Jan. 3, 2006
– VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS
“Well, we’re disappointed, but I thought Georgia Tech played very, very well. They played with a lot of purpose and were excellent on the defensive end and they had guys make shots that really haven’t been making them and that was a problem for us. We just didn’t play well and are disappointed with how we played – a lot of that had to do with them and like I said I congratulate them because they were just better today.”
Was there a reason why you couldn’t get that final push that you needed at the end of the game? “Well, when we had free throws to tie the game, we miss, or free throws to cut it to one, we miss them. Poor job at the line”
“We obviously didn’t do a good job on Morrow. First thing I wrote on the board tonight was that we had to do a great job on #23 and I guess we didn’t quite get that done. He got loose sometimes digging for rebounds that we had no chance to get and on two occasions he got points because we thought we take a swipe at the ball after the shot, which put us at a jam on the other end. Our emphasis this week was playing with discipline on defense so we didn’t manage to get that done, either.”
“Our guys played hard, it wasn’t a lack of effort, it just wasn’t a good enough performance to beat a good team on the road. They just played much better than we did and defensively they were better on us, especially on the boards.”
On thinking that Tech’s inconsistency in games this season might eventually occur: “Well, we thought we could turn them over, but again, they were just able to make enough plays, get to the foul line, get rebounds to keep possessions alive and Morrow is a heck of a player and he stepped up big for them. You can’t give a guy almost double his average and expect to go on the road and win.”
Was it just one of those nights? “There are certainly some games each season where you look back and you think, `well, for whatever reason, we drew them on the wrong day’, and that might be what this is. If I remember the stats correctly, outside of Morrow, their next highest three point shooter was shooting only 15% and there other guys go three for four and so those are points that you aren’t quite counting on when 15% is the number you are looking at. But, again, they stepped up and made big shots and as I said we are disappointed that we were outplayed. I tell our team all the time that I don’t mind being outscored, I mind being outplayed, and Paul’s team outplayed us tonight.”
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“Tonight you saw more improvement on the defensive end. When we communicate the way we’ve communicated the last four games now on the defensive end, good things are going to happen. Offensively, this is probably the best we’ve moved the ball since the Michigan State game, and consequently we got a lot of good looks.
“We’ve been really struggling, other than Anthony Morrow, to shoot the ball from the three-point line. As you know, I’m convinced this is a good shooting team, but when you’re not getting good looks because the ball is stalling, you’re not going to look like you can shoot the basketball. Tonight, we moved the ball extremely well. Zam got some clean looks, D’Andre got clean looks and of course Morrow got clean looks, so you’re going to look a lot better offensively. And again, the key for us is what we do defensively. There were one or two threes we weren’t pleased with, but for the most part, I thought we defended their cuts pretty well. They run a lot of sets, and I thought our guys were really active, put good pressure on the ball and contested a lot of shots tonight.
“This team, as our confidence grows, we’re going to start playing better basketball. We have not played up to our capabilities for the first 10 games, we’ve only had flashes here and there, so this is something to give us a little confidence going into practice Thursday.
[on Morrow] “He draws so much attention that he creates shots for other guys. But as good as he can be, and tonight he was very effective, he’s even limited if we’re not moving the basketball the right way.”
[on Bell] “Since the Jacksonville game, D’Andre has really started to get comfortable out there. He’s a very good defender, he’s an excellent rebounder and he can make shots. He’s the type of guy we like to have around here, those long, athletic guys who can guard the one, two or three. He’s not quite as explosive as Isma’il Muhammad but he can do some of the things that Isma’il did for us defensively and on the boards. And D’Andre is a very competent shooter.”
NOTING GEORGIA TECH
Anthony Morrow tied his career high with 28 points, which he also achieved earlier this season against Georgia . . .
The eight assists for Paco Diaw are a career high . . .
Tech shot 60.9 percent (28-46) for the game, the best mark of the Paul Hewitt era and the best by any Yellow Jacket team since Jan. 2, 1999, when Tech shot 62.9 percent in a loss to NC State. The only game in which a Hewitt-coached Tech team shot over 60 percent was last season against East Tennessee State, when the Jackets shot 60.3 percent.
Tech nearly doubled Vanderbilt in the rebounding column, grabbing 35 to 18 for the Commodores. Vanderbilt’s 18 rebounds equals the fewest rebounds that the Yellow Jackets have allowed in the shot clock era. Tech also allowed 18 rebounds against NC State on Feb. 2, 1997