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Postgame Quotes (Game 15)

Jan. 6, 2018

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Opening statement:
“Good win for the Jackets. Proud of our guys. It was a good week. A few things – one, you can see that we are getting better, unfortunately we have to count the games pre-Christmas, and I wish we didn’t. But since post-Christmas, you can just see us getting better and improving. We’re able to get on the floor in practice, get healthy, and part of that is us valuing the basketball. I love the fact of how we’re valuing the ball. We should really have only had seven turnovers; we had three in the last two minutes of the game. Through 38 minutes, we had seven turnovers and we really valued the ball. … Then, us making free throws. Out of our last four games, besides the Notre Dame game, we’ve really gone and made free throws. And that’s important. Those two things have to be a staple for us.”

On starting second halves better of late:
“Our last two games, we’ve done a nice job of coming out in the second half and starting the second half the right way. I’m proud of Josh Okogie on that. He and Ben Lammers are our captains, but Josh is our most verbal guy. I put him and Ben in charge of it and Josh has really taken the initiative and been very vocal in the locker room.”

On Abdoulaye Gueye‘s development and improvement:
“We’ve tried to make some adjustments to help both Ben and A.D. and so far it’s worked. So we’re doing some different things there, but also A.D.’s working at it. He’s spent a lot of time on it. He’s one of the first ones in the gym, one of the last ones to leave, and he’s wanting to get better.”

On defensive improvements:
“There’s two things we’ve improved at: Late shot clock, guarding late in the shot clock and not letting someone show in a late shot clock. In a hot situation under 10 [seconds remaining], we’ve been pretty good lately at that. Our next step is we’ve just got to be able to finish the play, complete the possession. So we’re guarding and then you have to finish the possession by not fouling and then coming up with the rebound.”

On the leadership of freshman starting point guard Jose Alvarado:
“He’s just tough. He competes, he wants to win, he’s a winner and he’s going to be around for four years. He’s only going to get better. Just his toughness about him and he’s learning. He’s getting better and he’s getting better at understanding the game. Sometimes, at the beginning, he just wanted to come in and play and just try to outscore somebody. But he’s now understanding defensively. He’s got to get better at understanding timeouts, ATOs, about executing what we draw up on the board to perfection when it’s not just him. He’s got to get the other guys in the right spots too. But that’s all going to come. He’s a freshman and he’s going to learn.”


Opening Statement:
“We did a good job at attacking their zone to begin the game. At one point we were 6-of-12 from the arc, but we didn’t do enough around the basket to be successful offensively. We did a really poor job guarding them. They had 10 assists with 23 baskets so a lot of what they did was one-on-one. We did a poor job at help defense and making it difficult for them to score those baskets and allowing them to get to the free throw line.”

On three-point shot selection:
“I thought we got good shots that we just missed. We took 27 threes and I’d tell you that probably 22 of them were pretty good looks for us. If you make a better percentage of those you have a much better chance. I think that Georgia Tech turned up their defense in the second half which made it more difficult to get those shots.”

On dribble-drive struggles in the second half:
“We had a few opportunities. Miye [Oni] was able to get to the rim and finish a couple of times just as Trey Phills did in the first half. We did a lot of work practicing against this zone defense. I thought we did a much better job of attacking it in practice than we did here.”

On common themes in recent losses:
“Most of them were on the road. That’s a big part of it. We’ve had a very challenging schedule in terms of who we’ve played so that’s a big part of it too. I see our team building and getting better in some areas and trying to put closer to 40 minutes together. To win a game like this you have to play 40 minutes to do it and we probably played more like 22.”

On expectations entering conference play:
“I look at our conference and I think we’ll have a shot to be pretty good. Makai Mason, our point guard, is set to come back at some point which should be helpful for us. Looking at the other teams in our league I feel that we can be competitive with everybody. As we get closer to putting 40 minutes together, we’ll have an opportunity to win it.”

On Abdoulaye Gueye‘s performance:
“What did he go for? He went for 14 [points] and nine [rebounds] against us and made six shots. Career-high? Thanks for that. Tell him I appreciate it. But no, we didn’t expect him to go for 14 [points] and nine [rebounds]. We did a poor job of double teaming him in the post when we had opportunities and he did a good job of finishing.”

On defending Jose Alvarado:
“In terms of our game plan, we were going to relinquish the three somewhat. But with him driving to the basket, there should have been more people and help to stop that from happening. Obviously he’s a good player, but if we were in the places that we were supposed to be we should have limited his opportunities to drive to the basket and forced him to shoot from the outside. Instead of him taking seven threes, I would have liked him to take 10 or 12.”


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