Georgia Tech 71, Belmont 57 - NIT second round
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner
"First off, great win. To get our 17th home win, which sets the single-season record for Georgia Tech for most wins at home -- and we're not sharing it with anybody, we stand alone for the 2016-17 team -- is an unbelievable reflection of and compliment to the crowd throughout this season. For us to be able to do that, to get 17 home wins based on where we started back in April on a major rebuild job, to be able to do that in this year one is a direct reflection of our crowd. They have willed us to victories this year and once again today they were fantastic. I am so proud to have been associated with them and this team has just continued to get better and better and better."
On Georgia Tech's offense:
"Our first 23 made field goals were assisted which is incredible. We ended up with 23 on 26 but our first 23 of 23 were assisted which is incredible. Belmont is a very good basketball team. They've got really good players but we really guarded well. Rick Byrd is the sixth-winningest active coach in all of college basketball. He should be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, he's earned that right. He's unbelievable. To be able to get a win against such a well-coached team was a great compliment and credit to our young men."
On Georgia Tech's seniors:
"Quinton Stephens, Corey Heyward and Josh Heath, those three seniors, this is really officially it in terms of [their] final home game and to leave like they left and to get that record is awfully special. Rand [Rowland] and Kellen [McCormick] and Jodan [Price] are all a part of it [too]. It's special for those seniors. I'm just really proud of our guys. We took care of the ball and in the end, it was just a great win for us."
On Georgia Tech's individual standouts on offense:
"Quinton Stephens and Josh Okogie combined nine assists with no turnovers which is terrific. Tadric [Jackson] has played back-to-back good games, Indiana and then this game. He's put back to back games together. In the end just a beautiful win, beautiful basketball."
On upcoming quarterfinal game versus Ole Miss:
"We play Tuesday night at Ole Miss. Andy Kennedy is the winningest coach there at Ole Miss. He's great. Their team is very good. To go in and beat Syracuse at Syracuse is very hard to do. We'll have to play even better than we played today. I'm really proud of our guys to finish this homestand like we did. It's been an unbelievable year."
On Georgia Tech's defense:
"We're one of the best defensive teams in the entire country. To lead the ACC in field-goal percentage defense, you have to be really good to be able to do that. To lead the country as one of the top five or six defensive efficiency teams in the entire country, you have to be really good to do that. This team is a great defensive team. We have become a great defensive team. We don't have any individuals, we're not an individual team but we have become a great defensive team. Overall, we have become a pretty good basketball team, a very good basketball team. To see the evolution -- we started with [an exhibition game versus] Shorter. Overtime we had to go. Tennessee Tech is from the same conference as Belmont. We started there with our first home game against Tennessee Tech and then to end it that last home game against Belmont [from] the same league and [see] how far we've come and the strides we've made."
BELMONT HEAD COACH RICK BYRD
"First and most importantly, that's a really good basketball team that we played. I cannot say enough, I don't have to say anything -- Josh [Pastner] was coach of the year in the toughest conference in the country -- but I can't say enough really about the job he's done with that team. Their defensive numbers are top 10 in the nation in terms of points per possession and I like to give myself more credit than I deserve about having some good offensive ideas but we just didn't get as good of shots as we needed to, so we lost our poise in the second half, threw the ball all over the lot against them and never did make shots at the rate that we were going to need to win this game. But Georgia Tech deserves a lot of credit."
On Georgia Tech's run at the beginning of the second half:
"I just wish we'd have seen more of a Belmont-like team in the last 22 minutes. I thought we played good for 18 minutes, had the lead. Made two turnovers to end the [first] half to give them the lead and then they jumped right on us. They kind of slugged us and we didn't slug back."
On Belmont's offense versus Georgia Tech's defense:
"Well, everybody we play is more athletic than we are. Everybody we play. They're certainly athletic but I think it's more how hard they're playing and how much purpose they play with. They fight hard not to give you any good shots. And, when you've got a shot-blocker in there at the back of that, then you might drive it to the middle but you're going to end up shooting a 10-foot floater or you're going to end up getting in there and getting [the shot] changed and blocked.
"Evan Bradds did not have an Evan Bradds game. Actually, I thought he got some good shots against [Ben] Lammers and I'm sure he was challenged and it was in his head but he didn't make the shots he usually makes. That hurt us. And then when you've got Taylor [Barnette] 1-for-8 for us and Dylan [Windler] is 0-for-3, that's our two wing players who've been shooting it good. We weren't going to win this game without making some tough shots but, like I say, [Georgia Tech] really deserve[s] that credit. Fun team to watch."
On the atmosphere at McCamish Pavilion:
"Tremendous atmosphere. Golly. We love the opportunity to play in the NIT but, as a lot of you know, sometimes places don't get as excited about that as they ought to. This place was excited about an NIT game and it was a great atmosphere."