Georgia Tech 78, No. 6 Florida State 56
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner
“Great win for the Jackets, really proud of our young men. Florida State is very, very good. I said it in media this week, they’re good enough to go to the Final Four, good enough to win a national championship. We were going to have an opportunity to beat them and we really played well. We executed, we guarded – which, we’re No. 1 in field-goal percentage defense in this league – and we guarded today. Florida State is one of the top-20 offensive teams in the country and we played great defense. We held them to 28 percent from the field, 24 percent from three. We had a plus-14 on the glass and, the stat that I love, is 20 assists on 26 made field goals. We continued to really move the basketball.
“I thought last week, at Virginia Tech and Virginia, we played well. We lost both games, but we played well, we really played well when you watch the film. We played hard – they were just two good teams on the road. We had two good practices on Monday and Tuesday and we cleaned some things up, just paid attention to really small details on some things that we needed to get better at. The guys executed and [got] just a great win.
“Great win for Georgia Tech, for our young men and obviously for the recruits, for the fan base and all the loyal supporters. We had a great crowd tonight, just terrific. We got a great home-court advantage with that and I saw [Georgia Tech] President [G.P. “Bud”] Peterson there, he was about as fired up and he was ready to come in the game. He was like one of the students.
“We’ll continue to get better. I don’t ever forget the first game, in the first exhibition game, we had to go to overtime to beat Shorter. We’ve come a long way and we’ve gotten a lot better and we got lucky to win that game versus Shorter, Division II. So we’ve come a long way and in year one of a major rebuild job, this is another great win for us for people to see what we’re trying to the do and the vision for what we are trying to accomplish here in the long term.”
On the play of Georgia Tech’s guards:
“Josh Heath, maybe as good as I’ve ever seen – zero points, 0-for-6 [shooting] but had five rebounds and six assists and one turnover. Big thing for me was guard rebounding. Josh Heath had three defensive rebounds, Corey Heyward had five defensive rebounds, Justin Moore [had] one, Tadric [Jackson had] five. Those four guys right there, and you take out, Josh Okogie [had] 11, that’s 25 defensive rebounds from our guards. I have always said guards rebounding is so important to successful teams and that’s important to me. Josh Okogie played really well today because he rebounded.”
FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
“We lost to a team that was very well prepared. They executed very, very well. They had a gameplan of how to break our pressure. They executed it extremely well in all phases. Their defensive scheme seemed to cause us to be extremely tentative. We’re the highest field-goal shooting percentage team in the ACC and we look up and we’re shooting 17 percent in the first half. I know we had some point-blank layups and some open looks that we normally make, [but] I think that their mixing defenses made our kids tentative. Give them a lot of praise for coming up with a great gam plan. We got beat by a team that outplayed us in every phase today.”
On the first five minutes of the game:
“I had watched all of their game films and I had been seeing that they’ve done a tremendous job all year. Even the Virginia game, they were right there in the last four or five minutes. In the Louisville game, they had a little spurt there at the end. [In] The Clemson game, the [North] Carolina game and the NC State game, they played very well. Every game that I watched they had done a great job at executing their system and playing within themselves. I wasn’t surprised that they came out and played very well. I was disappointed on our end because we had a lot of opportunities in the first half that we just didn’t finish, that allowed them to get momentum. And once they got momentum, with that type of system, it’s very difficult for us to force them to change the pace. They made their plays and finished their baskets. We had equal opportunities and we didn’t. They deserved to win.”
On Georgia Tech’s focus:
“Sometimes in basketball, teams can get in a mentally emotional focus that brings them up to a level where they’re hitting on all cylinders. I think you see that happen all the time. That’s what makes college basketball so much fun because you can never predict when that’s going to happen. Most of the time, from a defensive standpoint, we have been on point enough where even when we weren’t playing great offensively, we could defend you well enough to where we could keep it even until we got a spurt. Today, offensively we were so bad in the first half, we didn’t stay close enough for us to make the adjustments. I just thought they were totally on point, even with some of their backdoors. They had looks and each time we faltered, they made us pay. That’s them being focused mentally and emotionally, connected with each other, playing within themselves and executing their gameplan to the nth degree.”
On his team:
“I was disappointed that we lost the game. We’ve played pretty good basketball this year. For me, to start pointing fingers at the starters or the subs or someone else … I don’t think that would be fair to our kids. For 97 percent of the time, we’ve played pretty good. When we come up short, you just have to adjust to it and bounce back.”