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Postgame Quotes

March 4, 2007

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt “Another great job by our guys. They’re playing really hard, very intense. We obviously wanted to come out and pressure them. That was successful for us because our guys played with a lot of intensity. Obviously, I’m very happy for Mario West, to play his last game on this court – hopefully – and get a win. He’s done a tremendous job guiding these guys. If you look back to earlier in the year, when we were playing some inconsistent basketball, Mario West was right in the middle of all our big wins. Then as the younger guys picked it up, he finished really strong. I wasn’t sure when I wanted to take him, but when I saw him dive on the floor, I knew that was the perfect time.

“We’re a talented offensive group, but when we don’t guard and when we’re not disruptive defensively, then we’re not going to score. We have to be disruptive, and the other thing is, we can’t give up second shots. Only three offensive rebounds today (by Boston College). That’s been one of the key stats we’ve been focusing on throughout this stretch.

[Success of Tech’s pressure] “Their halfcourt execution is outstanding. They do a great job running their sets. We felt like we had to pressure them to try to disrupt their offense. We felt like we had to do something to break up their rhythm, and today it worked.

[The difference for Tech last nine games] “Defense and rebounding. When we can hold you to one and done, I feel very confident in our ability to get out in transition and finish and make plays. The whole thing for us is locking down on defense and then not giving up a second shot.

“We’re playing well, so why not try to go there and erase all doubt? Everybody goes down there with a chance to erase any doubt about whether they’re in the Tournament or not. That’s what we’re focusing on right now.


Georgia Tech closes the regular season with seven wins in its last nine games . . . Tech has reached the 20-win plateau for the third time in four years and the 12th time in school history . . . Tech recorded its eighth victory over a team in the RPI Top 50 . . . Javaris Crittenton recorded his second straight double-double with 16 points and 10 assists, following 13 points and 11 assists in Thursday’s win over North Carolina . . . Tech’s nine turnovers equal its low in an ACC game this season; the Jackets also had nine in the loss at Wake Forest . . .


“We didn’t handle the ball well, and turnovers really can tell the outcome of a game. It’s just that simple. They led to a lot of easy opportunities for them. Twenty-two turnovers doesn’t really give us a chance to win. It’s a credit to Georgia Tech that they played as well as they did, but we have to do a better job of handling the basketball. I didn’t think we at all recognized the opportunities, right from the start–from the first buzzer to the last–and we just can’t win ballgames that way.”

On the team looking confused at some points of the game today . . . “It wasn’t necessarily confusion, it was just that we didn’t handle the ball well. I thought that Georgia Tech was very aggressive and they work hard to deny you and take you out of your offense, and there were times that we just mishandled the ball. There were other times that we just didn’t see opportunities that were available to us. That just showed a lack of confidence in what we were trying to do consistently. At times we did it, but not as consistently as we needed to, and we have to get better at that.”

On how worried he is going into the ACC Tournament after the team’s play . . . “I’m not happy with where we are, of course you like to be on the other side. But going into the ACC Tournament is a new season. We’ve just got to perform better. I have confidence that we can do that, and guys just have to learn from this. We are so dependent on each other and the way that we need to play is that we need to consistently be on the same page. That’s one of the things that I talked about to them, that I didn’t think that we were consistently executing the way that we wanted. There were other times that we were just careless. It’s just that simple. There were times that I didn’t think there was any reason for the turnovers, and they were caused. So that is just something that we just need to improve upon.”

On how he does that in just a couple of days: “We have more than a couple of days. To me, that’s just a mental thing. You go back and the thing that has to happen is that they have to communicate better. They have to recognize what they can and cannot do. If we’re running a certain offense and a guy can’t get open or execute a play, he needs to say so, rather than try to run it and make a mistake, causing a turnover for us. That happened a couple of times this evening, and that is something that we need to avoid. We have to do a better job of executing our offense and handling the ball. There are things that we can and can’t do, and the guys have to recognize what they can do and play towards their strengths. We’re not consistently doing that right now–playing towards our strengths.”

On Jared Dudley only taking six shots today: “When you have a situation like that, you can’t direct a ball to a certain individual. The ball has to move, and you have to take what is available to do. Teams aren’t going to just allow us to walk down the floor and hand the ball to Jared Dudley, as much as we’d like to do it. That’s what I’m saying. If we have the ball and move it better, and a couple of other guys make some opportunities, then his opportunities will come. Obviously we’d like to get him more shots than that, but he’s out there making plays, he had a lot of work to do tonight, so I’m not disappointed in his play. We just have to handle the ball better. We cannot have as many turnovers as we did.”

On how well Georgia Tech is playing right now: “They are probably playing the best basketball in the ACC right now, as far as the way they have been playing. They have established a style of play play that they want to play and they are coming out every night and getting it done.”


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