Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner
“First off, give Florida State a lot of credit. Coach Hamilton, one of the great coaches in college basketball. The team is very, very good; this is how good this league is. They’ve got six of their top eight from last year’s elite eight team and they are 14th in the national polls in the preseason and seventh in our league preseason. I just think they are long, they’re strong, and they’re big, so got to give them credit. Our only way of survivability in this league is through defense and we came in today fifth in the country in 3-point percentage defense and 11th in the country in defensive efficiency. That’s what we’ve hung our hat on since I’ve been here, two and half years, we’ve been very, very good defensively and tonight we were very good defensively again. This afternoon we had struggles offensively and it’s just unfortunately been a reoccurring theme. We’ve gotten great looks today to make in this game and today we missed some. Our game plan was to keep the game in the fifties, to muck it up and muddy it up and we did that. Once again we had 49 points and that just makes it hard to win a game but we executed the game plan we just didn’t get a couple shots. Credit to Florida State and we will be ready to go on Wednesday against Clemson, we’ve got to bounce back and no time for any woe is me syndrome or playing the victim or blame game, we’ve just got to find a way to get it done and move on to Clemson on Wednesday.”
On The Shot Selection Struggle By His Team
“I would’ve liked to punch it more inside but we had some wide open 3’s. It’s hard to tell a guy not to shoot it, I mean they are just so wide open it’s just hard not to shoot it. We are great drivers in there but we’re not as athletic as the rest of the teams in the league, we’ve got to get more athletic. What we can control is our competitive excellence, our toughness, our ability to have a motor, to defend. Those don’t take a lot of skill or talent, that just takes who we are. But offense is a lot of skill and athleticism and all those things and we’ve just got to keep getting better in all that both through development, we’ve got to keep getting guys better, we are still young, we’ve got to keep getting guys better, keep increasing as we are recruiting, keep increasing our athleticism but defense is what we hang our hat on, which we can control and that’s just playing hard. I’ve got to get back at the tape, probably some shots we’d like back but there’s a couple where your feet are so set and wide open you just, what are you going to do?”
On Jose Alvarado:
“I didn’t think Jose was real good today, obviously. We need him to be better, he’s been a tough young man for us in his year and a half but today he wasn’t real productive, so he’s got to be better for us and told him that after the game. He wasn’t good today. Jose, didn’t play well and he knows it.”
On The Close Game Towards The End:
“We had some opportunities, we missed some point-blank layups, had a couple great looks at 3 and we just couldn’t score.”
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
“To prepare for this game I had the opportunity to watch quite a few of Georgia Tech’s games they played. I talked to Coach (Dennis) Gates and kept saying to him “Why do people have so many problems scoring against them?”. “What is it that they do that takes away certain things that makes it very challenging for teams?” I’ve seen a team that holds everybody in our league to 28 percent 3-point field percentage on defense, that just doesn’t happen. Those are schemes, systems, fundamental defensive schemes that they (Georgia Tech) are consistent with. I guess I found out once the game started. I was asking the same thing during the course of the game. They have a very good defensive scheme that really takes certain 3’s away from you, especially the wing 3. There’s certain things that they give you, that’s where we faltered. I think we took advantage of what the defense gave us because we were so accustomed to getting certain things, that their defense made it challenging for us. Have to give Georgia Tech a lot of credit, we had them in foul trouble, we got into their bench, and it was very difficult for us. There was a five, six, seven-minute period where I didn’t think we executed very well. I thought we had them had them on the ropes, they just kept chipping away and chipping away. Their philosophy I thought was working very well. This is the kind of game that we’ll go back and learn a lot from watching film, we’ll get the chance to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of how we approached this game because this would prepare us for the next game we’re playing against Syracuse, who uses another type of zone defense philosophy. This would’ve been three straight teams, counting Syracuse, that we played against who use different zone defense philosophies. We’ll be well versed on how to protect these things. I just hope we keep figuring out a way to be ahead by half a point at the end of the game. Hopefully we can learn while we win.”
On Georgia Tech mucking up their defense in order to have a chance and what they have to do?
“Very seldom will people use a center in this type of scheme, to cover the base line from corner to corner. They have an athletic shot blocker back there who does a good job corner to corner. They really take away the wing jump shots by doubling up and crowding that area. And most people play out of the wings, they can do a really great job taking those away from you. What they give you is a short corner and they give you a post pass. You saw, we tried to throw the ball to the post, but I thought we tried to initiate the offense too far out on the floor, I think guys were getting pushed out. Phil is my best baseline shooter, and he played a couple minutes in the first have and then had to sit for foul trouble, but I believe we’re capable, I believe we understood and had a great game plan. But going through the game plan and executing are different when you go against a team who “mucks it up,” And you have certain things you’re hoping on. If we move the ball as quick as we need to and do a great job, I think we will be a lot better than next time we play against them because they do a really good job. They’re leading, either one or two, in defensive categories in the ACC, and a few other defensive categories they’re third in. This is real, they do a very good job.”
Against teams that are able to take away so much offensively, how important is it to get those frequent trips to the free throw line and making the most of it?
“There’s no doubt that getting to the free throw line is important when we’re playing against a team, to use his term, “mucking the game up.” They are patient offense and they do a very good job on making you work on defense. They execute, they reverse the ball, and we had to work. In the second half, I thought we did a very good job taking their perimeter shots away and they start throwing the ball inside, and I thought that’s where they were effective. Looking at the stat sheet, they outscored in the paint almost double.”