Postgame Quotes (Game 16)

Jan. 10, 2018

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner
Opening statement:

“Really good win for the Yellow Jackets. Great crowd. I just want to really give a great shout-out to our crowd and to our student section. I was really proud for our fans and for our students. You always want to have a good win when they come out to support and give good energy in the building. Overall, I thought we played with really good energy, which, again, the crowd was really good for us in that. We’ve been getting better. We’ve just gotten better post-Christmas. Our practices have been better, you can sense it as a coach. The improvement that the guys are having – we’re getting healthy and everything else. … We found a way, we gutted it out. It seems like every time us and Notre Dame have competed, at least for my time here, it’s been some great games that have come down to great possessions.”

On Georgia Tech’s three-game win streak:
“We’ve gotten better since post-Christmas and part of that is we got healthy and have been able to practice. We’ve been going two-a-days. On Monday, school was canceled so we went twice because the more we can do two-a-days – and we won’t be able to anymore because school is back in session – but that really allowed us to get better. It’s just that we were able to get healthy and get back in rhythm and we’ve improved.”

On Curtis Haywood II:
“We were able to get Curt back in there. I went small and took A.D. [Gueye] out and put Curt in, whereas A.D. on Saturday had a career night. So, we maybe have some different options right now. The other thing is, we were 5-for-12 from three-point range. Against their zone, I was really proud that we didn’t jack a bunch of threes or take bad shots. We kept it simple and just worked the ball and kept it within the confines of our offense. But Curt does a lot of good things for us with his hands.”

On Ben Lammers’ defense:
“I thought his activity with his hands was terrific. We talk about that: high hands. That’s an area that we’ve improved on. Early in the year, guys are hitting threes because we’re recovering with our hands down. So on the recovery, when that ball is in the air, I always talk about ‘high and hard and through the shoulders.’ But early – you can’t do it late in the ACC.”

On playing defense against Notre Dame:
“We played multiple defenses. I’ve said that the way we kind of are offensively and defensively, I think we’re unconventional and we’re different than anyone else in the league. That doesn’t always guarantee anything, but you are a different scout and defense than other teams have to face because we do different things.”

NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH MIKE BREY
Opening Statement:

“Give Georgia Tech credit. We came back and put game pressure on them and they really made big plays. I thought [Ben] Lammers was big at key times. I’m proud of our group. We keep digging and scratching even though we’re a little shorthanded. Tech made big plays to hold us off.”

On if the game slipped away:
“I said, ‘This is just like Saturday’s game [a 51-49 win at Syracuse].’ We were down 10 to Syracuse and we were down the whole second half [but I said,] ‘We’re going to make a run here and make this interesting.’ But they made some key defensive plays. They’ve got a lot of length back there that bothered us at times. We had a couple turnovers. We didn’t shoot it as great as we need to. We had some really good looks in the second half [and] we made a couple of them to make it interesting. We had to make a few more of those to escape with a road win. I think Tech is playing really well. They’re so much different than the team we played 10 days ago. They’re healthier. They’re moving better. They’ve won three in a row and beat a very good Miami team. We need a little rest before Saturday but I love how our group is fighting. We’ve got to do that until we get some of these guys back.”

On Notre Dame’s second-half offensive adjustments:
“We were able to drive the gaps a little more and kick out instead of playing with the ball over our heads. We had a hard time figuring out their zone but in the second half we got into a better flow. The same thing happened Saturday [at Syracuse]. I thought T.J. [Gibbs] and Rex [Pflueger] drove it more. Then we got some really open looks and Nik [Djogo] hit one. D.J. Harvey had a tough first half but he bounced back and gave us a good second half. We need to keep getting him confident because he’s going to play a lot because we’ve got eight dudes.”

On Georgia Tech’s second-chance points:
“I think that was a big difference. They were really good on the backboard. We couldn’t get second shots like we’ve been getting in our first three ACC games. Their key guys made big plays. [Ben] Lammers and [Josh] Okogie made big shots like they’re supposed to make in an ACC game.”

On Notre Dame’s post players in the second half:
“We got a lot of rolling stuff. It’s how we play. When you ball-screen, you roll hard. You do put the defense in a predicament – and Georgia Tech does when they have their shooters on the floor – where if you help on the roll guy, you can kick to a shooter. And if you’re worried about a shooter who may have just hit one … I thought T.J. Gibbs made some unbelievable decisions to Martinas Geben and John Mooney rolling down the lane. You lose Matt Ferrell, who’s our quarterback, [and Gibbs] has just stepped in and handled the ball for us for 40 minutes. He didn’t shoot it great tonight, but he’s got seven assists and only two turnovers and talking and leading the whole way.”

On trying to slow Georgia Tech’s offense down:
“We have been more of a zone team this year and we’re built bigger in zone when Matt Ferrell’s not on the floor, our guards are a little longer. We made a decision at halftime that we’re going to sit in zone on the second half and make them make shots and make them make plays. At times they got a little frustrated and tight and you’re feeling you got a chance. I give a lot of credit to [Ben] Lammers and [Josh] Okogie. When it was a key possession, they made big plays against us. The other thing about playing zone – I got eight guys and we’ve got to rest a little bit on defense.”