Jan. 3, 2007
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
[How much difference does Anthony Morrow getting his conditioning back make?] “I think it makes a lot of difference, but more than conditioning, it’s getting his rhythm back. He’s a guy who can string together a bunch of shots. I think just getting the extra minutes, he’s starting to get his rhythm back.
[Mario West] “He tweaked his back a little bit, so I didn’t want to put him back out there. He’s too valuable to this team and what we’re trying to get done.
[Mouhammed Faye] “He very skilled with quick feet and long arms, so gets a lot of deflections. The injury certainly set him back. Now, he’s in good shape and the wrist is healthy again, so hopefully he’ll continue progress. You can see that he’s a very versatile player – five assists and no turnovers tonight. He’s very active defensively. He just brings an awful lot to the floor. He’s starting to get a clear understanding of what I need from him. Like most young players, he felt like if he scored points, then I’d leave him on the floor, so he’d come in and rush up some shots to try to make a statement. As I’ve told these guys all year, points are not what I’m worried about with this team. I think this team is capable of scoring. What I’m worried about is playing good defense every possession. As I told them in the locker room, from this point forward, every game is going to be a one possession game. You don’t know which possession is going to make the difference. In the ACC, most games are decided by five points or fewer. Mouhammed is starting to understand what we need from him, so he’s doing a better job.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: Anthony Morrow tied his career high with seven three-pointers (also had seven last season vs. Michigan State). His 21 points are a season high . . . Over the last three games, point guard Javaris Crittenton has had 27 assists and just one turnover.
Winston-Salem State head coach Bobby Collins
Do you feel relief now that this gauntlet (of top teams) is over with? “It definitely hasn’t been an easy road. I just hope that we aren’t so beat up that, when we start to play some teams within our own conference, we can compete and get some wins. We have weathered the storm, as far as keeping our morale. Coach Hewitt did a very good job of coaching his team tonight. I thought that everything was perfect. His game plan was perfect. We had a moment in the sun just by hanging with them for the first five minutes of the game, but their talent and athletic ability and the way that they can shoot the basketball took over.”
On the height difference between the two teams “We had to pick our poison. We were either going to come out on the shooters, or make them lob the basketball. Most of their lobs came in transition, and I told our guys that turnovers are hard to defend. You can’t defend a turnover. Most of the time it’s 2-on-1. They did a very good job of, when they got steals, they scored off of them.”
Regarding not having a point guard. “That has been our Achilles heel. We go through spurts where we don’t score. We have had some good moments, but just not enough to sustain. Our guys go out and play hard every night, and I’m extremely proud about how hard we fight. I’m proud of our effort.”
On surrounding the big guys tonight. “I respect Coach Hewitt to the fullest, and I admire him. He’s always been somewhat of a mentor to me as far as his coaching ability, the places he’s been and the things that he’s done here at Georgia Tech. And we made him take a timeout. I told my coaches, `hey, I’m done. The game’s over.’ We made him make an adjustment. The first four minutes of the game, we pressed them quite a bit. We took the ball out of Crittenton’s hand and made the other guys handle the ball and make plays. We got some steals and got into an aggressive mode. We had some success with that, but then their guards came in and they broke the press and got easy baskets.”