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Post-Game Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas

Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“First off, I thought it was a really good college basketball game in terms of effort by both teams. Both teams played extremely hard. They left it all on the floor. It was one of those things where it was just going to come down to the last shot. As we know, in basketball sometimes the ball bounces your way, and [sometimes] it doesn’t, and tonight it didn’t bounce our way at the end there. We guarded it really well and the kid hit a prayer. But I thought both teams played their tails off and played as hard as they could, so in terms of effort, both teams played at a high level. Unfortunately for us, the turnovers got us, especially in that first half. They had 15 points off of our 11 or 12 turnovers that we had in the first half and that was really the main difference in the game there. And on top of that, we missed some key free throws, had some short shots around the rim that we just couldn’t finish, but, we defended it really well at the end, and he just banked it in.”

On Arkansas’ defense:

“You look at their defensive numbers coming in, they were one of the best defensive teams in the country. We tried to simulate it as much as possible with our scout team. I don’t think you can ever really simulate another team just like you can’t simulate our zone. And I think also you’re putting a lot of stress on Bubba [Parham] and Michael Devoe to handle it without Jose [Alvarado] there. And so it’s a lot on those guys because you’re asking them to be at a high level defensively too, but that’s just part of it. That’s why [this is] the schedule we’ve got, because it is going to test you, it forces you to get better and allows you to work on things you can work on to improve. Hopefully, we’ll continue to improve and get better. A guy like a Bubba Parham can improve from a game like this.”

On responding to teams focusing on denying James Banks inside on offense:

“We had a couple open threes, and you’ve just got to make some threes there. Asanti [Price] had a couple of great looks. We missed some shots around the rim there, but to loosen things up, you’re going to need to make a few threes, especially when you’re open and your feet are set. The biggest thing in the end, though, was the turnover part. We had some turnovers on the fast breaks. In overtime, we had the three-on-one and the guy stole Bubba’s pass. So the turnovers ended up biting us in the rear today.”

On Michael Devoe:

“I thought it was tough for him today. I thought the pressure they put on him [was] because he came in as the leading scorer in the ACC, so they were really going to put a lot of attention on him. We’re asking him to do a lot, to be the point guard and to score for us. Between he and Bubba, changing roles and being the point guard without Jose there, this is all part of it. He will grow from this and continue to get better. I was really proud of our guys. The guys played so hard. They left it all on the floor, they battled, they competed, they played their tails off, which they do all the time. It was just a really good fist fight type of basketball game and just in the end the kid hit a tough shot.”

Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman

Opening statement:

“[It was] a great basketball game for spectators. Two teams that really, really competed on both sides of the floor. It’s a great win for us. For Coach Josh [Pastner] and his team – they competed so hard. The game could have gone either way. To win on the road is obviously difficult and we’re still trying to figure out who we are as a basketball team and still trying to implement some things. I thought our defensive effort was incredible. Obviously, we felt like we had to do a really good defensive job on Michael [Devoe], which we did. For him to take 16 shots and get 12 points… Jimmy Whitt did a great job. I thought we shrunk and gave great help defense as well.”

On Georgia Tech’s James Banks:

“It was important for us not to allow his shot-blocking ability to affect our dribble-drives. I thought Desi [Sills] did an incredible job of attacking the rim and trying to get into his body on his dribble-drive penetration. Obviously, James is a great basketball player and has an incredibly bright future. He keeps getting better and better. Their staff has done a really great job from a player development standpoint. We just didn’t want him to get in our heads because he is a great shot-blocker.”

On using length to disrupt Georgia Tech’s passes:

“We’re a high-volume steal team, a high-volume turn-the-opponent-over [team]. As we watched the tape, we felt that when [Georgia Tech] went high-low, a lot of teams [would] back off of Moses Wright. We wanted to pressure when they went high-low and not back off and sit in the lap of [James] Banks. I thought the turnovers that Wright had and some of the turnovers by [Khalid} Moore were crucial turnovers for us. To go on the road… the crowd really came alive late game. But to cause 23 turnovers… I thought our activity defensively was phenomenal.”

On Mason Jones game-winning shot:

“The two guys [Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones] didn’t shoot the ball enough in regulation. Those are the two guys. Obviously, I didn’t draw up a bank shot, but we’ll take it and go home and enjoy the plane ride back.”

On Arkansas’ transition offense:

“We didn’t want to play against their zone and their length. We knew we had to get out in transition. I thought maybe I held the ball up a little bit too much at times in late game. When we were up four, when we were up six, I probably should have let them go a little bit more. But we felt like it was a possession-by-possession game. With our lack of size, we need our defense to create offense for us when we don’t have a chance. We know on the glass every night [that] defensive rebounding is going to be a concern.”

On attacking Georgia Tech’s zone defense:

“We didn’t use one of our plays called ‘touchdown’ until late, late game. I thought we got incredibly great looks… some corner jump shots and we had a runner by Isaiah Joe, but they just didn’t go. I did think late game when we went to that set, we got some really, really good looks. And I thought defensively when they extended their 1-3-1, we got a little bit passive at times as well.”

On the last possession:

“I didn’t want them to have a chance to go back or draw a foul. We didn’t call a timeout for a reason [because] I didn’t want their defense to get set. As long as Isaiah or Mason had the ball in their hands we were going to take that thing and either make a shot or miss a shot and get out of here with no time on the clock really. I didn’t tell them to go with 12 [seconds] or anything because we did want to milk it a little bit and not give them the opportunity to take the ball and have five or six seconds on the clock. We would have rather gone to another overtime.”

Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman

Opening statement:

“[It was] a great basketball game for spectators. Two teams that really, really competed on both sides of the floor. It’s a great win for us. For Coach Josh [Pastner] and his team – they competed so hard. The game could have gone either way. To win on the road is obviously difficult, and we’re still trying to figure out who we are as a basketball team and still trying to implement some things. I thought our defensive effort was incredible. Obviously, we felt like we had to do a really good defensive job on Michael [Devoe], which we did. For him to take 16 shots and get 12 points… Jimmy Whitt did a great job. I thought we shrunk and gave great help defense as well.”

On Georgia Tech’s James Banks:

“It was important for us not to allow his shot-blocking ability to affect our dribble-drives. I thought Desi [Sills] did an incredible job of attacking the rim and trying to get into his body on his dribble-drive penetration. Obviously, James is a great basketball player and has an incredibly bright future. He keeps getting better and better. Their staff has done a really great job from a player development standpoint. We just didn’t want him to get in our heads because he is a great shot-blocker.”

On using length to disrupt Georgia Tech’s passes:

“We’re a high-volume steal team, a high-volume turn-the-opponent-over [team]. As we watched the tape, we felt that when [Georgia Tech] went high-low, a lot of teams [would] back off of Moses Wright. We wanted to pressure when they went high-low and not back off and sit in the lap of [James] Banks. I thought the turnovers that Wright had and some of the turnovers by [Khalid] Moore were crucial turnovers for us. To go on the road… the crowd really came alive late game. But to cause 23 turnovers… I thought our activity defensively was phenomenal.”

On Mason Jones game-winning shot:

“The two guys [Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones] didn’t shoot the ball enough in regulation. Those are the two guys. Obviously, I didn’t draw up a bank shot, but we’ll take it and go home and enjoy the plane ride back.”

On Arkansas’ transition offense:

“We didn’t want to play against their zone and their length. We knew we had to get out in transition. I thought maybe I held the ball up a little bit too much at times in late game. When we were up four, when we were up six, I probably should have let them go a little bit more. But we felt like it was a possession-by-possession game. With our lack of size, we need our defense to create offense for us when we don’t have a chance. We know on the glass every night [that] defensive rebounding is going to be a concern.”

On attacking Georgia Tech’s zone defense:

“We didn’t use one of our plays called ‘touchdown’ until late, late game. I thought we got incredibly great looks… some corner jump shots and we had a runner by Isaiah Joe, but they just didn’t go. I did think late game when we went to that set, we got some really, really good looks. And I thought defensively when they extended their 1-3-1, we got a little bit passive at times as well.”

On the last possession:

“I didn’t want them to have a chance to go back or draw a foul. We didn’t call a timeout for a reason [because] I didn’t want their defense to get set. As long as Isaiah or Mason had the ball in their hands we were going to take that thing and either make a shot or miss a shot and get out of here with no time on the clock really. I didn’t tell them to go with 12 [seconds] or anything because we did want to milk it a little bit and not give them the opportunity to take the ball and have five or six seconds on the clock. We would have rather gone to another overtime.”

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