“Saturday was a good day for us. It was exactly opposite of the week before. We did some nice things, and Georgia Tech missed some shots that helped us, as opposed to last week when Maryland made plays. It’s been a tough year for Paul, with his kids being younger and their shots just not falling for them. But for about 25-30 minutes of the game, we were pretty doggone good. It feels good to have a win instead of a week off after a loss.
"Going to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night will be a huge challenge for us. It’s senior day… They’ve really got a good basketball club. They’re fighting for NCAA possibilities and they should be a NCAA team, in my mind, completely. But it will be a big challenge for us.”
On Danny Green:
“I think Danny’s really had a nice year for us. He’s had a couple of games that aren’t what we’ve wanted, but that happens with every player on every team. Very seldom do you have a guy that’s playing great basketball every single game. Danny gives us a shot blocker from the perimeter, not just a big guy who can block shots, but a secondary defender who can come across and block shots.
"He gives us an outside shooter who can really stretch a defense, and he gives us an offensive rebounder – I think he had two baskets on Saturday against Georgia Tech off offensive rebounds. So he gives us a lot of things, and he’s really having a good year for us. And I think he’s gotten better and better as the season’s gone along.”
What areas have you seen Green improve the most in?
“Well, this year, if you take away those two or three bad games, his decision making is so much better than it was in the past. His assist-to-error ratio is far, far superior to what it’s ever been. I think that’s the one area where he’s improved the most from last year to this year. In the other aspects of the game, I think he’s gotten better each and every year. His shooting percentage is better this year than it was last year, and I think a part of that is the decision making of which shots to take.”
On the strength of the ACC’s veteran players:
“I think the experience in the season is extremely important, and probably even more so, once you get into NCAA Tournament play. The focus that they not only have themselves, but that they can command from the other players, and the other players can feed off them and their focus. They’ve been there before and they’ve done it. I do think it adds a little extra level of stress that experienced players can handle more easily than other kids can.”
On Ed Davis:
“He gives us a shot blocking presence down there, he gives us a guy that can rebound the ball in a crowd and I think he’s gotten even better in both of those areas as he’s gotten used to the more athletic, bigger players that we’ve been playing. I also think through the course of the year that he’s gotten more comfortable making decisions with the ball.
"I’m going to guess that his assist-to-error ratio is probably better in ACC games than it was in nonconference games. You might think that it would not be because the competition level goes up, but I just think that his awareness of what’s going on is better now than it was earlier. And I do think he’s going to be a good passing big man… I think that’s one area that he’s gotten better in throughout the course of the year and he’s going to be a good offensive player, just at the current time, he’s a little further ahead in rebounding and defensively than he is on the offensive end.”
Some of the players on Saturday said they get an extra surge of energy when the calendar flips to March. Do you still feel that?
“Well, we’ll find out if those kids are being truthful come Wednesday night, won’t we? I think you have the dog days of the season… College basketball is a long season, but when you get down to March, the excitement builds again about how you’re going to finish. You’ve got a possibility of winning a championship, and certainly, you’ve got the possibility of making the tournament at certain levels. If you’ve been struggling throughout the course of the year, you’ve got the possibility of trying to get better right before the tournament starts so that you can have a great run in the tournament. So I think that everybody gets a little more excited.”