Georgia Tech 76, Wofford 72
“It was a good win, Wofford is a good team. They’ve got shooters, they’re very well coached. That’s a good win for us. This is a major rebuild job, we’re the most inexperienced team in all of college basketball. When I got hired they said this is going to be a start-up company, you’re blowing everything up and we’re starting over. What I would tell you is every game that we play, our margin of error is zero. Absolutely zero. We haven’t had a game besides the Alcorn State game where you have had the opportunity to breathe. Every possession that we play is precious, I don’t care what part of the game it is. Through this first part here, our guys have just fought for Georgia Tech, they’ve fought for me, they have just given me every ounce of energy. They are playing as hard as they can, even in the Georgia game they played so hard, we just have limitations and especially offensively.
“When you go back and watch the tape and we missed 10 points worth of layups on Tuesday and that ends up hurting us. We spent all time yesterday working on that. We’ve just got to try finishing those things and today we did a much better job of offensive execution. What I would tell you is I’m really proud that our guys are able to bounce back. We didn’t want to have any hangover from that loss. Guys fought, competed and we were able to get a good win.
“Quinton [Stephens] had 12 rebounds. Tadric Jackson in that first half was awesome, second half I don’t know if he just got worn out or his hamstring was bothering him a little bit. But his first half was terrific, he had those four threes. They came in as the fourth best team in the country from three-point range at 43 percent. For the first half we held them at 26 percent, for the game we held them at 35 percent from three. I think we’re in the top 50 in defensive efficiency so we’re flat out guarding. We’ve really gotten better defensively. I’m proud of our guys on that, that’s a thing of effort.
“I’m really proud of a late game like this. I didn’t think in regulation versus VCU we executed well offensively and we ended up having to go to overtime and win the game. But today, we executed offensively late and we made good plays. We executed the side out of bounds coming out of the timeout which Ben [Lammers] got the dunk. We made free throws other than Josh Heath’s and Quinton’s front end of one-and-one, but Josh Heath made those big free throws late and Josh Okogie made those free throws as well. Really good win going into the holidays and we’ll resume back Sunday night late, practice a couple days to get ready for North Carolina A&T. Then after that you’re right into league play and you’re playing two games a week and just got to keep fighting [and] moving forward.”
On different players stepping up at different points in the game:
“What I told the team is one, we had 17 assists on 27 made field goals but we only had ten turnovers, five each half. We did a better job at valuing the ball and that has been an Achilles heel of ours. I started Tadric [Jackson]. I said let me start him try to get him going a little bit because we’re going to need him and he played very well for us in that first half. He was excellent. He was an elite level player. The issue is the consistency of it, we need it both halves. If he can start putting two halves together like that then it takes our team to another level. That’s just part of us continuing to push and hold him to that standard. But Ben Lammers had six assists, Quinton [Stephens] again 12 rebounds, career high for him on that. Justin Moore had 12 points. He didn’t have any assists and he had one turnover, but teams are backing off on him so he’s just got to keep attacking and making the right decision and not overanalyze it when they’re backed off. Overall [it’s] a good win and they’re a good team. They weren’t going to be scared coming in here based on who they’ve played. They’ve played some other high major opponents and played them well. That’s a good team that’s very well coached.”
WOFFORD HEAD COACH MIKE YOUNG
On struggling to take the lead in the second half “We couldn’t [make the big shot]. And we do that pretty well. Georgia Tech had something to do with that. Josh [Pastner] went zone at the under-four media timeout and that was a good move. That bothered us and we had a bad possession. We got a good shot, but it was late in the clock. That was a big one. But to your point, we did have some good cracks at it and that’s the way the thing rolls sometimes. Again, I take nothing away from the Yellow Jackets. They had something to do with that.”
On rebounding against a big team like Georgia Tech
“We haven’t been a very good rebounding team and our teams [historically] have been terrific on the glass. It’s been an Achilles heel to this point. It was good to see [Cameron] Jackson have his career-high in rebounds . You’re outrebounded, but I thought we competed on the glass. That’s a positive as we turn our attention to league play.”
How were you able to get so many open looks?
“We didn’t shoot it a great percentage. The scheme that Coach Pastner is employing [causes] shots [to] come from different spots. He keeps you on your heels. The 1-3-1, the 1-1-3, the Triangle-and-2, which he didn’t play tonight, and a sprinkle of man… [that] can take some wind out of your sails. Had they done anything offensively against Georgia on Tuesday, that would have been a far different game. I thought Georgia Tech guarded their face off. I thought they did a pretty good job. The mark for us is 39 percent and they held us to 39 percent. I think the [Georgia] Bulldogs were under 40 percent on Tuesday. They’ve got to score and they did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
Did Georgia Tech do anything to slow Fletcher Magee? “No, I don’t think so. He started out like a house of fire. He was terrific. I think he made his first three shots, maybe three of his first four. I’ve seen that from him [before] and it’s ‘buckle your seatbelt, this is going to be a lot of fun.’ I didn’t think they did anything in particular. [They] probably played more man in the second half. I thought the kid had some pretty good cracks at it. Cracks I would love for him to get every night because he is a special player. [He] just couldn’t get it in the basket.”