Georgia Tech 82, Tulane 68
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner
“Good win for us, Tulane is a good basketball team, well coached obviously by Coach [Mike] Dunleavy [Sr.]. I’m really proud of Quinton Stephens today, [he] came up with some big plays, big 50/50 ball plays, had another double-double, his floor game again was good. Ben Lammers did some nice stuff, another double-double for him. I thought obviously Josh [Okogie] was terrific. He’s got to make some free throws to be there but that 38 as a freshman and at this level was a record for Georgia Tech and was great.
“Even though Tadric [Jackson] and Corey [Heyward] maybe didn’t play as well as they have been, they came up with two big possessions on winning 50/50 ball battles. I thought Josh Heath, five assists, obviously was going to be rusty not playing in a while, there were some positives. I thought AD [Abdoulaye Gueye] gave us great minutes as the back-up five in the second half, played above the rim, second and third jump.
“Overall it was a good win, in five games being the most inexperienced team in all of power five teams without the starting point guard that you thought was going to start from day one, to be sitting here like this, you’re proud of our young men. We’ve got a good opportunity versus a really good Penn State team on Tuesday. We’ll enjoy the win and get back at it again tomorrow. I love the fact that we had 18 assists on 28 made field goals, that’s a great stat. Our turnovers were not good. We had too many live ball turnovers and they ended up with 22 points off of our turnovers, so that was an issue. We’ll keep getting back at it and keep trying to get better.”
On the defense aggression:
“We tried to change as much as we could defensively. Obviously they made some shots the second half, we didn’t guard the three well the second half, they hit a couple threes. I thought maybe us changing the defenses, we tried to change as much as we could, but we just got to get our offense via our defense. We’ve got to get stops, that’s going to be important to us. We’ve got to play through our energy and our energy has got to be great on the defensive end.”
On Josh Okogie’s 38-point performance:
“He didn’t take plays off. Beforehand, he was having the tendency to take plays off. Now I say that, you look at his numbers as a freshman has been pretty darn good. He’s just going to continue to get better. The reason he scored offensively was because he was at his best defensively as he’s been all year long. It translated to him being really locked in offensively. When he is not locked in defensively, he is not at effective offensively. Tonight he was his best defensively and it triggered and translated into him being great offensively.”
On making free throws in the end of the game:
“One of our goals is to make more than the opponent attempts and we accomplished that again today. We’ve got to step up and make our free throws. Now we made them when they counted late in the second half, but early on we just left so many points on the board. We want to play in attack mode and we’re playing that way and the way we are cutting and we’re getting to the free throw line, we’ve got to put the ball in the basket. We can drill, we can run the guys for it but in the end, I told our guys, we’re in the ACC. This isn’t boy’s basketball, this is men’s college basketball. When I send a note to another coach in college, I address it Coach So-and-so, Men’s Basketball. You’ve got to be tough enough to step up to the free throw line and put it in. We don’t need to really over analyze anything, you’ve got to be tough and put the ball in the basket.”
TULANE HEAD COACH MIKE DUNLEAVY, SR.
“It was a very disappointing game tonight. I thought we played our worst game of the year. We showed no toughness out there. In the first half, they just beat us up on the boards. They got the free throws. We just made our own mistakes and let them build a double-digit lead for the half. We came out in the second half and we didn’t play great. To start out, we had some bad shot selection. Then we fought back. We had it to a five-point game, and [then] we broke down on a couple of our different basic principles.
“I thought we came into the game with the idea of doing a good job on [Tadric] Jackson who had been a pretty good scorer for them. I thought we did well there. [Ben] Lammers has been playing great for them. [He’s] a really a good, tough, fundamental player. We would have done a good job for him except for the offensive boards we gave him and the dribble penetrations that we gave up. He made a couple of really nice moves – a reverse layup and a fade away jumper.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys, but they have to get tougher. There’s only so much you can game plan for. Giving up 38 points in the game [to Josh Okogie] and letting someone get to the free throw line 18 times… That just means we didn’t step up. Our weak-side didn’t do their job and our guy on the ball didn’t do his job either.”
On Cameron Reynolds performance
“He’s been our most consistent player to date, obviously. He’s got a nice all-around game. It’s just a matter of moving the ball and trying to find it. At times in the game, we didn’t do a very good job of it. We did finally find some stuff that could work for us and the right guys to move the ball. Some of it, we got on transition. We turned the ball over and we got some shot blocks as well. As a group, we didn’t shoot the ball great.”
On Tulane’s bench outscoring Tech 21 to 6
“We had some guys coming off the bench. Our starting forward Melvin Frazier had a bad back all week and he tried to start the game, [but] he didn’t really have it. I pulled him in the second half, but typically he’s our strongest defender. [He’s] 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan and a pretty good one-on-one defender. We missed him being on top of his game tonight.”
On Josh Okogie’s performance
“He’s a guy that is good off-the-dribble. He’s aggressive. The idea was to try and make him shoot the ball from the outside. He hit a couple long shots, but still we tried to stay consistent with it because he’s a driver. Once you get a guy going hard to the hole, somebody has got to slide in there and take a charge.”