Dec. 22, 2006
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
“Obviously it’s a very good win. Georgia is a very good basketball team. We were really concerned about them on the boards, and certainly we were concerned about Levi Stukes and Billy Humphrey from three. After the first 12 or 14 possessions, I thought we settled down and played some pretty good defense. Again, Mario West came off the bench and gave us a huge lift defensively in the second half when it looked like they were going to grab control of the game. Like I’ve been saying the whole year, our freshmen are talented, and they’re good players, but if this team is going to be any good at all, it’s going to be because the upperclassmen play smart, consistent basketball. When they have not played up to their potential, we’ve had trouble. Our freshmen are very talented, but unless our upperclassmen play like upperclassmen, we’ll be a very mediocre team.
[Success with backdoor plays] “Georgia plays great defense. They play great pressure defense. We worked hard on that prior to the Centenary game and prior to this game, and our guys were able to take advantage. We just tried to recognize when they were overplaying and then execute the backdoor. Thaddeus, in particular – that’s something we’ve been harping on with him the whole year. Because of his ability to score and create with the basketball, people are trying to take him away by denying him, so we’ve been talking the whole year about all the things he can get off a backdoor cut, like a lob or a postup. I thought tonight was the best he’s done.
[Thaddeus Young] “He’s really good, and this is going to sound crazy, but he hasn’t even scratched the surface. Thaddeus right now is basically a catch-and-shoot or drive player, and we’re trying to get him move with the basketball. Because he’s such a good scorer, if he moves without the basketball, it opens up a whole lot of other things. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he’s capable of doing, offensively. Defensively, he’s still got a ways to go.
Georgia Coach Dennis Felton
Opening Quote: “It was a really good game tonight. It was obviously a little more uphill for us than it was for Georgia Tech in terms of momentum, but we fought well.”
On struggles shooting and the Georgia Tech defense: “It is (difficult to win shooting 38% for the game), but it was still an awfully good ball game despite all of that. It was a struggle. We came out of halftime and took back control of the game for a time there, but they were able to come back with an answer, and the crowd really got going, and it was a lot to fight against. They were able to maintain their momentum and we had a difficult time breaking it up in the second half.”
On free throws being a positive for the Bulldogs: “Our free throws were as or more important tonight than probably any game that we’ve played this season. We stepped up and hit them and that really is a positive.
On the last minute of the game: “We did a reasonable job on giving ourselves a chance, even when we were struggling. We struggled, but we fought to give ourselves a chance. We got some turnovers out of the 1-3-1 zone. But we had a couple of wide-open shots that just didn’t quite full for us. We were disappointed in the loss, but we aren’t disappointed with our effort. We could have been more aggressive. I think that could have been a difference, because Georgia Tech was more aggressive than us for longer stretches of the game.