Here’s a transcript of the quotes following Georgia Tech’s 72-57 win against Virginia Tech on Tuesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum:
Head Coach Paul Hewitt opening statement
The second half was probably as good of a team effort that we have had all year. Certainly, Iman [Shumpert] and Brian [Oliver] were outstanding but I thought we were taking care of the basketball and tightening things up offensively. I wanted to make sure that we were taking care of [Malcolm] Delaney and the guys going for three. They probably spread out a little too much and were beat off of the dribble, giving up some easy baskets in the first half. In the second half, we went back to playing some pretty good defense and Iman and Brian were tremendous.
Hewitt on playing defense at home
The energy that you get really helps. Our student section these last three home games has been really good. At the same time, we talked the other day, Virginia made seven three’s in the first half in Charlottesville and four of them were pretty well contested. The others were wide open and maybe that gets them going a little bit. We have had some good performances on the road but we didn’t pay attention to all of the details. That happened in the first half today, in the second half, the guys tightened up and made the proper adjustments of who to play off of and again when you have [Iman] getting seven steals and who knows how many deflections that also does a lot for your defense.
We have been talking about being more away when you are off the ball. We have a tendency to lock in on the ball and sometimes it provides steals but sometimes we get caught ball watching so much that we give up some outside shots and open threes. In the second half I thought we did a much better job of recognizing when our man was off the ball and recognizing who the shooters were when they were off the ball.
Brian Oliver on his performance
Honestly, I am not sure of what the difference is between tonight and a week ago. There have been some mechanical things that were wrong with my shot and a lot of it is mental. You cant get down on yourself. You say to yourself keep taking good shots, but you have to make sure that, as a shooter, you are always thinking that the next shot is going in. I just cleared my mind, went out there and went back to fundamentals tonight.
Iman Shumpert on holding Delaney to 8 points
I think I just got a lot of help. I got a lot of screens and was bouncing off screens left and right but I just forced him to catch it far off of the three-point line, even though that is in his range and make him take uncomfortable shots. I think we played him tough and when I needed help I got it. We played him hard at the basket and we went up there and contested every shot
Shumpert on his triple-double
I didn’t know I was close to it but I thought I had a lot of rebounds. In the middle of the game Coach LaBarrie came over to me and said that a triple-double isn’t as good if we don’t win, and that was when I knew that I had one. I tried to do whatever we have to do to win. It feels good though, I am all smiles tonight.
Shumpert on his night
I didn’t think that I had a hot night. That was all [Brian]. I couldn’t hit a three. All of my shots were around the basket and you don’t have to be hot for that you just have to be smart and keep attacking. Brian was just hitting everything.
Virginia Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg
“I think the game came down to a couple things. We talked before the game about being smart and poised, and down the stretch we were neither, plain and simple. We got caught up in the fray and didn’t play with a sense of purpose. You have to give them [Georgia Tech] a lot of credit. They did a good job of getting [Brian] Oliver in the middle of the zone and we didn’t do a good job of guarding the side ball screen. We over-helped and it came down to a couple of threes. We couldn’t come up with the stops or the rebounds when we needed to and then we made three consecutive turnovers in critical stages of the game. I just didn’t think we had the resolve in terms of remaining focused about the game and not all of the stuff surrounding it. We have to get better.”
“They [Georgia Tech] played hard and did a good job contesting the shots. We didn’t make shots tonight. When we needed to really execute we didn’t. We had some foul trouble and had to use a timeout or two plus the stoppages with all of the things that were happening on the court. Again, it really comes down to two words: smart and poised.”
On whether the double technicals and stoppages affected the team
“That’s not something tangible. Obviously they handled the situation better than we did. And they played better down the stretch than we did.”
On being surprised at how the team played after the win at Maryland
“We got caught up in all the b.s. rather than doing the things we needed to do to win tonight. That was addressed prior to the start of the game. That’s why this is even more disappointing.”
On the play of Iman Shumpert
“He’s just a really good player. He’s got size and is a great defender. He is a good finisher in the lane. You have to give Oliver credit as well. Shumpert did a good job of kicking the ball out and he made those three’s against the zone.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC