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Postgame Quotes

Feb. 11, 2017

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Opening Statement:
“First of all I want to give great credit to Coach [Jim] Christian and his staff, I think he does a great job with their team. They’re very well coached, they run really good stuff, they cut hard, they play hard. They’re a dangerous team with good, young players. They’re going to be good, not only this year but the next couple years. He does a great job with them and he’s a phenomenal human being as well, very, very good coach.

“I’m proud of our guys. It’s a tale of two halves. Boy, there was a lid on that hoop in that first half like I’ve never seen before. But we were able to stay close somewhat due to our defense. That first half we held them to 25 percent from the field and 27 from three. We had a lot of turnovers, we just couldn’t score. We only had 15 points the first half but we had 50 the second half.

“We ended up with 18 assists on 24 made field goals but we had 15 assists on 19 made field goals in the second half, which is a tremendous stat. We ended up having eight kills; we had five the first half. Kills for us is anytime you get three consecutive stops is a kill. The goal is to get seven in one game. So eight different times in this game we had three consecutive stops which is a great thing for us, our goal is to get seven. We did a good job there defensively.

“To be able to win the game without Quinton [Stephens], we rely on him so much and for him to go down early shows you that this group of guys has become a good basketball team. Their fight and their resolve and their grit, anytime they’ve been knocked down they’ve always found a way to keep coming back and not let it avalanche. That’s a great credit to our young men.”

On Tadric Jackson:
“Tadric Jackson, he took that bad shot when he got in. I jumped him, I sat him down, I gave him a butt chewing and I put him back in and to his credit, he responded. He was a big time player today, played at a very, very high level. He had a career high of 29 [points] and I’m proud of him for responding like that. It’s a direct correlation because the last two days of practice, he stayed after practice and worked with great intensity on his game and that’s the reason why he had a good game today and really played at a high level.”

On other players that stepped up in addition to Jackson:
“Josh [Okogie] and Ben [Lammers] had double-doubles. Josh Okogie was just a monster on the glass again, along with Ben. Josh Heath had seven assists the second half and I thought Justin Moore was fantastic. Eight defensive rebounds, six assists, one turnover and hits the biggest three to give us the lead. His pace on his cuts allowed us to get open. Some of our cuts based on our speed of our cuts allowed us opportunities to get open.

On where Georgia Tech stands after the win:
“Overall, it’s good to get a win. To sit here with six wins at this time, again like I said on the radio, this is still year one of a rebuild job, we’ve still got a long way to go. You don’t take it for granted, we’re still far from being out of the woods but it’s pretty miraculous for us to be sitting where we’re sitting right now in February. It’s a real credit to those young men to have an understanding about a team. It’s a great lesson, or example of what a team can do. We’ve become a good team. We’re very limited, tons of deficiencies but a team usually prevails in the long run.”

On the difference between the first half and the second half:
“[In] the first half we weren’t giving them anything out of their offense. We did a great job taking away some of that. But in the second half, we completely stopped. It’s been tough for us. It’s always a problem when the defense goes away from us. [It was] a lack of communication, [we] broke down some times and they executed much better. They missed a lot of easy opportunities in the first half but so did we. You can’t shoot the ball like that on the road and expect to win.”

On defending Ben Lammers:
“I thought we did a great job on him in the first half. We limited his touches, he only had a couple put-backs. They kind of got him loose on some ball screen action where we did a bad job at the point of the ball screen. He’s really good at finding those little windows. It wasn’t really post-play. He’s a really good player [and] he’s going to score. I told our team at halftime, ‘They’re going to score. You’re not going to miss that many shots. We need to improve our offense.’ And we didn’t.”

On the shooting struggles:
“We had some guys really shooting the ball well coming in. We’ve been a funny team. The other night we scored the ball really well, [but] didn’t guard well. Tonight, we guarded pretty well and couldn’t score the ball.”

On matchup problems versus Tadric Jackson:
“He’s a very strong guard. We knew he was going to drive. Towards the end of the first half, he really started driving the ball. That’s what we talked about at halftime – he’s going to drive the ball, he’s going to get the ball on the wing and power drive it to the middle of the floor. He started the second half doing that two or three times and it got him going. He’s a good post-up guard so in that area, he’s a little bit of a matchup problem for us [because] we don’t have a big guard like that. He played really well.”

On Georgia Tech deploying a smaller lineup in the second half:
“If 44 [Ben Lammers] is out there, that’s not very small. I’m not sure there’s another player in the league that can dictate the terms of the game on both sides of the floor. He takes away everything at the front of the rim. We did a really poor job of jumping into his body in the first half. We tried to avoid him and go around him and that’s where they won the game. There’s a lot of great players in this league but he really does an unbelievable job on both sides. I think it’s underrated what he’s done at both sides of the floor. They run stuff through him on offense but it’s not the offense [that makes him so good]. There’s a lot of guys who score but he really does an unbelievable job taking away the rim and he makes up for all of the mistakes around the basket. You have to be able to finish that. That’s why they’re winning.”


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