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Post-Game Quotes: Georgia 82, Georgia Tech 78

Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner

On his thoughts on the game…

“First off, I give full credit to Georgia and Coach Crean and their staff. They’ve did a great job and have a really good basketball team. I thought watching them in their games, they continue to get better each game they play. I thought [Rayshaun] Hammonds was a stud tonight. Obviously, we recruited him hard too. He’s a really good basketball player and he really had a great game and is a big difference maker for them, especially in that first half. I thought a big possession was when we were up 20-12. We had just hit a three and we were up 20-12 in the first half. When you make a three, you’ve got to have a bigger sense of urgency to not give up another three on the other end, and they came down and hit a three hands down for [Tyree] Crump, No. 4, and the kid made a three and the score went to 20-15 and then they kind of went on a little run. We just got stuck offensively. We missed a lot of free throws. We were looking at 12-26 if you’re including the front ends of the 1-for-1 and that really bites you in the rear, doing that. But, I’m proud of our guys. Every game they’ve fought and competed. It doesn’t matter the score, they’ve always played hard to the very, very end. So, I’m proud of our young men. They’re a good group of guys. We’ll continue to get better. I’ve said this before, I’m proud of this team and I think we have a chance to be a really good team, just like Georgia. I think Georgia will be good. But, I really like our team.”

On Jose Alvarado’s performance tonight with his nagging injury…

“Well, you know he’s been out for over two weeks. Yesterday was the first day he practiced. He did a little practice and he really wasn’t good at practice yesterday. But, he wanted to play and he was cleared by the doctors, so it was more of a pain-tolerance thing. There was no risk of injury or anything, it was more of his own pain tolerance. He wanted to play more than anything. You know, he’s our heart and soul. So we started him. But he struggled out there and he wasn’t himself. I just pulled him, we didn’t put him back in. It wasn’t re-aggravated, I just thought he was playing a lot of time on the floor. That’s not anything on Jose, it’s just defending at that speed. He was just limping a lot.”

On if Alvarado is playing 100 percent…

“I thought, well yesterday was his first day at practice. I probably wouldn’t have played him, but he was begging to play. I was also reassured by our medical staff that he was fine, so there’s nothing there. We were all debating, ‘Do we play him? Do we sit him?’ He’s done so much for us, he’s cleared by the medical team. Even if he’s limping we’re willing to give him a chance. I think, probably, it’s going to take another week or two for him to be where he’s not limping as much. We’re going to continue to be aggressive rehabbing it. We’re going to look at him. Do we just completely shut him down? I don’t think we should do that. Hopefully by Saturday or Sunday he’ll be better. Hopefully he’s about 70 to 80 percent better.”

Michael Devoe, Soph. 

On what worked offensively tonight…

“I  was just being confident, making plays being the play maker getting my teammates drawing into me, kicking out to me, I was knocking down shots. I felt pretty good tonight.”

On getting guys in foul trouble…

“We wanted to get number twenty in foul trouble, he’s a great player. Four we really wanted to get him in foul trouble, get down and get it to James (Banks III) and cause some fouls but it didn’t happen that way. It was a tough game and it came down to the wire.”

On what went wrong in the game…

“Executing our plays, Coach Pastner thinks there were some things on the board that didn’t execute well. Offensive rebounding and defensive rebounding as well we gotta start crashing the board and helping James (Banks III)  out. Just stopping them on defense really, we only had three kills which coach said its three kills in a row so our objective was seven we really needed to do that tonight.”

James Banks, III, Sr. 

On why it took a while to get going offensively…

“They just really packed it in, they were digging they helped a bunch on the double team. I  just wanted to be solid, not force anything really make the right plays, pass the ball to open teammates and trust that they will be able to make a play with it.”

On his defensive impact on tonight’s game…

“I mean hopefully, defense travels and that’s what we hoped traveled tonight our defense. Obviously we had some struggles In the first half when it came to putting the ball in the bucket. Mike [Devoe] was able to remedy that and stop the bleeding a bit, Moses [Wright] had a strong second half taking it to the hoop he shot the ball really well I  didn’t get my shots off tonight but were really just playing for all the guys.”

Georgia Head Coach Tom Cream

Opening Statement 

“First, I want to thank our crowd again and for them to be here early like they were, especially with that accident that was out there near Village Avenue, it slowed me up. It probably slowed some of you up, slowed other people up. To have this level of crowd here to start this game, I was really worried about that driving in. And people were fantastic. They were into the game. They told me out front: This is the second highest crowd attendance mark we have had. And the last time it was like this it was ’80-’81. And I believe Kentucky was one of the games that was in there and the arena was bigger. So I love it. I love the way our fans are responding to this, I love the way our students are coming to this. And that’s how the program gets built and that’s how the team gets better. Obviously, the team’s got to practice, they got to improve, all those type of things, but that’s how it happens. We had recruits here tonight just like we do most days and nights, but most importantly the energy that they are bringing to the team is outstanding. And hopefully our team is bringing them some too, because our team is working to get, working — the chemistry never happens quickly. It takes a long time for it to come. I know, I’m not going to go too long, I’m not going to hit my 27 minutes. But it takes awhile to get — I’ll always going to think about it — it takes awhile to get that chemistry down. We’re trying to do a lot of different things as a team and play a lot of guys. The bottom line is Georgia Tech is good. He’s doing an excellent job with that team. I mean, this is the best team that, you could see it, this is the best team that he’s had in his time there. They’re deeper, they’re shooting it so much better, they’re improving, they’re big. We were very, very concerned about not being able to move the zone, move their big guys around. That had to be key for us tonight. And at times we did that, we were good, we had to get them out of the way. Banks had 11 blocks going into the game, had six tonight. Obviously, both teams have to get better, both teams will get better, but they have a really good team. But for our team to figure out ways to figure it out during the game with as young as we are, as many young guys as we had on the court and some of the injuries that we were dealing with. Ray hadn’t practiced full, and yesterday wasn’t even really full since he got, he injured himself a little bit on Friday night. So he didn’t have anything really for the last couple days. Christian Brown is battling something injury-wise. He wasn’t at his normal speed and pace. But we found a way and I’m proud of the way that we did and now we got to turn around in a short period of time and get ready for an incredible three days of basketball and go ahead.”

Not trying to challenge you, but you did mention how you felt that this was Josh’s best team at Georgia Tech.

I do, yeah.”

What makes you say that?

“Well they’re deeper. They, they’re skilled. Devoe is really improved. Jose Alvarado is a winner and obviously he wasn’t himself tonight with what he was dealing with his ankle. Bubba Parham has got tremendous range, tremendous speed and quickness. Banks is improving he was a key focus for us. When you go to their four-man — and they’re bigger, right, they’re bigger and stronger, they have different ways to win. They won at NC State, that’s not easy. You go to opening night in the ACC and you find a way to win that game, and they were down early in that game — this, this, this was never comfortable until we hit those last two free throws for me. It’s just the way that it is. I think he’s doing a really, really good job there. I think that he’s building it the way that he wants it, I think he’s got guys in there you can tell that are really responding, they’re listening. I thought they were really together, not that they weren’t before, but I really noticed it in the flow. So I think he’s doing an excellent job.”

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