Dec. 21, 2015
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
“I thought we did a lot of good things tonight. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to sustain those through long enough stretches. Give Southeastern Louisiana credit, they knocked down some shots and played very well in the second half. And we didn’t guard them in the post very well, and they were able to make some shots. They’ve got three really good guards that can make plays and can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. We contained them pretty well for the first thirty minutes, but the last 10 [minutes] we didn’t do a good enough job on them. So, a lot of good things, but we were just not able to maintain that intensity level and, at times, the concentration level on that stuff. It’s an area we need to improve in. I thought the 19 assists to the eight turnovers was a big plus. I thought the way we moved and shared the ball in the second half was very, very good. And, obviously, our work on the offensive glass; it’s incredible. When we took a quality shot and we broke down the defense, how many offensive rebounds did we get? It’s a very big part of our success to this point, and it’s what is going to help us continue to be successful.”
On James White’s start and performance on the offensive glass
“He’s a different rebounder than Chuck [Charles Mitchell] and Nick [Jacobs]. Ben [Lammers] kind of rebounds with length, Chuck and Nick kind of rebound with brute force and then James [White] is kind of the long, athletic rebounder. He spaces and is able to play over the top of guys. And you saw that a couple of times today. I thought he responded very well to the start. Defensively, in the first half, he was really good. You know, seven defensive rebounds for him. We ask him to do a lot of different things in terms of guarding on the perimeter and guarding on the post. I was pleased with him, and I was pleased with Nick. I thought Nick played well for us and a couple of his misses were right there. But, he [Nick] really helped us in the first half in terms of establishing a post presence against the zone.”
On James White getting more comfortable with his role on offense and defense
“Yeah, he is, defensively in particular. He knocked down the jump shot and we give him the freedom on offense to make some of those plays. I thought a couple of those post moves that he missed were good moves for us. Again, those our good shots for us, even the ones he missed. I’m not sure we got the rebound on every one, but probably darn close to it. But, he is getting better defensively. Now, we had a couple of breakdowns in his post defense. And that’s just an area he needs to continue to improve in.”
On the high volume of three-point attempts in the first half
“Too many, probably. We didn’t take a lot of contested threes. And all of the guys are capable of making those shots. What we talked about at half time was that you’re going to get those shots three or four passes later. Also, if we get the ball inside on a post touch, post flash or post penetration, then you take those shots. You have the zone broken down. If the zone is broken down, then if you miss, we have a better chance of getting the offensive rebound. “
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA HEAD COACH JAY LADNER
“We knew we had our hands full. They were smart and Coach Gregory does a great job with his team. [They’re] talented and big and just a little too much for us. I was proud of our team. I thought we played much better in the second half. We were missing our starting 3, 4 and 5-men with injuries. One of them is definitely out for the season and was back getting surgery. Our starting 3-man got hurt in our walk through for tonight. He may be out for the year. We expect to have our starting 4-man back, but it’s going to be a few weeks. With all of that being said, it was going to be a tall order anyway for a team like us to be able to beat a team like Georgia Tech. I was really proud of our guys. Early in the game we needed to shorten the game up [but] we couldn’t have done the polar opposite anymore. [At] halftime we obviously had a little opportunity to change things a little bit, maybe to redirect some things [including] attitude. I thought we did a better job in the second half of taking the shot that we wanted to take and not the one Georgia Tech wanted us to take. My hat’s off to their team. They are very well schooled offensively. [They] forced us to play a lot more zone than we would normally play, but also our injury situation forced us to play a lot more zone. They shot the ball particularly well early in the game to get the lead extended a little bit. Overall I was proud of our team.”
What did you think of your 34-point offensive performance in the paint?
“We certainly did a better job in the second half. We were 0-for-7 at the first or second media [timeout] from the three, so we had to talk about that. They were quick shots and not the type of shots that we wanted to be taking to give us a chance to stay in the game. In the second half, we did a much better job of getting the basketball around the rim [and] we had an opportunity to get to the foul line a few times.”
What were your thoughts on Georgia Tech’s James White and Charles Mitchell?
“They’re very good players. We were certainly giving up a lot of size in there, but I thought we didn’t do a very good job of working real hard before they got the ball. We allowed them to catch it too deep into the paint or too deep at the rim. Once that happened we didn’t have a chance. I didn’t think we carried our scouting report over as well. We wanted to try and double Mitchell a little bit, and we did sometimes, and we didn’t other times, but there’s really no excuse for that. That’s a lack of discipline on my part. We’ll certainly address that in practice. It’s good to get to the break. Our team has fought hard. They’ve been very competitive, but our win-loss record is not indicative [of that] based on the type of schedule that we’ve had to play. We’ve played a very rigorous schedule, and hopefully we can even things out a little bit as we get into January.”
What do you take away from this loss?
“I was proud of the way we played in the second half. At halftime, I said ‘it doesn’t matter what the score is. We’re going to execute the offense better. We’re going to play smarter.’ For the most part I thought we did that and it paid off for us. We were much more productive in the second half. They hurt us on some second shots. Second chance points were 19-6. Certainly the better team won, and we would have had to have a lot of things go our way deep into the second half, but we were able to make a run and cut the lead down a little bit. We got them to miss a few shots but we couldn’t get the necessary defensive rebounds to keep cutting into the lead.”