, in spite of how good our team is, you’re not going to see teams as good as this. But it’s a great experience for us, and they presented some problems for us that we may not see again through the course of the year, but it’s a great experience for us to be able to deal with that in case we do run into those situations. We have some young kids that are talented in this atmosphere, and the talent level that they are playing against is something that they need to see now, at this point in their career. Hopefully it will prepare them for down the road. They saw a very good basketball team and I told them going in that a lot of people don’t have an opportunity to play a top-25 team, much less beat a top-25 team, but to beat them you have to play them first. In this case, we’re going to have to play them a few times to get a chance to beat them.