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"There's not a lot to say guys. That was just a butt-kicking, that's what it was. At the half, I was just dumbfounded. I thought we would really come out and play with some intensity and take care of the basketball. We've gotten killed down here in the past by turnovers and we turned it over three of the first five possessions. Take those guys out, the next group comes in and we do pretty well and we struggle around and have a 9-0 run or whatever it was before the half. And then we then came out lifeless again.
"I've got to do a better job of getting my kids to act like it means something to them. I just have to do a better job because we didn't execute, we missed layups, and missed free throws. I don't think I have ever had a game where we missed as many layups, but give Georgia Tech some credit there. It's not just our missing layups - they challenged around the goal. I think four times we got the rebound and had it stripped. They were so much more aggressive than we were and I've got to figure out a way to get our guys to be more aggressive, be more intense, act like it means something to them."
Is it anything about their style that's caused you to lose to the Yellow Jackets four straight times?
"I guess if I had to sit back and think about it, we have turned the ball over a lot against them. And to me it seems like they're making a lot more shots against us than anybody else, and maybe it's poor defense. You look at our club and say we should have an advantage in the lane and then they score 38-22 in the lane. It's not just their big guys - it's their whole team, driving the ball to the basket. Seven seconds on the shot clock and we let a guy drive all the way to the basket. It's got to mean more to us."
Is there anything you can do when someone like Shumpert starts feeling it like he did tonight?
"Well, we tried to - we switched Larry on him early in the second half because Larry was doing a better job on him, but Iman has played great. I tried to recruit the dickens out of him. I think that is two games that he has had like 30 against us; he sees us and his eyes light up, I guess. We tried to do a couple of things in the second half but we didn't execute those. From a coaching standpoint, yes, we felt like we wanted to do something. We were going to double team him on the catch and the first time we try, we don't go in and double."
Do you think your team came in overconfident?
"No. We just didn't come in frickin' ready to play. Overconfident? How the crap ... I'm mad at the world. We stunk. My coaching stunk and we stunk. I'm tired of saying we've got to build confidence. It's easy to build confidence, by God, play better, then you will get some confidence. We're not overconfident, we just weren't as intense as we needed to be to start the basketball game."
What do you have to do to get more production out of your post players?
"I've got to become a better coach - I can't answer your question. I'm beside myself right now. I'd like to give you a great answer and be very helpful, but I'm beside myself right now. This is the third straight game we walked through the motions and we were fortunate enough twice in a row to come from behind and I thought we were going to tonight. I thought at halftime we were lucky to just be down one - we shot 33 percent in the half and were down one. Then they showed me, shooting 20 percent in the second half. ... If you watched the game tonight, one of the biggest problem we had was passing and catching - that's pretty elementary. You've got to look the ball into your hands ... I've got to become a better coach really quickly."
Is there a particular reason you swap the full five players in substituting?
"It didn't work today, but it worked the first time because the other five guys did really well. In fact, when the other five guys came in, Tech didn't score. It was stupid of me, I should have left them in there."
What was the reason the team had such difficulty scoring down low?
"Some of it was just how active they were. It was tough to be able to just take one dribble ... either one dribble or to be able to go up with a move. They have very active hands and it was a very tough game."
Did you feel you were going to come back?
"Yeah. At halftime usually there is something that we change to get better and tonight we made those changes and we didn't come out with the enthusiasm and intensity that we needed."
How frustrated is this group in this room?
“Very. That is a good team, but we should never lose by 20 to them. That is something that we have to find a way to fix."
On the first and second teams -
“It is something that when they come in we hope they can give us a lift. But at the same time, when we are taken out like that we know that we didn’t do something that we were supposed to and it is something that we need to fix."
How do you personally turn it around for the next game?
“It is one of those things that I know I have to go home and ... I didn’t feel in rhythm at all tonight and I have to be able to go in and fix that. Then I have to be able to get my intensity up.”
Were you confident that another comeback was on the horizon?
“I felt like we would, but tonight is a classic example of showing us that we can’t always come back. We just need to play better and come out with a lot more intensity than we had."
Did you have a sense of ‘here we go again’ as you fell behind early?
- “It is mostly just staying poised. I feel like sometimes we get down and we lose our composure and our offense starts getting sporadic and then we don’t play good defense so I think it is a chain of events that we can’t let happen."
Why did it seem so hard to find good shots?
“I think it is just staying poised and running what we run. When we get down we get into panic mentality of ‘we need to score quickly - we need to score in bunches and try to get back in the game.’ I think that if we just do what we need to do and try to work the ball and work the 35 seconds on the clock, we’ll get easy shots.”
Glad to have the next game just two days from now?
“It feels good. We just have a lot to learn from this. I’m sure we’ll use that time wisely.”
Did you guys think you were going to make another comeback tonight?
“I would say yes. We do have a confidence on this team that if we go down we can come back. It’s just that we shouldn’t always be down and have to come back up I feel. It’s just that guys as a team need to play harder from the get go and not make mistakes early on so that we are not down and we don’t have to come back.”
What is the cure then?
“Honestly, I mean guys have just got to play harder from the get. We can’t expect Coach to be just flipping out, getting mad, getting angry just to motivate us to go out there an play hard, we should have that in ourselves.”
On encouraging Kendall Marshall:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kendall. Anybody coming in here, like Dexter last year playing the point guard. You know, Dexter didn’t play point guard in high school and then having to come into a role like this and play point guard it is extremely challenging. So, anytime I see Kendall out there or Dexter making good plays then I feel great. Not only because he is doing well, but because it is helping our team and I just want to win."
Why did the team have such trouble feeding the post tonight?
“They were just aggressive. They gamble a lot as a defense. As a whole they gamble a lot, but we just need to be stronger with the ball and make better entry passes and when the guys get the ball in there they need to be stronger with the ball - expect the double team and expect to be swiped at."
Are you ticked off right now because of this loss?
“I’m upset. It’s just that I’ve been through last year and if you were around last year, you’ve seen, you know. I can’t get too much lower than what happened last year. It is definitely disappointing. I am definitely upset, but I definitely know that Coach is going to get it straightened out."
Happy to be playing again in two days?
“Oh, yeah, definitely. We have a chance to get this taste out of our mouth and go out there and make up for what happened tonight.”
Did you expect another comeback with 10 minutes left?
“You know, I think that is the problem right now, in my opinion. Maybe we got too comfortable the past two games with ‘eventually we are going to come back.’ I think the main thing is that we have to come out from the beginning with that fire. We can’t let teams get these double digit leads on us every game in the first half.”
How much do you feel responsible to change things if they are going wrong when you come in?
“I won’t say I am responsible because it is a team effort, but I feel like I have to be a leader out there. If we see something that is wrong we have to correct it and none of us as a team did that."
Were you happy with the performance of the second-team unit in the first half?
“Not at all. We were down going into the half. I feel the only way we can be happy is if we are doing what we are supposed to do. We had a lot of mistakes - a lot of missed rebounds. We turned the ball over a lot. There are a lot of things we have to get better at."
How much information do you and Larry Drew exchange during games?
“I mean our whole team is tight. Me and Larry, since we are both point guards we have that connection to where we talk to each other. If we see something on the court while we are on the bench he’ll tell me or I’ll tell him. We are the coaches on the floor so we have to be able to communicate.”
What was the difficulty with the entry passes? Was it their defense?
“They did a great job of getting in the passing lanes. They were very active. Once they got up big they got a lot of confidence. On our side of the ball, we started to rush things. We started to make passes that we don’t normally make or aren’t a part of our offense. We got away from what we normally do well."
Where does this rank as far as losses you’ve experienced?
“By far the worst. College, you want to play well. It is another level."
Where does this loss rank for you?
“I’d probably rank it as the worst of the season. I don’t really think about last year a lot because it is last year. These are a whole different group of guys I am with now. We've just got to learn from it. We can’t have a snowball effect ... just learn from it and move forward and not make the same mistakes that we made tonight."
What were Shumpert and Rice doing to be so successful?
“Both of them are great players that got in the zone early. I think we just gave them too many open looks and too many shots in rhythm - shots that we could have got a hand up, could have made a difference. You never know. It’s just that they got in a rhythm early and when good players get it going like that it is hard to stop.”
You had a good block in the first half - did you think your team was about to take the momentum?
“That was just one play. At that time I thought we had picked up the intensity as a team going into halftime down one. I thought it was going to carry over. Give all credit to them though. We just have to learn from this and move forward."