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Post-Game Quotes: Men's Basketball vs. Gardner-Webb

Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement: 

“I give a lot of credit to Gardner-Webb, it’s a great win for them. They played well. They’re a good basketball team. Couple things early on, obviously, due to some of our offensive deficiencies, we really hang our hat on the defensive end and it failed us today. They (Gardner-Webb) got going early and we couldn’t get any stops. That failed us – our defense. I mean that’s who we are and if we’re not playing good defense because we’re not an offensive juggernaut, where we’re just going to be able to run and gun and outscore teams. It let us down today and that’s a credit to Gardner-Webb and that’s just something we have to be better about.”

On Georgia Tech’s interior and pick-and-roll defense: 

“Unfortunately, James [Banks III] didn’t play as well early in the first half. He was getting hurt there by 25 [DJ Laster]. He kind of got lost a little bit. I love James. He’s going to be really good. This is really his first game experience. He didn’t play a lot his first two years in college. So, the more he plays the better he is going to be. He just struggled that first half. He was a little bit loose, I felt. I tell our guys all the time about how everybody is so good you have to be locked in. I knew this was a good team we were playing because of the way they shoot the ball. I said it’s a good test for our defensive fundamentals and tonight our defense just wasn’t good. But again, I still like our group. I believe in our group. We have to find a way to figure it out and be ready on Wednesday. No excuse or anything with finals. We just have to get better and get a win on Wednesday at Arkansas.”

On the heavy practice schedule leading up to tonight having an impact: 

“I mean, could it be a factor? Maybe. I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We have to work; guys have to work. They’re 18-22 year olds – you’re dependent on them to produce and the one controllable factor I do know we have is our defensive ability. Tonight, we just were not good defensively. So whether that’s working hard or not, we still have to be good defensively. We just let them get confidence and get going and it just became a see-saw game back and forth. And we missed a lot of layups to start the second half. We missed a lot of layups right around the hoop.”

On Michael Devoe and others finding confidence in their role:

“He had some [shots] where he was open and his feet were set and I told him he’s got to shoot it. I think he’s lost his confidence a little bit and I’ve told him you have to let it fly. I recruited you here to be a big time player for us and you are a big time player [but] when your feet are set and your open, you have to shoot it. Just like I tell Brandon [Alston]. We had some open, open threes and we had that three in the corner with Curt [Haywood II] right in front of our bench, Jose [Alvarado] had one, Brandon had a couple, Mike had one or two from the top right there. They (Gardner-Webb) made theirs and we just didn’t make ours tonight.”


Gardner-Webb Head Coach Tim Craft

Opening statement:

“Proud of our team. Anytime you can win on the road against anybody… It’s so hard to be able to come in and play a team like Georgia Tech in the ACC and to come through with a win… I thought it was a really complete game by our team. I thought it was a total team effort. [There were] a lot of guys doing different things for our group. I thought late in the game the zone was able to buy us some time. They were getting into a rhythm in our man-to-man defense. Playing a little zone late helped burn a little clock and maybe got us a few more stops. I’m proud of our guys playing a game from start to finish.”

On Georgia Tech’s interior defense:

“I thought they were really good defensively. Statistically, they’re No. 10 in the country in KenPom defensive efficiency. We thought they were going to be really, really hard to score on. We were able to get in the paint on penetration and then be able to dump it off to our big guy [DJ] Laster. Then he was able to get a bunch of layups, especially in the first half. They had been mixing defenses a lot between zone and man and keeping people off balance. We saw a lot more man-to-man – which I felt a little more confident in our guys with so that was good.”

On whether he was surprised that Georgia Tech played less zone:

“A little bit. It may have been due to early in the game, [because] they started off in it and we attacked it pretty well. Maybe [Georgia Tech head coach] Josh [Pastner] felt better about going to their man.”

On the significance of the win:

“It’s special. It really builds confidence for our group. For us, a Big South school, to beat an ACC opponent, it really makes you feel good about your group. We have a team that’s right there on the verge of being good. Hopefully, this pushes us over the edge and we continue to improve.”

On surviving Georgia Tech’s late run:

“Just trying to keep good possessions. Keep getting great possessions offensively. Try to keep the ball moving from side-to-side and keep them moving. Just continue to attack the paint. We were fortunate to make some big shots. The one that stands out in my mind was when the ball kind of got loose and [David] Efianayi ended up with it and made a deep three at the end of the shot clock. That was a huge one for us.”

On six-game winning streak:

“Part of that was our schedule. Our schedule early in the year we were on the road. We didn’t play a home game until December 1. We played three ‘like’ opponents and had a couple non-Division-1’s at home which kind of allowed us to build some confidence in our group.”

On finding high-percentage shots:

“In the second half, we got a couple layups on just some screen actions – set play calls. We were trying to run some misdirection with a cross screen and ended up with an open guy there which was what the play is designed to do. In the first half, what we got around the rim was more just off penetration and pick-and-rolls. Our guards were able to get to the paint and find our big guy, [DJ] Laster, under the rim.”


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