Dec. 18, 2006
– Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
“It was nice to get back on the court. I just wish we wouldn’t turn it over 23 times. But it was nice to get back out there and play against somebody else. We’ve had a couple of really physical practices in preparation for this game.
“Asking them to play more physical might be overstating it. I think we need to be more ready – being in your stance so you can react aggressively and quickly. That’s the thing that’s been lacking since we got back from Hawaii and I can’t quite put my finger on it. There were even moments this evening when we were just a step slow. I’ve heard a lot of different theories. One thing that people around the country who I respect have told me is, Paul, you’re too generous with your playing time. I don’t know. I’ve always coached this style where we’ve played multiple guys and it’s built team camaraderie and togetherness. But again, guys that I trust have said, Your guys look very, very comfortable because they know they’re going to get in the game. I don’t know, maybe that’s it.
“D’Andre [Bell] has had four or five very good practices. He’s getting back to playing the way he did last year. It seems like he’s gotten his confidence back. Maybe playing him at the point early in the year robbed him of his confidence, but now that he’s off the ball, he’s getting back to playing the way he did last year. I don’t mind expanding the rotation if he gives me a reason to play him. He forced some turnovers tonight, got a couple of steals. Obviously I’d like to see the four turnovers numbers come down, but the last three or four days in practice, he’s been one of our better players. Playing him at the point was probably a mistake on my part because it took some of his aggressiveness away. One thing I’ll say about the kid, even when he was buried on the bench, he came out and practiced his tail off every day.
“Over the last four days, we’ve really had some tough practices, and the emphasis has been on guarding the ball. At the same time, we have to realize that physically, we were better than them. We’re going to meet a team Friday (Georgia) that may be better than us, physically. Watching them play against Gonzaga, they were very impressive, especially how hard they played and how physical they were. They’re a hungry team. We’ve got to recapture the hunger we had when we played Memphis and Purdue.
Centenary Head Coach Rob Flaska
Talk about Georgia Tech’s three-point shooting tonight
We knew we had match-up problems. With our lack of size and youth, we knew that we had to play zone. That created a situation where they were going to have to shoot more threes, and we were hoping that they were going to have an off night from the three-point line, somewhat like Penn State. They had Thaddeus Young back and he did a really good job of shooting. They did what they had to do. They did what we were hoping that they wouldn’t do, and that was to knock down threes. That’s the third game that we ran into a team that was knocking shots down, and 13-for-27 (from three-point range) speaks for itself.
Were you surprised by anything Georgia Tech did today?
They run. I was worried because they had just lost two games, and I knew that they were going to come in really focused, even though `it was Centenary.’ They beat us last year. I think that they used this game as one to get them going, to really get going on all cylinders. They came out and hit those shots and really got it going on all cylinders. When you look at their stats across the board, he (Coach Hewitt) has got to be really pleased. Just looking at their stats, they had 25 assists, 55 percent from shooting, and 70 percent from the foul line. The one thing that he might me mad at was their turnovers, and that was obviously our problem. They forced so many turnovers on us, it created offense and got them going. But other than that, I have to imagine that he’s happy with their shooting. We are obviously not happy because they are knocking shots down. But they are a very talented team, and when they get it together, they are going to be tough to beat. The question is if they are going to be consistent night-in and night-out.