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Postgame Quotes

Feb. 19, 2017

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Opening Statement:
“First off, Syracuse is really good but I’m really proud of our young men to find a way to win. It’s not easy to do against a really good team like Syracuse. We really defended well for most of the game, but especially [in] that second half. You look at those numbers [and], defensively, we did a nice job. Syracuse like I said, is really good. They’ve got good players and obviously Coach [Jim] Boeheim is one of the greatest ever.”

On the crowd and the student section:
“Heck of a win for us. The crowd was great. Once again, the crowd gave us a tremendous lift. The student section was awesome. I remember in the spring and the summer and the fall, I don’t know how many times I go to these student groups to try to generate interest from students. Everywhere I would go people would come to me and tell me, ‘You’ve got to get the students involved’. I go to student groups and there would be four people, two people, six people but I didn’t care how small the group was, I would go speak to them. I was hoping that they would maybe catch a little enthusiasm and energy and would pay it forward, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. Hopefully they paid it forward and told some people. The students really came through for us tonight. They were terrific, so I want to give a great shoutout to them and obviously the entire crowd.”

On the overall success of the season:
“Great win … seven ACC wins, sitting here on February 19. Sixteen wins overall. From where my bosses, coaches in the league, national media members, [local] media members told me what was going to happen this year, to be where we are right now is nothing short of amazing. It’s a modern miracle. God bless our young men. It’s a credit to our young men. It’s not me, it is our players and what they have done. They have bonded. It’s all about team and that’s a credit to them. You don’t take those things for granted. [It’s] really, really special to be in the position that we’re in right now and that’s strictly because of our young men, those players.”

On sticking to the game plan with the Syracuse zone defense:
“First of all, you can’t simulate their zone in practice … you’re not able to simulate it, so I think we weren’t really good early to start. I think like Quinton [Stephens] said, we just stayed with the game plan and we kept doing things the right way and stayed the course and things worked themselves out.

“We got some of our offense through our defense. We really guarded. Andrew White is a great shooter and made a couple of those threes that first half and part of it [was] we were poor in transition defense and he got open but we were much better the second half. I thought the crowd was great. Our guys, every one of our guys that played and even the guys on the bench who maybe don’t play but the energy that they give us, it’s something that you don’t take it for granted. It’s nothing short of amazing.

“You’ve got to remember, this is year one of a rebuild and I remind everyone of that all the time – it’s still year one. This group of guys is a special group of guys and from where they were in April to where we are sitting on February 19, is just a tremendous lesson for me and anyone else involved about what a team can do and how a team, when it is together, the kind of success that you can have.”

Opening Statement:
“I thought the bad part of the game [was when] we didn’t move the ball as well as we need to against that matchup. We got some pretty good looks and didn’t make them. We didn’t get back twice on defense. We just dug ourselves a hole. I thought we fought back as hard as we could and got it back to a game where we could tie, but it got away. That’s what happens sometimes.”

On Syracuse’s defense in the second half:
“I think our defense was alright. I thought our offense killed us. And they got three or four transition baskets.”

On the illegal screen call in the final 20 seconds:
“I don’t talk about calls.”

On Ben Lammers’ offensive and defensive impact:
“He’s a really good player. He’s a defensive player, shot-blocker, rebounder. And he can score. He’s a really good player.”

On Georgia Tech’s run to start the second half:
“We didn’t get as good of movement against our matchup as we needed to. When we got some good looks [that] we missed. We got it inside to Tyler Lydon and he had two really good looks right around the basket. I thought he got fouled but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Can’t miss those when you are in tough games. Can’t do that.”

On John Gillon’s struggles:
“The only games we’ve won, John Gillon has won for us. When he’s having an off game, I’m not going to say ‘O.K. you’re done.’ He’s what got us here. He’s the only reason that we’ve won eight games in a very difficult league. Obviously, we need him to play better, but he’s the guy. He’s the best point guard we’ve got by about ten miles.”

On Syracuse’s shooting troubles:
“I just don’t think we shot very well. We got pretty good looks. We missed three or four around the basket. We missed some open ones. We didn’t shoot well. We’ve been a good shooting team and we depend on shooting well from the three-point line. If we don’t shoot well there, that hurts us. I thought John [Gillon] had good looks but the ball didn’t go in. When those things don’t happen, you have to fight. You’ve got to find another way to win when you don’t shoot well.”


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