Georgia Tech 77, Southern 62
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner
“Good win for the Jackets. Lot of good stuff but let me just say this, this is my eighth year as a head coach, I was the head coach at Memphis, assistant at Memphis, assistant at Arizona, player at Arizona so I’ve been around some high level basketball and seen some great players. Tonight, in my time, I haven’t seen a guy save us in terms of the 50/50 ball wins and the multiple effort plays that Ben Lammers did. I told him in the locker room, ‘if I could give you a big kiss on the cheek right now I would but you’re too sweaty.’ Of all the years, it’s about as good of a save job in terms of just his multiple effort plays that don’t even show up in the box score, just by his second and third effort defensively and everything else … Really proud of Ben on his effort plays and just saving us in many ways.
“I love the fact that we only had three turnovers the second half, we had nine the first. I felt we gave the ball a headache a little too much tonight and that’s why we only had 14 assists on 28 made field goals. Our tempo was better and our pace was better. If we made our free throws we would have had the opportunity to score in the 90s or at least 85 or so. I felt we pounded it a little too much, little bit of a headache and that’s why our assists weren’t as high as we would like.
“We defended well for the most part. Back-to-back games we played good defense. I actually thought we did a better job defensive rebounding even though the numbers didn’t maybe show it, but we actually did a better job on crashing the glass and getting up on there and finding a way to get some rebounds. We’ve still just got to be better on that.
“Obviously we have got to put the free throws in. One of our goals is that we want to make more than the opponent attempts and even though we didn’t shoot well from the free throw line, we did achieve that stat.
“Otherwise it was a good win, the guys played well. I’ll tell you, Friday is a great challenge for us. It’s a good team in Ohio. Their point guard is one of the best in the country assists to turnovers, they’ve got the players of the year returning and they’ve got that transfer from Michigan State that can flat out shoot the ball. Ohio is going to be a great opportunity and test for us on Friday.”
On Josh Okogie stepping up:
“Josh Okogie is going to keep getting better and better and better. He had 18 [points] the first night and 18 again tonight and he’s barely tapped his potential. He’s got to continue being sound and continue to improve. His future is extremely, extremely bright.”
On Tadric Jackson’s performance and impact:
“People ask about Tadric. I know he got 20 points but let me tell you the things that I’m proud of. It’s not the points. It’s that he had five rebounds, four of them defensively and I thought he defended well. He played defense. The best teams [have] their guards stick their nose in and find ways to get defensive rebounds, always. The best teams find a way, their guards rebound the ball defensively. More than Tadric’s scoring ability, it was his ability to rebound and defend. That’s what triggered our team and triggered his offense. I was proud of him in those areas.”
On Tadric Jackson’s growth from last season:
“For Tadric we’ve spent a lot of time and Tadric knows, I’ve been hard on him but I’ve been hard on him knowing his upside and his potential. I’ve pushed him hard and I’ve held him accountable but Tadric is a fine, young man and he’s got a chance to be a really good player. He just has to stay aggressive, he’s got to stay in attack mentality. His offense has to come through his defense and rebounding. That’s where you get your energy. He’s got to continue to take great pride in that.”
SOUTHERN HEAD COACH ROMAN BANKS
“We came in here today after getting a chance to watch them on a little film early this morning. They are a capable ball club, and I think [Tadric] Jackson makes them a lot better. His 20 points tonight were the difference. His energy, his know-how and his experience ignited them when he came into the game. Once again, I thought that we didn’t do a good job rebounding the basketball. We really did not have any type of post presence. In the first half, we struggled trying to find offense. We ran away from the post, and they were able to hedge and strong-hedge on our point guard to stop him from turning the corner, so he didn’t get many looks. Hopefully this game made us a better ball club, because I think we learned a lot about ourselves today.”
On the play of Ben Lammers
“He’s very strong and physical. I told the guys that he’s a guy that comes to work every day. He packs his lunch, and he brings his helmet. Don’t look for anything fancy from him; he just beats you up for 40 minutes. I just think that was an area tonight where he took over the game with his physical presence, being tough and strong. He gave us a lot of problems. It seemed like every time we were about to make a run, he’d get a big rebound, a big put-back, or a big block. He’s a very good basketball player.”
On the struggles of the front court
“Coming into this season, Jared Sam would be our primary look, and I think he got worn down tonight. We’ve got to develop some other people. Obviously, they were big and strong and that took a toll on our guys. But we have to be able to create some opportunities for ourselves on the inside. I think we have to go back to being more fundamentally sound. I’m talking about position, about attacking their legs and bouncing out. Against those type of guys, we won’t outjump a lot of people. We’re not made like that. We’re going to have to work in the tough areas to get some things done. In the post, I thought that we did throw it in there, and we got a lot of negative plays. We’ve got to get to the free throw line at least 50 percent of the time. That’s a point of emphasis for us. We need to study ourselves and look at film. We’ve got to get better to have some type of success. It’s hard to just have your guards carry you all season like that.”
On keeping the game close late in the second half
“Obviously, Tre’lun [Banks] has been around since he was a freshman and he’s a very good basketball player. I think [Shawn] Prudhomme is certified basketball-player strength. They can hold their own with a lot of people. We’re still missing some pieces. We’re still trying to find ourselves early in the season. After losing Adrian Rodgers, who was our leading scorer last season, we are still searching for that other guard.”