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Listen to Audio (3:56)
"I feel very lucky. They had two shots at it at the end, and I thought that Tyler Hansbrough came across and did some nice things, maybe even blocked that one there at the end. It was a great effort, physically, by both teams. I told Paul that it was no consolation because I feel awfully lucky right now, but I do think that Tyler was really something else. He did a great job of focusing their defense on him, getting two or three people around him.
“We didn't get a very good night from some of our perimeter players with their movement. Guys that make some shots for us didn't make many of them tonight. Danny (Green) probably played his worst game of the year with some of the shots at the end that I didn't want him to take.
"And Danny and Tyler both missed free throws and they've been great free throw shooters over the year, so we do feel very very lucky. Georgia Tech, I feel for them because they've had some guys that they've been right there, but they just haven't been able to get over the hump. It was a really hard-fought basketball game by two teams and I have a great deal of respect for Paul (Hewitt) and his staff and their kids."
Why does Georgia Tech play so well against North Carolina at home?
"I thought they would play really well tonight regardless because, when you start out 0-2 on the road in this league and you come home, there is a sense of urgency I think that your kids really feel. And we get a lot of attention. It was in the paper this afternoon of James Forrest - is that the youngster that played so great against Carolina? I wasn't here, so I'm not trying to be disrespectful by not knowing his name - I was 1119 miles away at that point.
"But it says something for your program when, in the hometown newspaper, they talk about the wins that you had over another team several years ago, much less what they've done to us recently. So I knew that they'd be fired up, and I thought they would be fired up for anybody because this league is so difficult that you don't want to lose any home games for sure and especially after you've lost two in a row, you want to get a win - That's my guess."
Is it nice to finally get a win against Georgia Tech in Atlanta?
"Nobody on our staff has won here except me when I was an assistant, and that was 800 years ago. So there's no question that we talked trying to come down here and play better, being more competitive. I thought that, last year, they out-competed us in every single manner. Tonight, I thought that both teams were really competitive. When balls were on the floor, guys were after it. Guys were knocking each other down, but they were also picking each other up."
Is this a better blocking team than in years past?
"I was really mad early in the game because Quentin [Thomas] had a guy under the basket, it was a bigger guy, and he went right past him and laid it up. We had three other guys standing there buying a freaking ticket instead of getting involved, and we talked about that. You can't just stand there and say that it's not your man. You have to get involved and I thought that was the best thing that Georgia Tech did - they swarmed to Tyler and they swarmed to the ball and every shot that we took was contested.
“I thought that we let them have too many uncontested. I do think that Marcus [Ginyard] and Wayne [Ellington] really tried extremely hard on Bell, Clinch and Morrow as they were running around those screens, but Gani [Lawal] had six offensive rebounds in the first half and we had five, so I thought their big guys were kicking us in the first half."
Listen to Audio (1:36)
Thoughts on the victory:
“I think we’re lucky in a way, but also, we didn’t make shots towards the end of the game, which was frustrating for me, especially at the free throw line. It happens, and we’ll just keep looking forward to Maryland.”
It looked physical out there --
“Yes – my face really got beat up tonight. There was a lot of scrappy little plays where I got hit and bumped, and it was really, really rough.”
Listen to Audio (2:23)
On the team’s recent history at Georgia Tech:
“Yesterday at practice, we got in the huddle and we looked around and Coach [Williams] said, ‘There’s nobody here on this court that’s won at Georgia Tech.’ We all knew what we were coming into. We knew that we hadn’t won on this court since Coach Williams had been back, so it’s that much more special for us.”
On winning two close ACC games:
“I think at the right time, this team is coming up with that extra push, that extra effort that’s put us over the top. I just think that last year at this time we weren’t coming up with those extra effort plays, so that just speaks about this team’s heart and this team’s drive.”
Listen to Audio (2:10)
On if he felt pressure on the last two free throws:
“I didn’t think so, but next time hopefully I’ll make them. I didn’t make it, so I guess it seemed like there was a lot of pressure. There will come another time when I’m in that situation again, and hopefully I’ll come up big and make the free throws.”
On winning two close games this ACC season:
“It says we’ve matured a lot since last year. In a situation like this, we could have folded. It might have come down to the wire and we could have lost. We lost a couple of these games last year. I think since last year we’ve matured a lot more, and we’ve grown as a team, so we’re coming out with wins now.”