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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“We have to give a lot of credit to Virginia Tech. They’re very good and coach [Mike] Young is one of the best in the game. Obviously, the job he did at Wofford speaks for itself. The Hokies have won a lot of really good games this year and it is a credit to him and his staff. We knew we were going to have to play well because Virginia Tech is a really good basketball team. Basically, half of their shots are usually threes and they lead the ACC in three-point shooting. Tonight we defended well, during my time here we have been a good defensive team but I feel we have been inconsistent this year partly because we have spent so much time on offense. We spent the last day and a half really getting locked in on defense and it paid dividends today. I was proud of our guys we only had a total of six or seven turnovers throughout the game and did a really good job of protecting the ball.”

On limiting the Hokies from the three-point line:

“I thought we guarded well. We have been a good defensive team and I though our activity tonight was proactive because Virginia Tech is hard to defend and guard. We did a nice job guarding that three-point line. Us scoring gave us a little bit of a lead when you are scoring like we did it gives us a little extra energy to play at a higher level defensively.”

On limiting the Hokies in rebounding:

“Our defense was extended even in the second half so we lost some rebounding coverage on the defensive end. I was really proud of our offensive rebounding tonight. Offensive rebounding to me is all about effort and having both feet in the paint. When I was at Memphis, we were always a great offensive rebounding team. My first few years here, I would only send two to the glass and sometimes three or four would go back to defend so they could get into transition defense. This year, we have changed that especially as of late. Part of our course correction since December was to send three or four guys to the offensive glass. That has hurt us a little bit on defense but it has really helped us on that offensive rebounding coverage. It is an effort and motor thing and we have done a really nice job in that area.”

On having such a large lead early in the game:

“Look, until it gets to about a minute and you just know that you are going to win the game, every possession matters and cannot be taken for granted. I did not get that feeling until when it got to about a minute and it was like, ‘OK, it is over.’ I did not feel safe until we rebounded that missed free throw with about 50 seconds left and they [Virginia Tech] backed up. I knew we had won the game but not until then did I feel that. I put Jose back in the game because of that. Teams can make a bunch of threes late stranger things have happened and I’ve seen it.”

On a strong first half of play:

“We have gotten better and we have improved each and every day since December. Unfortunately, our record doesn’t showcase it. Sometimes the outcome has not always gone in our favor but I know from my positon and my chair we have improved as a basketball team. Every day we have been getting better. Since the beginning of the Diamond Head Tournament, I have said that we are going to focus on the process. We are not locked in on the results and as long as we get better, that is all we can do. Maybe the results do not go our way or maybe they do but we just have to get better and that is what we have done. I thought we played really well and had a complete game on both ends of the floor. I can assure you we are improving.”

 

Virginia Tech Coach Mike Young

Opening statement:

“Hats off to Josh [Pastner] and the Yellow Jackets. [Michael] Devoe’s really good. [Jose] Alvarado is good and obviously the plan early on was just to drive it. They’ve been very good in that regard. I thought we did a much better job in the second half, but the damage was done. Devoe gives them another dynamic kid that can keep his bounce alive with his left hand and finish plays. I really liked [Jordan] Usher coming in. [He’s] just such an aggressive kid. I really admire him on the offensive glass.  Josh has a legitimate front-line with the two big kids [Moses Wright and James Banks]. They were obviously more aggressive and connected than my team. That’s discouraging but we’ll be back. Better days [are] ahead for the Hokies.”

On Virginia Tech’s shooting struggles:

“They guarded us the way we would like to guard them. They were up under our chin. We had two shot clock violations. We haven’t had two shot clock violations throughout [the season]. We do want to be patient. We do want to work the different parts of the floor. They’re coverages were good. I thought we attacked it much better in the second half. I wish we had attacked that way in the first half. That zone was bothersome.”

On Georgia Tech’s success in the paint:

“They are fourth in the country in made two’s or some staggering statistic. They haven’t shot the ball great. We get caught with our hands in our pockets twice with [Jose] Alvarado and he bangs two from distance. When things aren’t going well and you’re not engaged and playing the game the right way, those things tend to happen.”

On Landers Nolley’s struggles returning to Atlanta:

“That’s not like him. … Of course, we typically start three from Georgia. Naheim [Alleyne] didn’t have the right look. I thought Naheim and Landers both played better in the second half. I don’t think that had anything to do with it, [but] I may be wrong. That would be uncharacteristic of him. He’s a basketball player and I don’t care whether a basketball player’s playing at home, on the asphalt or wherever it may be – basketball players play and play the right way. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that.”

On trying to snap four-game losing streak on Saturday:

“Just the energy that is required game-in, game-out. When we were rolling, and we’ve rolled for much of this season, we are up on our toes and our shoulders are back and we’re engaged and enjoying competing with one another. We’re back on our heels a little bit right now. The only way to come out of that is to play winning basketball and we know what that is all about. I feel quite certain that Thursday’s practice will be quite interesting. We’ll get some things squared away and we’ll play much better on Saturday against Boston College.”

On Georgia Tech’s success with the high ball-screen:

“Alvarado makes it difficult with his ability. He’s an old guy now. He’s a junior and played a lot of basketball. I remember playing that kid at Wofford his freshman year. He’s a man now and has played a lot of basketball in this league. So, he can come off that thing and take up the space and keep your point guard… my point guard is a strong young man as well… and beat him and keep you on his hip and play with you. An old New York City point guard – he knows what he’s doing, he’s smart. That makes your post player hold on a little bit longer and now he’s downhill and he’s waiting for that hedge to leave. Wabissa [Bede] picked up an early foul because of that. Now he’s spraying the thing in different corners. He had an awfully good game.”

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