Feb. 18, 2016
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
“I’m proud of the effort and energy that our guys came out with tonight. It’s tough to win in this league, and we beat a very good team today. It’s just a testimony to how good this league is. They’re 6-8, we’re 4-9 and to be honest, two pretty good teams played tonight. We did a great job on the glass. We did a great job in the second half of taking care of the basketball. We rode our two seniors on the perimeter Adam (Smith) and Marcus (Georges-Hunt), and they were great. They changed defenses and pressured us. I thought we did a good job of handling that. With the new rules, it’s hard to guard guys when they’re putting their head down and driving it. They’ve got guys that can really finish the ball and they finished or they went to the free throw line and made them. We got some fight in us, great heart, great character, and it showed tonight with a big win against a very good team.”
Given the way the game was going the last two minutes, what do you say to your team about staving off a comeback?
We’ve been in that boat before. We just talked about what we needed to do. That meant execute our inbounds, keep the ball moving, and if we get fouled, make our free throws. The guys were great. We’ve had some tough losses over the last two years. I don’t know if you ever get over those, but you build some scar tissue up a little bit. Our guys took a big step tonight in finishing the game.”
FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
“We went into this game with one of our points of emphasis to keep them off the offensive boards even though they were one of the top rebounding teams in the country. We felt that if we executed well and blocked out that we would at least be able to hold our own on the board. We got stops, but each time got stops they were able to go and get offensive possessions. They had nine threes and three or four of them came after a missed shot; they got the rebound and kicked it out to get a high percentage shot. We got off to another slow start and if I knew the reason for that we probably would not have gotten off to another slow start. I think we had a period in the first half where we cut the lead to two. We took four quick shots and they made us pay on every one of those. We have kept statistics that when we pass the ball three, four or four times in a possession we shoot 30 percent high than when we pass it once or twice. They had a lot of things that they did well that I don’t think that we did well enough to win this game. Whenever they had open looks they made us pay. I thought we had some open looks and other than (Devon) Bookert we didn’t knock down the open looks that we had. I though they deserved to win. We brought it close there at the end, but they clearly outplayed us.”
What do you say after three losses and about trying to keep your tournament hopes alive?
“It’s quite obvious what we have to do, we have to play a little better. You have to try to be more consistent. Tonight is the first night I thought we missed Phil (Cofer) and (Michael) Ojo. We were missing a little physicality on the boards. If it was a strength with this team they had two big block players. With us playing four guard and them playing two power forwards weighing 260 a piece I thought it was tough to overcome. They were using body contact to bump us out of the way and I thought it was like that all night long. There shooting percentage in the first half came a lot from taking us off the dribble or throwing it inside and offensive put backs.
Do you think the emotionally draining loss to Miami is a reason you got off to that slow start?
“Philosophically you can come up with some way to hang your hat, but in reality these kids love to play basketball. The bottom line is this is what they love doing and we have to find a way to come out and lay it on the line every night. We have four guys that this is their first time they have been in the ACC, but that is the way you must be successful. You have to find that magical mental level every night or else it will be a difficult challenge for you. The league has gotten to where anything can happen to anyone on any given night. I’ve watched all the film on Georgia Tech and they have been in every game and faltered at the end and tonight they did not. We did not get our spurt that we usually get of transition baskets because they got more offensive rebounds.”