Feb. 3, 2016
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
“I thought we really executed well in the first half. I think we had 13 assists on 18 baskets. One of the things we talked about at halftime was making sure that we kept attacking the basket, and I think there was a stretch where they made their run after Nick (Jacobs) made the free throw to cut it to one, where they kept attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line, and we just didn’t have an answer for Grayson Allen in the second half – he really hurt us with jump shots and getting to the basket. I thought we did a pretty good job on (Brandon) Ingram, having him take 15 shots, but the one thing he did was he drew a lot of fouls. He got to the free throw line in the second half two or three possessions where it looked like we were going to get a stop. He kind of made something out of nothing there and got to the free throw line. And he’s a good free throw shooter – he went seven for eight. But that stretch from the 12-minute mark to the six-minute mark where they extended the lead from one up to 15 – offensively, we were a little out of sorts. We took too many jump shots probably during that time. We missed a couple shots right around the basket, as well, and that’s really hurt us in the last couple games. I thought Nick played well again tonight, and I thought Marcus (Georges-Hunt) did a lot of good things. Those guys right now for us almost need to be near-perfect in some of this stuff. Nick missed two or three shots around the basket, and you’re disappointed in that. You look at the stats and he’s eight of 14 with eight rebounds. We need to get some more basketball out of some other guys. We’ve got some guys that need to kind of turn it around a little bit as we get to these next few home games.”
On if he liked seeing Tadric Jackson attack the basket
“Yeah, and he was six of seven (inside the three point line). The problem is he took six threes and he missed all six of them. The last one was kind of inexperience there, but to be honest with you, I think all those threes he took were good looks. But he has greater success in terms of attacking the basket, and that’s what we wanted to do. And again, you take a look – Adam’s (Smith) going to shoot those threes. I thought one of the things is we kind of settled for some threes. Marcus – half his shots were threes. Tadric, like I said, almost half – six out of 13. We’ve got to get to the free throw line and get to the basket, and if we miss those close inside, the defense is broken down a little bit and we offensive rebound better. Again, we had 14 offensive rebounds, but only seven second-chance points. That goes in line with the ability to finish plays around the basket. If you get those offensive rebounds, you’ve got to make your opponent pay for them, and we just weren’t able to do that in the second half today.”
On if things were different without Coach Mike Krzyzewski
“No. The guy who was coaching the game has led a team to an Elite Eight. You know what I mean? He was a great head coach at VCU and Oklahoma. The have Grayson Allen, and they’ve got guys who just won a national championship.”
On Adam Smith attacking the basket
“He was pretty good off the dribble. You’ve got to live with some shots. I thought he did a good job off the bounce. We’re struggling at that point position right now, to be honest with you. He did a good job of handling the ball. The one thing is being able to execute in the offensive actions, as well. He’s one of those guys who can get a shot off, and he did a good job of that, especially early in the second half as they extended out. You’ve got to attack them, and I thought he did a pretty good job of that to start the second half.”
DUKE ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH JEFF CAPEL
“First and foremost I’m really, really proud of our guys. It’s been a very emotional past 48 hours. For them to have the mental toughness to fight through everything that we’ve gone through and all the different emotions and to come out and play against a good basketball team… Georgia Tech has been in every game, led in every game and just hasn’t been able to finish. I thought switching to man basically the whole second half was something that allowed us to get our offense going. We felt that in the first half we got great looks we just didn’t finish… Again I’m really proud of them. They fought. They were incredibly together and we had incredible passion. We were able to get a great win and to do it in this environment on the road with what we’ve gone through has been amazing.”
Can you describe the past 48 hours?
“On the way to the airport [we were] getting ready to fly here and Coach [Krzyzewski] wasn’t feeling well. The doctors made the decision that he wasn’t going to make the trip. This morning is when we found out that he wasn’t going to make the trip at all. [We focused on] just keeping our guys updated, letting them know what was going on and talking to them. Just asking ‘How do you feel?’ ‘What are you thinking?’ We were very open and honest and the thing we talked about was that ‘Look we’re prepared. He has us prepared because we started our preparation for Georgia Tech on Saturday. Now it’s just going out and executing the game plan.’ [I’m] really proud of them for being able to do that.”
Why did you decide to switch to man-to-man defense?
“It’s interesting because we didn’t walk through or go through a single man play of Georgia Tech’s. All we had worked on in preparation for this game was zone. In the first half, 28 of their 40 points came in the paint and we weren’t aggressive with our defense. We were very passive. They were getting inside, driving us and getting out in transition. At the end of the first half we made the decision to go to man. We liked it and we played it exclusively the whole second half. I thought it ignited everything about us. I thought it gave us energy and I thought it ignited our offense. We rode Grayson [Allen] there for a big time part of the second half. I thought Derryck Thornton for the majority of the game was really, really good. [He] made some big shots for us. Chase Jeter came in and gave us great minutes. Matt [Jones] was incredibly tough. Brandon [Ingram], although he couldn’t make a shot, his defense rebounding was tremendous. Everybody who stepped on that court did some really good things.”
How is Coach Krzyzewski feeling now?
“He’s feeling better. He’s doing well and we’ll know a little bit more probably later tonight.”
Were Marshall Plumlee’s first half defensive struggles a product of trying to avoid foul trouble?
“No. It wasn’t that. He just didn’t play well.”
How can Derryck Thornton perform at this level consistently?
“I think he’s played well at times this year – very well. He has struggled like every freshman in the country like every freshmen struggle. In the last three games, including this one, I think he’s played really well. I thought he did a really good job at N.C. State against [Anthony] Cat Barber which is a very tough matchup, but I thought he fought him. I thought he had a bad first half against Miami, but he came back in the second half and was really good. Then he was tremendous tonight. I think we’re seeing him grow up and figure it out.”