Quotes following Georgia Tech’s 62-56 loss to Virginia on Wednesday, courtesy of the sports information department:
GEORGIA TECH COACH Paul Hewitt
“We got off to a pretty good start. We wanted to establish Daniel early, and we were able to get him a couple of touches. Obviously at 46 or 43, we couldn’t make a shot and just went dry. They made some big shots.”
Were you waiting on the TV timeout at four minutes before calling a time out when Virginia went on that run?
“That was part of it. The other thing was I thought we were coming out and getting some pretty good looks at it. I thought we were getting some good cracks at the basket. I think there was a timeout at 4:05, with 15 seconds on the clock, they switched defenses. Again, we had Jason (Morris) in the corner we just did not knock it down.”
After Mfon Udofia missed the two free throws, what we were you trying to do there?
“At that point, you are trying to make it and get a steal. The original plan is to make the first two or one of the first two, and run a foul line stunt.”
Did it seem like the last three minutes or so, they started settling for a three-point shot?
“They switched to the zone, and we run a set play and tried to get some movement. We got a turnover out of that lob play, and then from there I thought we had got some decent looks. I would have preferred to see us go inside a little more.”
Yesterday, you told us the inside game is where you were trying to go. Was it just the nature of what Virginia was doing?
“Yes, they shrunk the zone pretty tight. Jason (Morris) was 2-4, and shooting the ball well. I always trust Iman (Shumpert) out there with his decisions. Those are the ones I think I can remember taking the three’s.
Only 6-13 from the foul line, if you had made some of those would it have changed the approach to the game late?
“Possibly, making the front end of the one-and-one when it was a 8-point game, could have gotten it to 10. At the same time, we still had a 46-43 lead, with the ball. We had opportunities.”
What did you see out of Daniel (Miller) defensively?
“I think he has his legs back. Early in the year, he did a great job defending the rim and blocking shots. He went into a lull there for a little while, but I think he has got his legs back. He is contesting shots well again.”
You got what you wanted on the boards tonight, but could you just not take advantage of it?
“Yes, that has been the story the last six games, just getting shots to go down for us.”
Speaking about the defense, you guys only had two steals. What do you think caused that?
“They are a very good screening team. The offense they run, they move a blocker, they do a good job laying bodies on people, and chipping you off so you can’t get in those passing lanes.”
FRESHMAN CENTER Daniel Miller
What is it like playing 30 plus minutes in an ACC game?
“Sometimes it is tiring, but it is exciting. But I am enjoying playing a lot and getting this experience. It’s tough sometimes, but at the same time I love it.”
FRESHMAN GUARD Jason Morris
Do you feel yourself getting more confident out there?
“I am feeling more comfortable. I am definitely not satisfied, and not close to being satisfied with where I am at. I feel I am taking small steps in the right direction though.”
VIRGINIA COACH TONY BENNETT
“Hard-fought win, the guys made enough big shots down the stretch and came up with some rebounds to come away with a good victory for us. I thought we started the game out flat. Defensively, we did not have the kind of ball pressure and the ability to keep people off of the glass and pursue rebounds. We were stretched out. I thought we were at times impatient early and I did not like how the game was going but then we reeled it in I think the last five minutes of the first half and then had a solid second half. Again, you’ve got to make some big shots, you’ve got to make some free throws. Still a little frustrated, we had a nine point lead, and Jontel [Evans] could have run the baseline, he stayed in the spot, we turned it over and then they got two quick buckets. That hurt, but they had enough presence of mind to rally from that and again, hit a big shot, hit some free throws, and come up with some stops.”
On Joe Harris’s late three-pointer
“As a shooter, you cannot, if it is a rhythm shot and a good shot you have to take it unless we have someone else wide open underneath the hoop or the ball slips, but you have to take that. That was at the end of the shot clock and I was glad to see him really step up and knock it down as did Sammy [Zeglinski] and Mu[stapha Farrakhan] late because Joe has had a couple of those shots late in games and either didn’t shoot them or had not hit them and this time he did. Hopefully he grew up right before of our eyes.”
On switching to a zone defense late in the game
“They were running [Iman] Shumpert along the baseline and it looked like Mu[stapha Farakhan] was getting further and further away from him as the game was wearing on and I thought just maybe, maybe, if they are keying on him, and get them maybe to stand and we can just pass him off on that baseline runner stuff, it might be effective. There was 14 or 15 seconds left on the shot clock, I thought we will just see. They are going to draw up a man-to-man play, we haven’t played any zone all year and so we did it. You know what, it was okay, and I think I did it probably six or seven possessions and then pulled it on and off. I think it was effective for us because they certainly missed some shots, but they stood. We worked on it just enough to be okay, nothing great, but I thought it was enough of a change of pace.”
On his team settling for jump shots early in the game
“I thought early, you know Georgia Tech actually had a good game plan against us, they switched off on our ball screens and we got a lot of looks early but they weren’t hitting and we were really staying on that three-point line. I don’t mind it if it is after penetrations into the lane but we really challenged our guys to get it into the lane and either make the play or make the next pass. So the second half I thought that improved a lot with some good tough plays, and a couple of nice plays. The one Assane [Sene] grabbed, there was a little more at the rim in the lane that led to some nice shots out of it.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC