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Post-Game Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Syracuse

Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“First off, I’ve got to give Syracuse a lot of credit. They were the aggressor this afternoon and it showed up in all parts of the box score – free-throw line, fast break points, second chance points, that was kind of the deal. We needed, in a game like this – and Moses [Wright] had 17 [points] and nine [rebounds], and he had a good week this week, Moses Wright. But we needed Moses to have about 25 and 15, and we talked about that last night in film. Because until we get our full complement, guys are really going to play to take Michael Devoe out. And due to some lack of shooting on the perimeter, we’ve got to dominate the red zone. And we’ve done that for the most part in all of the games we’ve played, but today was the first game we did not dominate the red zone. We needed Moses and James [Banks III] to dominate the red zone and we didn’t get that done today. And again, they were the aggressor. We’ve got great young men, good kids, good guys, it was just kind of one of those games when Syracuse punched us and then just kept punching us. We needed our front court guys to dominate that red zone today and we just didn’t get it done. We’ll bounce back, we’ve got a big week next week with finals so we’ve got to make sure we do a great job there. And then we’ve got a great opportunity against Kentucky on Saturday and we’ll just keep getting better and keep improving and keep working at it.”

 

On why the offense struggled so much against the Syracuse zone:

“This might sound odd considering his size, [Jose Alvarado] is our best guy against a zone because of his feel against the zone and being able to get the ball to the middle, his screening. In zone, you can teach guys plays but a lot of times it’s a feel, and he’s the best at it. And that’s why we’ve had good success. He and [former Yellow Jacket] Josh Heath were very, very good against zone because of their feel, and if you look at last year and the year before that we’ve had good success, and partly it’s because of  Josh Heath and Jose’s feel against the zone. We talked about that as a staff, not having him and where to put guys, and we had felt going in, they were going to try and eliminate Mike [Devoe], which they did a good job of. And we needed to really attack with Moses and James. And we felt if we could get the ball to Moses, and in a game like this we needed him to have 25 or 30 [points]. And that was our thing, we’ve got to get the ball to Moses at the high post and let him try to carry us. And he still had 17 and nine, but he wasn’t as effective. He missed a lot of free throws, he was 1-for-5. He missed a lot of short shots. He had opportunities to get to about the 30-point mark. But overall Moses had a solid week. And we need James, obviously. James didn’t start a couple games. He didn’t have as good a week as we needed him to. We need those two guys to get back because that’s a strength of ours that we’ve got to be able to dominate the red zone. And we throw it to those guys a lot, they’re getting the ball touched pretty much every time down, so we need those guys to really produce at a high level for us.”

 

On the hot shooting of Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim:

“I said it before to the Syracuse radio people, I said this is a scary game because they have not shot the ball well. But I know how good of a shooter Elijah Hughes is, and I know Buddy Boeheim, the type of shooter he is. I saw them both in high school, they’re high level shooters. I said they’re going to eventually break out of it and I hope it’s the next game. And they got hot. We told our guys, those two guys, you cannot give an inch. They were a house on fire, it was like standing on the pier shooting the ocean and they just were on fire. And it started the game and it just changed the whole dynamic. And they were the aggressor, they came out swinging, and that got them the lead and we didn’t have enough fire power to come back [from] that.”

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim

Opening Statement:

“Elijah [Hughes] got us off to a great start. We had good movement. We passed the ball well. When we shoot it well we’re tough to stop. Our defense really was key. We battled inside and we rebounded. Overall though it was good effort.”

On Syracuse’s shooting performance:

“We haven’t been good in our losses. We’ve played teams that are really good, physical, tough man-to-man teams starting with Virginia, Penn State, Oklahoma State… Iowa played good defense against us. That was the game that surprised me a little bit. We didn’t get enough movement and enough good shots in that game. We really overloaded and got some good shots against their zone early. Their defense gave us a lot of trouble early but we do have better shooting [this year]. I thought we had some opportunities in the first half… Joe [Girard III] and Buddy [Boeheim] were wide open – two or three each. In the second half Joe made those and that gives us that edge when all three of those guys make shots. It’s tough when you lose two or three games in a row at any time, but you just have to keep playing and get ready for the next game.”

On winning the rebounding battle:

“They’ve got two guys, but their other guys are small. They don’t have another guy. I thought we battled them pretty good down in there. We did a pretty good job of getting on the boards. We gave up a couple early, but overall that’s pretty good for us.”

On Elijah Hughes’ first-half performance:

“That was pretty good. He just got in the zone. He’s had days like that in practice. He hasn’t really had a game like that this year. I thought he was going to keep making them all.”

On Syracuse’s offensive movement:

“We moved a little better but we’ve been moving… The defenses that we’ve been playing against have been to much for us. Period. You don’t get those shots against those teams. They just are too physical, too good. We’re young and we’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing, where we’re going. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. This is just one game. We’ve got so much to do to get better. I think we will improve but we’ve got a lot of work to do. I thought we had a couple good practices, but you never know coming in here. I’ve seen Georgia Tech a couple times… they’re capable. We did a good job with [Michael] Devoe. We just didn’t let him get comfortable. He’s one of the leading scorers in the league so you do a good job on him that’s a big part of your defense.”

On defending Michael Devoe:

“We just wanted to be there every time he caught it. [We] didn’t want to give him any space or driving lanes. We did a good job with him.”

On strong three-point shooting helping the offense:

“When you make threes it just changes the game. Marek [Dolezaj] gets the ball in the middle and is able to get in the lane and make plays out of the lane. I thought he was good today. His numbers weren’t great but they were pretty good. He was pretty good today. Bourama [Sidibe] was good. He played defense and made some steals. He got some rebounds. He’s getting back to healthy. He was a big factor today. It was good for Jesse [Edwards] to get in there to show he can do some things. Howard [Washington] was really good. Joe [Girard III] played really good [but] he made a two-step walk that we can’t make. He’s got to get that out of his system. He made his first two real big threes in a game and they were comebacks. He just pulled up and He can make that shot [but] he just hasn’t. He was 2-for-18 from the three. He’s not going to do that very long.”

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