Dec. 30, 2007
Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
“Give Florida State credit tonight. Considering that they were down some players, I thought they did a good job of battling and hanging in there and made plays down the stretch.”
“I think we are getting better and we did some good things, but I told this team in the lockerroom that time is running out on this season and we are running out of chances.”
Were you surprised that you didn’t have more success in the paint considering that so many of their big guys were out?
“We scored so many points in the first half in transition that there wasn’t really the opportunity to. When we had the chance, I thought we did a good job of getting the ball down low.”
What was the play that you ran at the end?
“We were hoping that D’Andre Bell would get the ball and push it up left with 4 or 5 dribbles. I’ll have to look at the tape, but Anthony and Clinch were supposed to cross screen at the bottom and pop out for threes. Zack can shoot the three, and I thought he had an ok look.”
What was the thought behind putting Causey in for Clinch on Florida State’s last possession?
“I saw some mixed box outs in the second half and felt that we needed to have someone in there that was going to get in there and box out.”
“All that being said, we were up 4 with 2:40 on the clock at home and we’ve got to learn how to take care of the ball and close out the game.”
On the play of Gani Lawal
“I thought he played hard and did some good things. In the second half, particularly, I put him back in the game after he got that block. He came in and drew a charge, hit two free throws, made a nice catch in the low post and dunked it. He did some good things tonight, and even though he’s a freshman, he played hard and showed me some good things.”
Freshman Gani Lawal
Overall thoughts on the Florida State game — “I don’t like losing. There were some good things that happened that we can take from the game and improve upon. But I am out there to win.”
Thoughts on helping add to Tech’s momentum with drawing a charge and adding a dunk late in the second half — “I thought that string of plays that we would be right on our way to taking a W. I guess a couple of mental lapses hurt us.”
Has it been a difficult transition from high school to ACC play? — “It has been a gradual process. I had 12 games now to get ready for ACC league play.”
Georgia Tech guard Anthony Morrow:
Overall thoughts on the Florida State game — “We knew we had to stop their guards. I think we did an alright job. Obviously Toney Douglas got off and Jason Rich at the end. I think overall our effort was really good and we just have to keep working hard.”
Thoughts on Florida State playing without its big men — “We knew they were still a guard orientated team. We knew the big men were still big and strong. Obviously with them not playing we had to switch up our match ups and change up our game plan.”
Thoughts on Florida State’s defense — They ran a lot of zone but when they went to man I think we did a good job of getting going inside. I tried to expose that guard play by going inside early. I think that is something that we need to continue to do with our size and versatility. I think they did a good job of switching between man and triangle two and 1-3-1.
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
On winning ACC Opener in a game that went down to the wire
“No doubt about it [it was a great victory for the team today.] You have to give the kids a lot of credit – they stayed focused and played extremely hard. We had somewhat of a dead half and then changed our game plan and strategy. We got a little shaky there in the second half, and I think that Georgia Tech had something to do with that. They made some adjustments at halftime and they posted their perimeter guys up on our guys inside. We ended up having to go to a zone defense, and I thought that made a little bit of a difference, getting them a little out of rhythm. And we made some big, bit plays down the stretch. We got some steals and deflections and Ralph (Mims) made some big shots and Jason (Rich) made some big shots, and that’s how I knew that we would have to win the game – someone was going to have to step up and make the plays that would make the difference in the game. When I look back through the game, everybody made big plays.”
On Rich’s final possession, getting the lead on that shot
“We were trying to get it to Toney (Douglas) on the push, and if they took Toney away we wanted to go to Jason (Rich) on the push. We had to read on that standpoint. They were guarding certain people out on the perimeter, so Jason came down and went straight to the basket, pulling up for a good shot.”
On taking the timeout at the beginning of the game, after 12-2 run by Jackets – what he said in the timeout
“I told them that we had great shots that just weren’t falling and that we had to continue to take good shots and be aggressive. [I also said] that would could not not get back on defense. I thought they scored eight to 10 of those points in transition. We were getting back at halfcourt and had them in our vision, but didn’t sprint all the way back to the lane, and they were attacking at the lane, going over the defense. Once we got back and took them out of transition, it became more of a halfcourt game and obviously we had to play that way because of lack of depth and so forth, giving us more of an opportunity.”
On the win being a real team effort. Specifically on Matt Zitani and Jordan DeMercy’s play
“Those were big plays that Jordan DeMercy made, and that was a big shot that Matt Zitani hit. I thought the fact that we were up at halftime gave us a lot of confidence going into the half that we could win this basketball game. We were really indecisive, but I liked their attitude and toughness, and I liked their focus. We bent a little, but we did not break.”
On how he got the team, minus Julian Vaughn and Solomon Alabi, to show the effort they did today
“I’ve said all along that sometime adversity has the way of bringing the best out of us, and I thought that would happen today. We had no other choice – our backs were against the wall. We have to have a different game plan for each game. We only shot 11 free throws, and we have to find a way to get to the foul line a little more, but that’s kind of who we are now. We can’t get away from it – we have to make those adjustments. Every game is going to be a challenge for us – we just have to make sure that we go out with the attitude that we are capable of winning. We have to make sure that we stick with the game plan, stay away from our weaknesses and play to our strengths.”