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Post-Game Quotes: Georgia Tech 63, Notre Dame 62

Feb. 20, 2016

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Opening statement
“Great night for our team. You know, obviously an unbelievable night for Georgia Tech with the Capital Campaign and all the donors. They were at the game, and what a great game to be at. A great crowd and unbelievable energy in that building. That’s what it is all about. And we’ve had great crowds here this year. And I’m just really proud of our guys. We beat a team that you have to beat. They’re not going to beat themselves. That’s as mature, disciplined and solid team as you’re going to find in college basketball with great players and great coaching. Our guys needed to make some plays down the stretch and they did. I’m very proud of them. Overall, our defensive effort was pretty good. We were good on the glass. We did a good job of taking care of the basketball. And we had some players make some plays down the stretch and they did that. So we had a good week. We are playing pretty well right now and we need to continue that. I’m happy for our guys. We’ve had some disappointing times and tough times and our guys keep fighting through it. With this one, they were able to build on the momentum that we started on Wednesday and that’s a big step for us.

On how tense he was during Marcus Georges-Hunt’s last shot
“I don’t think it was any different than the thirty we’ve had in the last two years. I like the result a lot better than some of the other ones. But, our execution during the last four possessions was tremendous. We got a first post, a good drive to the basket, the put-back, the three by Adam [Smith] and then Marcus’ shot. Execution was off the chart. Plus we got four straight stops defensively. So, some big, big plays for us. That was a great play by Marcus. He’s made a lot of game-winning shots for us in his four years. He’s missed some too, but he doesn’t bat an eye when we call his number in those big plays. He doesn’t bat an eye, and that’s why he is a great player.”

On what he told Marcus Georges Hunt after the game
“Yeah, I didn’t get to see him after he made the shot. I just told him, ‘I’m happy for him.’ We have five seniors, and this has got to be about them. It’s about the guys overall, but those five seniors, they’re going to determine if we are going to finish on a high note or not. And I think they are taking even greater ownership. Not that they weren’t before, but I think even greater ownership. And Marcus, against Notre Dame in both games had some chances to win it and didn’t. We can go over NC State, and we can go over a bunch of stuff, but he’s made them a ton too. He deserves it. You want good things to happen to good people. It doesn’t always work out that way, but you’ve got to stay strong in your belief that eventually the time is going to come. And tonight was one of those times.”


Did you expect Marcus Georges-Hunt to take the final shot?
“Yeah. We showed zone and then they probably drew up a zone play after the timeout. Even though Steve [Vasturia] had a pretty good chest on him, he’s so physical and strong. I thought [Adam] Smith’s three kind of changed the complexion. You maybe get out of here with an eight-point win. I thought Rex [Pflueger] was doing a great job of chasing. We gave ourselves a chance. It’s the same script we just couldn’t get that last stop.”

How much could you have used a timeout when Demetrius Jackson had the ball?
“I don’t know if that would have changed things. I wish we had executed a little better on the first shot. We were exhausted, and we needed the timeout to kind of get a blow, not so much get organized offensively.”

What went wrong offensively in the last four minutes?
“I think it was their defense. I think they really defended us better. We had a smaller lineup that helped us get it out to eight. I thought they guarded us a little bit better. They were better on the ball screen defense on Demetrius [Jackson].”

Did Georgia Tech do a better job of handling ball screens tonight?
“I think they were great in the last seven minutes. We were in a great offensive rhythm there for a while to get it up around six. It was going to be hard to finish. You were going to have to really defend to escape here. I thought [Rex] Pflueger did a great job chasing [Adam] Smith. He got crushed on a great screen. The guy set a very legal great screen. Smith hit a big one, and [Marcus Georges]-Hunt… that’s a big time drive right there. Even though Steve [Vasturia] was in great position I don’t know that he physically could withstand the Georges-Hunt’s physicality. They played great. I think they’re playing better. I think they’re a confident team right now after how they played at Florida State. You could see that with how they started. I love our group too though. It was familiar. We were down, and we had to scratch back in there and kind of believe we could escape. We’ve escaped a couple lately but not this one. But you’ve got to give Tech credit.”

What did you think of Georgia Tech’s finish tonight?
“They’ve been a lot of these, and I don’t know what they have left. They’re old and they’re men. They’re physical. We had a hard time dealing with them in the post with those big guys early. We finally got that under control, but I think they’ll always have a chance coming down the stretch, because they are so old and so physical. You’ve got Georges-Hunt and Smith, who are amazing difference-makers. [Adam] Smith didn’t do much in the first half, but then he got going. We had a freshman chasing him. I thought he did overall a good job. He couldn’t get through that one screen. I don’t know if anybody could get through that roadblock – and it was legal. It was just a great screen.”


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