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Postgame Quotes (Game 25)

Feb. 11, 2018

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Opening statement:

“I felt over the last 15 minutes, we really competed and showed great energy, which was shown by how the crowd was appreciative of the effort. I’ve told our guys all along that Georgia Tech fans and Yellow Jacket Nation want to see blue-collar, hard-working guys putting their working boots on and hardhat on and getting after it and having great competitive excellence. I want that to be a part of our mentality. We’ve just been a little snake-bitten this year with injuries and everything else, but we got down and then those young guys [Evan Cole and Moses Wright] came in and gave us a great lift. Part of the reason those guys were able to give us a lift and get better was because we’ve been treating them as ‘redshirts.’ They’ve been getting extra workouts in, both lifting and individual work on the court. And it’s made them better.”

On Jose Alvarado’s status:
“He sustained a dislocated elbow. When will he be back? It’s to-be-determined but there’s probably a high probability that he’ll be finished for the season.”

On what the plan is moving forward with the point-guard position:
“I thought Josh [Okogie] did a really good job today handling the point-guard spot but going forward, we’ll figure it out as a staff.”

On whether or not Evan Cole and Moses Wright earned more minutes:
“Yes. Absolutely. Both Evan and Moses earned more playing time and we’re still going to treat them as ‘redshirts’ in terms of the work mentality. That won’t change. … I also thought Evan and Moses really moved their feet well, defensively.”

On Georgia Tech’s ability to come back from big deficits:
“There’s two things: 1) our guys always fight, even when they get down, they always find a way to come back. They scrap and claw and fight and kick to find a way to give ourselves a chance to get back into the game. The issue is, why are we getting down to get to that point? Part of that, I would say, is because it’s a major rebuild job and year two is the hardest.”

On Duke:
“Duke’s good enough to win the national championship. As much as anyone says about their defense or anything else, they are extremely, extremely talented. They’ve got a lot good players and, obviously, [Marvin] Bagley [III] didn’t even play. They are really good. They’ve got a legit chance and I wouldn’t count them out of winning the whole thing.”

On Ben Lammers:
“Bless his heart, the guy is fighting through being banged up. He’s practicing every day, now that he’s been able to practice, and he just fights through it. He just hasn’t been the same since the injury, unfortunately. … First play of the game, we tried to get it to him just to get him going and we want Ben to be aggressive. And I told him, ‘Be as aggressive as you can and don’t think about it, don’t over-analyze it. If you’re open, shoot it. If you miss 20, shoot 21. We just need you to play with great confidence and energy.’”

Opening Statement:

“We’re proud of our win. [Georgia Tech has] been hurt and they lost their point guard [Jose Alvarado]. It actually shows the character of their program. In some respects, they played the second half better. They’re an important man down and hopefully he’s going to be okay. I don’t know what happened to him, but he didn’t return. He’s a really good kid and a really good player. I thought putting the ball in [Josh] Okogie’s hand is not a bad thing to do. He’s just really a good player. He gives his whole team more confidence. He played his heart out. Then a couple kids that haven’t played for them came through. [Evan] Cole was so good and [Moses] Wright… They made big-time plays.

We’re proud of the win and we were a man down too in [Marvin] Bagley not being able to play. We did something different in our starting lineup and playing on Sunday nights is not easy. These are the hardest games to be quite frank with you, home or away. It’s the end of a normal person’s energy cycle. There aren’t a lot of Sunday night parties – they’re on Saturday or Friday. [On] Sunday night, they’re recovering. I thought we came with a lot of energy. I was proud of Wendell [Carter]. He had to shoulder a little bit more with 19 [points] and 10 [rebounds]. I thought Grayson [Allen] came through, especially on the free-throw line. For a young group, we did a good job. [Trevon] Duvall also came off the bench with his best performance in a couple weeks. He really hit the biggest shot of the game because it got down to 12 a little but under seven [minutes]. We called a timeout and set something up. Grayson had a rushed shot and he passed it up to hit him in the corner and he knocked it down. That was a big response because down to 12, the world can look like it’s falling apart. We got a great response from a kid who didn’t start for the first time and got the confidence from a veteran to get him the ball. We’re happy with our eighth conference win.”

On Duke’s starting five:
“Marques [Bolden] can’t play extended minutes. One, he’s just a big guy. Two, he was out for five weeks and he’s still not in game condition. He played 25 minutes tonight, but his best minutes were early. He should be a great sub for Wendell [Carter] and Marvin [Bagley] and play somewhere between 15 and 18 minutes and play it really hard and run and whatever.”

On Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright and Evan Cole:
“You’re never surprised at anything in our league. That’s what I’m saying about the character of their team. Although it’s a great time to put them in. They’re 22 points down [with] a lot of game left and, all of a sudden, it’s their time. That’s what happens in sport every once in a while: kids get their opportunity. Both played really well. I mean big-time plays. In this game, Josh [Pastner] probably found something. He found two kids that want to play. They’re real big because [Abdoulaye] Gueye didn’t have the game he usually has. Those kids stepped up for them. Whenever you have [Tadric] Jackson out there… he’s a good player. I think every coach in the league would like to have Jackson on his team.”

On Duke’s defense:
“Overall, our defense was very good. Even in the games we’ve lost, people have shot under 40 percent. What’s happened is we’ve given them second shots and we’ve turned it over too much. Today, we handled the ball better and we turned it over a couple times late. We still aren’t where I want us to be with defensive rebounding. We’re trying not to have Marques [Bolden] run all over the court in ball-screen defense, so we’re able to keep it compact. Overall, we played a really good game but there were segments where we were really playing well. I’m happy with that.”


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