Postgame Quotes - Georgia Tech 79, USC Upstate 63

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH JOSH PASTNER

Opening statement:

“First off, happy and healthy New Year everybody. I always like to say, if you have your health you really are a true billionaire. That’s one of my favorite lines.

“Good win, we found a way to get a win. Our start was a little sluggish but we defended. We found ways to obviously get the win but it was through our defense. We held them to 30-percent from the field, 22 [percent] from 3[-point range]. Offensively, coming off the bench, Evan Cole and A.D. [Abdoulaye Gueye] gave us really good minutes. Curtis [Haywood II] gave us good minutes, Brandon [Alston] gave us a couple good minutes there. Shembari [Phillips] hit a big three in the first half. Jose [Alvarado] hurt his ankle yesterday in practice so he was limping a little bit.

“Twenty-two assists we had today on 29 field goals that keeps with our motto ‘the open man is the go-to man, the go-to man is the open man.’ That means in the last two games, 22 plus 29 is 51 assists on 64 [made field goals] … That’s a great stat … It was a good win, gives us some good momentum heading into ACC play. James [Banks] has to be better for us, I told him that. I felt our front line wasn’t as effective today to start, so we need to be better on that, but our guys that came in off the bench gave us some good minutes to help us move the game forward.”

On pushing tempo:

“Our tempo, we’ve spent a lot of time on that since we’ve been back from Christmas break, is working on our tempo in the first 10-12 seconds of early offense because we do have some limitations to score. Because our defense has been so good and we’ve been able to get stops, I felt like we’re not taking advantage of that. We’re not able to get transition baskets at all and we’re getting all these stops. That is something we have spent time on.”

On Georgia Tech’s defense:

“We did have six [kills], three stops in a row and we were about to get our seventh because we had two stops in a row [and were] about to get our third for our seventh [kill] but the kid hit a three late. Otherwise, defensively if you look at the numbers, for the most part we guarded well. They were 5-of-15 from three the second half, so that was a little bit too high for us, but otherwise, defensively, we did some good things.”

On Georgia Tech’s non-conference season:

“I think we’re getting better. I think we’ve improved. We had some tough losses. There’s a game or two that I think we should have won, but we’ve gotten better. I was able to play some guys. We scheduled tough – it’s a tough schedule for a young team, but this schedule will help us going into ACC play. I’m excited to see how we do in league play. This league is just phenomenal; everyone is so good in this league. Think about it, Florida State is ranked in the preseason polls as 14th in the country, but in the ACC, their preseason pick is seventh. That’s how deep this league is. Just everybody is so good from top to bottom and it’s going to be one heck of a league race. I’m hoping the nonconference schedule, and we played some tough teams, will have prepared us going into league play.”

USC UPSTATE HEAD COACH DAVE DICKERSON

Opening Statement:

“I really like our team. Now we get a chance to get back into the Big South and play our Big South schedule. I thought Josh [Pastner] and his staff did a good job with his team tonight. They were very prepared. Their length and athleticism were just too much for us to overcome. I thought our guys played hard and, for about 30 minutes, we played smart. But we were just not able to overcome their length and athleticism.”

On Georgia Tech’s transition game:

“Obviously, we’re so young and inexperienced. When you get past Malik Moore and Deion Holmes, we just have seven freshmen. We have nine freshmen in practice every day. From a teaching standpoint, you have to be on top of your game every day as a coach. We were right there at the end of the first half, but the last 3:41 kind of turned the game around. We just couldn’t handle that situation. We had some guys tired. We had some guys in foul trouble. So, we had to play young and we made young mistakes.”

On USC Upstate’s second-chance opportunities:

“I’m not familiar with [Georgia Tech’s] roster because I’m at Upstate. It seems as though Josh [Pastner] had to get his guys going as well. He subbed five-for-five and, obviously, when you do that, you’re trying to send a message to your team. You’re trying to get your guys to play the right way. They looked like a young team as well. Their length and athleticism, for us, was just too much for us to overcome. We did a good job on the boards early, but their length and athleticism was just too much for us to overcome.”

On USC Upstate’s three-point shooting:

“For us, we were shooting the ball better from the three-point line. I thought in the first half, we had some really good looks. We had some looks that on another day [an 89-9 win over Coker on Dec. 29], we would have made, but we were 7-for-31 from the three-point line, and if you can’t make those wide-open shots on the road, you’re not going to win. Hats off to Georgia Tech though. They did what they had to do and they won the game.”

On expectations entering Big South play:

“We obviously feel good about our team going to Big South play. For my team, the biggest thing for me is trying to get our guys to have a really good practice tomorrow. I don’t look too far down the road and I try to stay in the moment, which is for every day to get better and better. If you take away the N.C. State game and the game tonight, we’re a different team. But playing on two ACC home courts, that’s tough for our team when you have the inexperience that we have. We understand that as coaches and we’ll get our team to understand that tomorrow in practice. We’ve got to get back to the Big South Conference and focus on that and trying to become a more consistent team. I don’t think we’re going to see what we saw at N.C. State and what we saw tonight in the Big South Conference.”

On if one or two three-pointers made a difference:

“That’s what I thought as well. The thing is we had the right guys shooting. It wasn’t like we had the wrong guys shooting. We just didn’t do a good job tonight and we just didn’t make enough shots tonight. I thought Josh [Pastner} made a good adjustment as far as attacking us in the post and in the paint. Our four- and five-men on our team are all freshmen. If you look at other teams that we play they’re all upperclassmen, more experienced and big kids.”

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