March 10, 2007
VIRGINIA TECH Quotes
I'm really proud of our basketball team, and obviously I watched the Wake Forest game last night and it's amazing the level of play, how hard and how well they played last night. To leave at one o'clock in the morning and have to turn around and play a game 20 hours later is probably just a monumental task, but those kids last night played so hard and so well, and executed so well, and made so many big shots. It's a credit to them and their toughness and their focus.
Our basketball team, we have a special group of young people. Every time you think they're knocked down they just find a way to pick themselves up and find a way to make a play or win a game, and we're really just proud of them. To take care of the basket, not to make a turnover in the second half, just tells you a little bit about who they are. I thought the game was won in the second half, I thought we really just guarded. We did a great job of containing the ball in transition. We did a better job of defending the post early, we didn't get split and we were extremely unselfish, and I don't know how many times we made the extra pass. It was a great team win and it gives us something, actually another milestone. As we transitioned into this league, whether it was the first win at Cameron or the Smith Center, or getting a bye, or beating BC (Boston College) for the first time now, these guys have a chance to enjoy their first ACC Tournament victory and have an opportunity to play on Saturday, so that's pretty exciting and I couldn't be more proud. More importantly I couldn't be happier for them because they've really persevered and that's kind of what it's all about.
On winning at the ACC Tournament:
It means a lot for our team, especially for our program to get a win and cross that hump. We really don't want to settle for getting one win. We lost two games to NC State ... we got something to prove tomorrow, we're trying to get to the championship game and trying to be in until Sunday, but I thought that win kind of helped our program get across the hump.
On playing against Ishmael Smith:
I think we're a great team in transition defense. They were trying to penetrate, so me and Zabian (Dowdell) and Deron (Washington), just getting in front of him, making him make a tough pass because we saw last night he was just killing Georgia Tech by getting to the rim, dropping off of (Kyle) Visser. Coach told the big man not to help up, and leave all the responsibility on the guards and we stayed in front of him kind of tall, because he's shorter than us, just trying to make him take a tough shot and make tough passes.
On your play tonight:
I think it was a lot of confidence. The guards did a great job, Jamon (Gordon) did a great job. Found me in a good spot, they found me in transition, the open shots and I pretty much just took the shot with confidence and I just went out there trying to get that first win. We tried to get across the hump, like Jamon (Gordon) said, and get that first win and from that one on just try to keep on winning until the championship.
On playing N.C. State in upcoming game:
I think it's just making shots. I was terrible (in the previous game against NC State), I was missing shots all over the place. We've just got to play intense, play like today - just run, play good defense and I think the offense will take care of itself. When we play good defense we get fast break dunks, fast break jumpers. We just have to go out there and execute and we just have to go out there and win.
WAKE FOREST Coaches Quotes
I just want to give all the credit to Virginia Tech. I wish them good luck tomorrow night as well as in the NCAA Tournament. As far as Wake Forest tonight, actually you have to look at the one stat - that being points off turnovers. I think that really told the tale.
On Virginia Tech taking control in the second half:
They just did things better. Fatigue was not a factor.
On live ball turnovers:
They have the two top steal guys in the league in (Zabian) Dowdell and (Jamon) Gordon. It wasn't just tonight that we've had a problem with ball security. When we take care of the ball, we can be pretty efficient offensively and a pretty good basketball team. When we don't, we're not. Last night we had 17 turnovers in the first half. We cleaned it up in the second half plus the overtimes. Tonight we never did improve our ball handling and again, I think points off turnovers was a telling stat. Again, I think our turnovers were pretty "balanced".
On Deron Washington's impact in the second half:
He's a very good player. I think, in all candor, we made it a little bit easier for him because they shot a lot of layups and dunks off our turnovers. But again, they steal the ball. That's one of the things they do well, and they don't turn it over.
On Coleman Collins' early foul trouble:
Luckily I got a lot of them in foul trouble early in the first half. I thought he (Collins) played well in the second half. He's tough to get open on, he did a good job up front. You've got to give him a lot of credit for limiting my touches.
On Virginia Tech's defense:
I think a lot of those live ball turnovers came right at the top of the key. I know Washington got two easy dunks and Dowdell and Gordon in transition. When you're playing like that, you can't win games.
I think they just got into us. Coach always talks about pressure. Teams don't like pressure. It's true both ways, for us and for the other team. We got loose with the ball a little bit, myself also, and that leads to easy baskets.
On this game potentially being his last:
I hope it's not. When I was sitting on the bench, thinking that this could be the last time I wear the uniform, it's...I don't know...I hope it's not. It's out of our hands now.