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Postgame Quotes - MBB vs. Notre Dame

Opening statement:

“It’s a great win for us. Anytime you get a win in the ACC, it’s a great win. We really defended at a high level. Everyone knows my feelings on [Notre Dame] Coach [Mike] Brey. I just think he’s awesome. I want to model our program after his. He’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s just awesome and I have the highest level of respect for he and his staff, and for their student-athletes. They’re really good and young. He’s done an amazing job, as always. It’s a great win for us. I thought we defended well. I thought Jose [Alvarado] and A.D. (Abdoulaye Gueye) were a little rusty in the first half because they hadn’t done anything until today on the floor. It was good to get them back. We are a better team with them and it’s a good win. We had 10 turnovers in the first half. In the second half, we only had four, so that was good. We did a better job of taking care of the ball. Great win. Great win for Georgia Tech.”

On Michael Devoe:
“Michael is obviously a freshman. He’s going to keep getting better. You can see he is getting better. I thought Saturday [versus Louisville], he just struggled. He was our leading defensive rebounder coming into the game versus Louisville and he had no defensive rebounds. That, to me, was a telling sign right there. I just think it was new for him. He just needs Jose or another guard next to him. The tension, the stress of the game was tough for him on Saturday. It a learning experience for him. He’ll be better for it. He’s better with Jose and he showed tonight, again. He had five assists and one turnover, and three defensive boards.”

On Georgia Tech’s fast start:
“We got out early with a great start … sort of how we started against Syracuse [on Jan. 12]. But I’d also tell you we left a lot of points on the board. We had some shots right by the rim. We had open threes and shots right by the rim that we just didn’t make. Credit to Notre Dame, but when you’re trying to extend it every possession, every dribble, every movement, you’re just so invested. Notre Dame is never a team that is going to beat themselves, so when you have an opportunity to score, we have to take advantage of it. We missed just a lot of short shots, and part of that is I felt A.D. and Jose did not play well in the first half.”

On Devoe’s rebounding:
“Before he came in here, he wouldn’t think twice about guard rebounding or even taking a charge. Now he’s our leading charge guy in practice and he’s our leading defensive rebounder, and that’s big from a guard. And that is why I told him on Saturday, it wasn’t about him not playing well, he [took] zero charges, only one time he dove on the floor and he had no defensive rebounds. That’s why he played poorly. It wasn’t about his offense. And look at today, he had three defensive rebounds, he dove on the floor early in the game, he dove again in the second half, he took a charge, and he stuck his nose in there. And he just played at a high level. It’s the way we are set up. It’s not about anyone’s offense. You have to get your game going through defense, 50/50 balls, charges. That type of energy.”



Opening statement:
“Their defense is really, really good and it was hard to play against. We gave ourselves a chance but you’ve got to score a little more to escape down here. I thought they made some really big shots and some big post moves by their big guys at key times. We battled, that’s kind of been who we’ve been, we’ve been right there, we just can’t quite get over the hump. This is a tough league to get over the hump in.”

On if he expected Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado and Abdoulaye Gueye to play:
“As long as I have been in this business, I always expect the best players to play. Obviously, I know the other night against Louisville, they were a completely different basketball team. We’re kind of a different basketball team right now too with some guys that we’re missing. But those guys that play for them are obviously really gifted and played great today.”

On 50/50 balls in the final minutes of the game:
“It’s kind of been who we are, not being able to get a 50/50 ball in the last four minutes. It’s happened in games in this league. Probably some of that is a little bit of youth, we’ve got some 18-year-olds running around out there, and fatigue at the end of the game. We’ve got to keep trying to help them and keep them upbeat, keep them positive.”

On three-point shooting:
“Been a little bit of the story of us, we haven’t shot it well enough. We handle the ball well, we’re good with the ball. Even though we had 13 turnovers tonight, we pass and catch well. The clean looks we are getting, we’re just not making enough of them. I think we’re a little better shooting team than we are showing but until you do it, you are who you are. We just haven’t shot it well enough to win in this league.”

On Georgia Tech’s post players and team defense:
“We prepared that way [for Georgia Tech’s Abdoulaye Gueye and James Banks III to both be on the floor]. We expected them to play. [James] Banks is a load inside. He is really a good player. We recruited him, I know him well. Gueye is just steady and he’s got a year under his belt now. He’s really good. They’re a heck of a team, they’ve won in the Carrier Dome. I think they’re a good team when they’ve got their bodies and they had their bodies tonight. And they are really hard to score on, there’s a reason why their stats play out as one of the best, if not the best, defensive team in our league. Our defense, that’s good enough, 63 is pretty good to hold them … but in this league if you score in the 60s, you’re just not going to win many games. We’ve been in the 60s all the time, except for one time. We’re searching for some more scoring as we grow this group.

“We’ve seen it and you’ve seen the numbers too, the numbers are the numbers. They are just really hard to deal with. They’re long, they’re athletic, they’re in passing lanes and if you do beat them, they’ve got shot blocker in the back. It’s one of the things we’re missing a little bit with [Juwan] Durham. Durham and Banks were the two leading shot blockers in the league. Durham has helped us change some stuff back there like Banks has done in almost creating turnovers. They’re heard to deal with and they’re going to be hard to score on for everybody, so they’re always going to be in games.”


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