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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Morehouse

Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“First off, just give a lot of credit to Morehouse. Obviously, coach [Grady] Brewer has been there 20 years. You don’t stay at a place for 20 years without being very successful, and he’s done a great job at Morehouse and won a lot of games. And not only is he a really good coach, he’s a really good guy too. So it was really good for the community to have both teams play today, I thought it was good for both programs.”

“What I was most proud of, and what I’ve told our guys we’re trying to get to, is to be a championship-level program, I said in order for us to do that, it’s never about the opponent, it’s got to be about us. About playing the right way and giving great energy and competing. And I was really proud of the way we moved the ball. We weren’t real structured on some things offensively today but guys really played the right way. For the most part, the open man was the go-to man. We had 30 made field goals, 24 of them were assisted, and we kept sharing the ball so I was really proud of that. We did a nice job on the glass. Jordan [Usher] in the last two games has had 12 assists and three turnovers, and Evan Cole had 10 boards today. They continue to give us good momentum and we’ve got to be ready to go Saturday at Notre Dame. We’re getting better and we’ve just got to keep staying the course. We’re off tomorrow and we’ll get back practicing on Thursday.”

On scheduling a game during the bye week:

“Well the two reasons, we had an opportunity with Jordan [Usher] being eligible at mid-year, to try and get that extra game in after he became eligible. Plus, we had two byes this year so instead of taking two byes, one of the byes we can play someone. We weren’t able to find a Power Five and so if we weren’t able to get one of those, especially this late in the year because everyone is in league play, we felt it was best to play another program locally and make it a community event. And that’s why it was good for both us and Morehouse. It was a real positive experience for coach Brewer and his group and the same thing with our group. And obviously both Morehouse and Georgia Tech are connected in the city through many ways, so it was a good evening for both the institute and university.”

On what Tech can take away from this game heading into the Notre Dame game on Saturday:

“It’s easy to get into a game like this and you can start playing selfish. And we had a segment or two possessions where it was very easy to score, you’ve got a lead and you can just start trying to get your own shot or points. I was proud of our guys that we kept continuing to find the open man. We shared the ball, we made the one more pass. So that was a positive. But if we didn’t play today we would have practiced and I thought this was better for us than a practice. And we are getting better so it gives us good momentum going into our last 10 games of ACC regular season play. And it starts with Notre Dame on Saturday.”

 On how Jordan Usher has improved:

“Here’s what I’ll tell you on Jordan. From where he was in that Ball State game and those first couple games in Hawaii, he was wild and he was rusty. He has gotten better. And you know what he’s improved on? He’s improved as a basketball player. And he’s learning how to play the right way and he’s making really good decisions and he’s playing unselfish. He’s a sponge right now. Anything you tell him, he’s picking up. I’m really proud of him both on and off the court. He’s made a lot of strides. Everyone [saw] him in his first few games here, he wasn’t a good basketball player. He was an athlete, but now he’s becoming a good basketball player. And if he can continue that trajectory, with his athleticism and motor, he’s got a chance to be really good.”

 

Morehouse Coach Grady Brewer

Opening statement:

“I was telling my players in the locker room ‘I think the only bad thing that came out of this is that our best player [Robert Andrews] sprung his ankle.’ I think he’s going to be alright after a week. We don’t play again until next Monday. Hopefully, within a few days he’ll be well and be able to go. I thought this experience was great for our kids. We have a lot of young guys that we play. I’m hoping this experience will help us down the line as we get into conference play at the end of the year.”

On preparing to play at Georgia Tech:

“We had a big game on Saturday against our cross-the-street rival in Clark-Atlanta. I thought the atmosphere and the crowd would help when we played that game. It’s very difficult. The size and speed at this level of play is much different than at our level. They have to adjust to it. I was just telling them to play hard, play under control, make the right passes and share the basketball. I think a couple of them were a little nervous in this atmosphere so you just try to learn and build from it.”

On Morehouse’s best individual performance:

“Michael Olmert. I thought he controlled the tempo pretty much. He didn’t turn the ball over a lot. And our big guy, young sophomore [Xavier Brewer]. We call him Blaze. I thought he played well because he hadn’t really been getting a lot of minutes. He got in there and fought. It was a teaching moment for me for all of them.”

On Jose Alvarado’s defensive effort:

“We like up-tempo type ball. I’m thinking that I want my guys to push themselves in this game. I thought they would get over the hump. A lot of times people say ‘call timeout.’ When you do that the [other] team is on the verge of being tired themselves. [Therefore] you can make turnovers and get back into the ballgame. That’s kind of how we play. I really don’t do a lot of substituting in the first half. I might do it in the second half… but I kind of let my guys go in the first half.”

On Georgia Tech’s full-court press:

“Like I said we were taking quick shots. They weren’t supposed to be doing that. They were coming down and taking quick shots. A lot of that is what I call ‘slipperage’. You get on the big stage and it’s called ‘slipperage.’ We didn’t really get into any offense like I wanted to. I was trying to run some UCLA-cuts earlier, but after the first pass they’d look to shoot and that’s not good at this level.”

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