Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner
“First of all, I want to give Miami a lot of credit. They have a really good basketball team. I knew in that second half, which is something we have to be much better about, being able to handle success … but, Coach Larranaga is one of the best coaches in the country. They are really talented, they’ve got a lot really good players. And they made a great run in that second half, and that’s a credit to Miami.
“We won the game for two reasons and two reasons only today. We got to seven ‘three stops in a row’ – we call them kills – seven kills. We had five going into the last media timeout and we ended up with two in that final timeout that got us to seven. And then we had 18 offensive rebounds. As you know, that has been a big thing for me, especially since we’ve changed some things prior to Diamond Head. We’ve changed some different things that we’ve done on the offensive end, and we really imposed our will with the offensive glass today, which was a great thing. And those are the two reasons that we won. So, I was proud of our guys. Obviously, you had that lead, it got stressful, but we found a way to get a win.”
On playing Miami’s Chris Lykes
“He’s a really good basketball player. He’s maybe the quickest guard in the country, he’s a great player. And we didn’t have that same intensity in the second half as we did the first half defensively. But he’s a great player, there’s no denying that.”
On Miami’s 24-2 run
“We couldn’t score. We got stuck and I felt we got cool, casual and cute in a sense. We obviously had 18 turnovers, that’s just too many for the game. But during that stretch we were getting turnovers, we were missing shots, we missed short shots, we weren’t getting stops, and it was just a bad combination. And I think for the next step for us, we need to be able to handle success. We’ve got to be able to handle success better, whether that’s coming out of halftime of the Syracuse game, or this game or other games, being able to handle that is something that we’ve got to be better about.
On fighting back to win the game in the second half
“They got the lead, and being able to finish is an important part for us. How we won it is good for us. I wish I could say we did it for the fans, to keep them engaged that second half, but the reality of it is, Miami was really good, and we weren’t, and that’s a credit to Miami, to Coach Larranaga and their staff. They’re just a good basketball team. But we found a way to get it done, like I said, we won the game for two reasons and two reasons only. Defensively we got seven ‘three-stops’ and then we got 18 offensive rebounds. Those are the two reasons we won the game.”
On what turned things around for Georgia Tech after Miami got the lead
“We made some free-throws. I thought James Banks was really big. But what turned it around is that we got extra possessions late based on offensive rebounds. There were some times when Moses [Wright] leaned out towards that one play, it looked like he was Dennis Rodman. I showed the guys clips of Dennis Rodman, Kenneth Faried, I find guys who are great rebounders and show them clips of what it takes to be a great offensive rebounder, about motor, and show them what energy is. And those offensive rebounds by those guys were at a high level. I was proud of Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado and Bubba Parham, [they] combined for 10 defensive guard rebounds. That’s a great stat. As you guys know, that’s important for me, guard rebounding. I thought Jordan [Usher] gave us great energy early, Evan [Cole] had a great first half, Khalid [Moore] gave us some good minutes. And I thought James having a double-double was just really, really good today. His motor was running from start to finish.
Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga
“I thought our effort in the first half was very disappointing. When you don’t give great effort then you don’t get great execution. Georgia Tech played a terrific first half. We couldn’t keep them from scoring at the rim. In the second half we played much harder, fought much harder. We rebounded much better. We still got out-rebounded by 15 but at least in the second half we were trying to rebound the basketball. We were able to take the lead, but they executed much better in the last four minutes that we did.”
On the 24-2 run in the second half:
“I thought our effort was just so much better during that stretch. Some of it was our good fortune. We got some loose balls and some turnovers that led to fast break baskets. It’s not a game that you just look at the one run. You have to look at the whole 40 minutes and they outplayed us for most of that. They had the lead for 32 minutes.”
On Miami’s three-point shooting struggles:
“We’ve been struggling at the defensive end of the floor, rebounding the ball and making some timely threes. We’re a much better three-point shooting team, but we’re so willing to take the first three and a difficult one.”