Feb. 1, 2003
Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt
“We’ve put together some very strong defensive efforts this season. To hold a team like Virginia, with guys like Travis Watson and Todd Billett, under 40 percent [from the field] is a great effort on our part. In particular Ed Nelson. Ed probably doesn’t have as many scoring opportunities as he did last year. Today he came to the bench saying, I’m not going let 35 (Watson) score. He really took that as a personal challenge. Ed did a nice job, Luke did a nice job, Theodis (Tarver) did a nice job. We tried to rotate fresh bodies because Travis is a great player. I’m surprised that we were able to hold him to four points, but the effort that those guys gave was tremendous.
“I think we’re a very good defensive basketball team. When we pass the ball and shoot the ball the way we have lately, I think we’re pretty good. For our team to continue to progress, it comes back to offensive efficiency. I thought this afternoon we were pretty good offensively. We can guard, and when we put the ball in the basket, we’re pretty good.
“I still maintain that we have played some pretty good basketball on the road. It’s not like we’ve been totally out of character. We held Wake under 40 (percent from field), against Maryland we were right there with three or four minutes to go. We just didn’t make shots or execute well. I would be more concerned if we were just totally out of character on the road. Wednesday we play Clemson , and we’re going to go up there and try to do the things we’ve been doing all year, which is defend very well and rebound the ball very well. If we’re better offensively on the road this time, we’ll give ourselves a chance.
“I don’t think we’ve been as effective pressing people this year. It’s just been a steady building process. Today we did a much better job extending the pressure, getting out in the passing lanes and really making their ballhanders work 94 feet. That’s something we’ve been trying to do all year.
NOTING THE JACKETS: Georgia Tech improved to 10-0 at home this season, winning its 12th in a row at the Thrillerdome . . . Tech has now won six of its last eight games overall and 11 of its last 16 ACC games . . . Tech has now won six of its last seven meetings with Virginia . . . Tech has won its four ACC home games (NC State, Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia) by an average of 17.7 points . . . Tech has managed to hold several of the ACC top scorers well below their average – Julius Hodge, NCS (9 pts), J.J. Redick, Duke (11), Tim Pickett, FSU (13), Rashad McCants, UNC (12 pts) and Travis Watson, Uva (4 pts) . . . Virginia was the second straight opponent and eighth this season that Tech has held below 40 percent from the field . . . Chris Bosh has scored over 20 points in four of his last five games . . . Bosh has hit 10 of his last 14 pointers and 12 of 21 on the season . . . Marvin Lewis is now averaging 17.7 points in ACC games, shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from three.
Virginia Coach Pete Gillen
“The story of the game, from my perspective, was our turnovers. Georgia Tech scored 25 points off of our turnovers. We had a brief lead at 16-12 in the first half and then just “bing-bam-boom” – turnovers and then the roof caved in.”
“Bosh is certainly a great player at 6’10” and very, very talented – he’s got to be one of the top freshmen in the country and Marvin Lewis, a veteran, played great. I thought that Lewis did a real good job today.”
“They took away our inside game with their size and athleticism and got some second shots on free throw box outs about 4 or 5 times. Our turnovers killed us, free throw box out which gave them extra possessions and then Marvin Lewis killed us against man or zone.” “I thought our defense was good in the first half. They shot 38 percent but we had 12 turnovers and if you are going to win any place, home or on the road, you can’t have 12 turnovers at the half.”
“It’s tough to win when our top guy, Travis Watson, doesn’t have his typical game. He’s a great player and it’s tough for us to be successful on the road or at home. That doesn’t mean we can win, but it makes our job that much tougher.”
“They played very well, but turnovers killed us.”