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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. NC State

Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“First off, I want to give a lot of credit to North Carolina State. They’re a very, very good basketball team, obviously very well coached. They’ve got a lot of very good players, and as usual these North Carolina State vs. Georgia Tech games just come right down to the wire and its possession by possession, so, a lot of credit to North Carolina State and their coaching staff. As always, they’re just a really good basketball team.

“Our guys fought, battled, clawed their way. They’re at the doorstep, and we’ve improved. We’ve gotten better as a team; we just have to be able to get through the door. That was our next step in our progression, and our guys found a way to defend and we defended at a high level, holding them to the percentages we did. It’s all through defense. It was a gritty, gritty win. So, a lot of credit to the two guys to my right [Jose Alvarado and Evan Cole], and then just the entire team really stepped up. Michael Devoe had a sore foot, that’s why he didn’t play. I didn’t know he wasn’t going to play until 11 minutes before tipoff, so, he’s kind of day-by-day and that’s just kind of where we’re at. He was sore before the Louisville game and he didn’t know if he was going to play either, and that was basically a game-time decision, so, that’s where that is. But great win for us and I’m really proud of our guys. Guys fought, competed, 50/50 balls and everything else.”

On Khalid Moore, who started in place of Michael Devoe:

“I was proud of Khalid because he didn’t know he was going to get the start until eight minutes on the clock before tipoff when they came back in. He hadn’t played in a while and he was ready to go and gave us great minutes. His energy, his defensive hustle, he did a great job with that.”

On the impact the home crowd:

“I want to say a great shout out to the crowd. The crowd was great, the atmosphere was great. The crowd gave us a great lift. So a great shout out and kudos, as always, to the Georgia Tech crowd. My belly just burns to want to get to that championship level program that Georgia Tech wants and we’re right there and our next step was to be able to finish some of these games and today was a good step in the right direction.”

On Georgia Tech’s defensive play throughout the game:

“I thought defensively we did some good things, but we’ve been a good defensive team. We defended well on Wednesday. And actually, we had some turnovers early in the first half but we did a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half. Jose [Alvarado] tied the school record with eight steals, and that last one was just a big one, which gave us our seventh three-stop in a row, or seventh ‘kill’ as we like to call it. Just a real gritty, gutty win for Georgia Tech and our guys, I just can’t say enough about them.”

On the play of Evan Cole and the frontcourt players:

“Evan, every time he steps in he gives us great minutes, his energy, his effort, his motor. I’m a guy, and these guys know, that when these guys are playing with great energy and/or a group is playing well, I’m just going to let that go and let it happen. And I thought James Banks III gave us great minutes in the middle, affecting a lot of shots. I think that was good. Maybe even some stat sheet stuff that doesn’t show up, he really did a nice job in the middle. And I thought that Moses [Wright], when we had James out and Moses was at the five, there was a stretch there defensively that I thought Moses did a good job defensively as well.”

 

NC State Coach Kevin Keatts

Opening statement:

“I thought Georgia Tech was the better team today. I thought [Jose] Alvarado was really, really special. I thought he did a tremendous job today. He ran the show. He got his teammates involved. The bright spot for us today was probably Markell Johnson who had a really good game. Other than that, I thought that we didn’t show a lot of fight. I didn’t think we stuck together when we needed to in this game. In order to have a good road win in the ACC we’ve got to be better. That’s us as a staff and also as players.”

On following the Virginia win with a loss today:

“It’s disappointing because I just didn’t think we brought it today. Not that we didn’t play with energy and all that other stuff [but] we just didn’t make the plays, the winning plays, that we’re accustomed to. What I mean by that is we had two or three possessions where we got great stops and we gave up offensive rebounds for stick-backs. Those little things are the difference in a game when you’re playing a possession-game in the ACC. I didn’t think we were aggressive enough obviously. They got to the line 21 times and we got there 13. Obviously, we didn’t make aggressive enough plays to get there.”

On Jose Alvarado’s defensive effort:

“I just thought he was aggressive. Jose did everything for his team. I just realized looking at his stats even though he had five turnovers he had eight steals. It was an impressive night for him. I thought if you look on our side – very comparable was Markell Johnson. I thought everybody else on our team and their team were just okay today. When you don’t have everybody playing [well] on both teams it comes down the little things – the hustle plays. I just didn’t think we finished plays. I thought we did a good job defending all the way down to the end. We got some great shots to be able to win the game. Braxton [Beverly] had a great look out of the corner. I thought when it came down to getting some key rebounds and some key stops we just didn’t get those. That (ticks) me off to be honest with you.”

On Markell Johnson’s strong outing:

“He was aggressive. When you get in these types of games… When we go back and look at the tape and I’m sure [Georgia Tech] will too… The game could have gone either way. You had both point guards who I thought were very aggressive. Now what did you get from the support cast? That’s what it’s going to come down to. Not that our guys didn’t play or that Georgia Tech’s guys didn’t play, but when you look at D.J. Funderburk he was just okay. When you look at [James] Banks I think he was just okay. Two good players that have been playing great basketball were just okay. The point guard play was there. I just thought they [showed] some toughness and a little more fight than we did down the stretch.”

On strategy before the final play:

“We were going to try to get the first basket that we could get and then foul hopefully. There were almost nine seconds and I told them if they had a three take it and if not we’ll try to get to the basket. Hopefully we’d have five seconds and we would foul and get back to the end. Then we’d try to come in and make a play. Obviously, we couldn’t. I couldn’t see, I was blinded, so I didn’t see the steal.”

 

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