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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson

Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“I think that first off, you have to give a lot of credit to Clemson. They are really well-coached; Coach [Brad] Brownell is one of the best coaches in the entire country. Their team just runs great actions. They are very disciplined. [Aamir] Simms is a hard matchup. They came in shooting just over 50 percent in the last three games from the three-point line. We did a great job guarding them from three. Both teams were just physical, and we just found a way to win in the end. Michael Devoe was good defensively. Jordan Usher really set the tone in shootaround with his energy. Jose Alvarado was tough. Bubba Parham was also tough. Khalid Moore came in and gave us great minutes off the bench. James Banks was great all-around. Moses Wright may not have been as well as he has been, but he was able to make some good shots and be effective defensively. It was a good basketball game; both teams are good, and we were just fortunate to be able to pull out a win.”

On playing so much man-to-man defense in the second half:

“They run good stuff against zone and a lot of things against man. With the flow of the game, man was working for us. We were stretched out a bit in zone when trying to guard the three. We were very conscientious about having to stop them from the three. Clemson came in leading the ACC in three-point offense. They have blitzed teams with their shooting, and they make it really tough with their actions.”

On Georgia Tech’s three-point defense:

“I thought there were a couple shots where we contested them and made it hard for them. They run a lot of good stuff that makes it hard to guard. We had great toughness there, and they are a very hard team to play against in that respect. Clemson has multiple guys that can shoot it. [Aamir] Simms is the hardest matchup in all of the ACC. I think he is a hard matchup because he is not a traditional five, and he is not a traditional four. He leads them in three-point percentage, scoring and assists. He does not just sit by the basket. He is all over the floor and it makes him tough. He is a really good basketball player.”

On making sure Clemson did not have a second-half comeback:

“We guarded much better in the second half. We got multiple three stops in a row. There was a point where we got four of them in a row in the second half. That got us the win. At Wake Forest and Syracuse, we did not get any three stops. I thought James Banks really played well for us. Moses [Wright] made some big plays for us down the stretch [but] he has to be better about not turning the ball over.”

On closing the regular season strong before the ACC Tournament:

“We have eight ACC wins. I told our guys that it has not been done a lot here at Georgia Tech. The last time we got to nine wins in conference was 2004. We are trying to do some things that have not been done here often. It is not just about our seeding in the ACC Tournament. The program has yet to get to nine wins in an 18-game [ACC] schedule. The last time that happened, the conference only played 16 games. To get to nine would be a great stepping stone for our program. We have the opportunity to try to keep winning and even get to 10 wins in the ACC. It has only been done a limited number of times here. These are the next steps of what we are trying to do. The goal is to not have to play on Tuesday at the ACC Tournament.”

Clemson Coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:

“First of all, congratulations to Josh [Pastner], his staff and their players. They played very well tonight. We just got outplayed. They played better on both ends. Offensively, I thought they did a lot of good things that they’re comfortable doing. Their guards are very good players and once again showed that they make big shots. Defensively, they did a nice job of guarding us. They started in some zone [and] we were pretty good against the zone. Then they went man and we had a hard time. At different points of the game, we had a little bit of a rhythm and at other points, we didn’t. Credit to them. We did not shoot the ball well from three, which is a problem for our team. We probably took a couple too many. We’ve had too many turnovers about the last three or four games, three out of four games, and it finally bit us today. We had them against [Boston College] but we shot a great percentage, so were able to overcome it. Tonight, we didn’t play well enough to overcome that. Again, a lot of credit to their coaches and players. I thought they were very well prepared. They just outplayed us today.”

On Georgia Tech’s man-to-man defense in the second half:

“They’ve mixed it up. Maybe I would have thought they would have played a little bit of zone, but [man-to-man] was working, so they didn’t need to. They’re good in both [and] that’s why they’re a good defensive team. They defend you in the man very well and they’ve got great size with [James] Banks. Moses Wright, again, great size. They’re effective in both defenses.”

On needing a complete team performance to win:

“We do most of the time. We had a couple guys not play well and we’re really just not good enough to overcome that. We’ve had games like this where Aamir [Simms] scored, Al [Al-Amir Dawes] was pretty good and Hunter Tyson gave us a lift off the bench, but Tevin [Mack], Clyde [Trapp] and John [Newman III] struggled. Just not consistent. That’s too many guys. Alex [Hemenway] couldn’t really get free and when he did, he didn’t make the shots tonight. First game all year for us where he hasn’t made a shot. Again, credit to Georgia Tech, and Clemson has to be better.”

On slowing down Georgia Tech’s James Banks and Moses Wright:

“I thought we competed at a decent level tonight. I don’t think we competed at a great level, especially offensively. We had some soft play in the lane. We didn’t do anything drastically different defensively. I thought we tried to be physical and not give them anything easy. One of the reasons why they’re good is that they’ve got a bunch of guys that can score at a lot of different positions. They’ve got different ways to attack. Their guards are good, but Moses Wright and [James] Banks are both good physical guys that can produce. There’s a lot of people to cover when you play them.”

On tying the game twice in the second half:

“We had chances. It got away from us and we gave it right back and they went back up five [in] both situations. There were timeouts and I remember talking to my team about it. We couldn’t get the big basket to kind of take the lead and grab a hold of the game. Credit Georgia Tech for that. They played well at opportune times when they needed to. When we made a run or two, they were able to extend it. Obviously [Michael] Devoe hit a couple big shots there at the end to kind of give them the big lead.”

On what Clemson needs to do in next game against Florida State:

“Just toughness and taking care of the basketball. Those are both premium things when you play Florida State. We have not taken care of it very well lately. So that’s something we’ve got really work on.”

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