Monday, January 09, 2006

Hoops - Interesting Quotes after the BC Game

Some interesting quotes from last night's game. First from BC head Coach Al Skinner:

Georgia Tech did a good job of taking it to us physically, particularly in the first 20 minutes. We didn't respond particularly well, I didn't think. In the second half, I thought we did a better job with that. They worked their tails off, they rebounded the crap out of the basketball and they hustled and I thought they played a great ball game. They had a couple of guys who made some shots, some three point shots as the shot clock is winding down and that makes it tough to win. In saying that, though, we had an opportunity and we've just got to capitalize on those opportunities."

I think "rebounding the crap out of the basketball" is a trend we would like to continue.

From Coach Hewitt:

Jeremis Smith played the second half with a recurrence of back spasms that he had about 10 days ago. That's one of the reasons why I didn't take him out of the game. I wanted to take him out a couple of times but I was afraid it would tighten up.

There have been a lot of quotes in recent articles about "defining moments" and "turning points", like there is some magic moment when something clicks in a player's head, or the team turns a corner, or suddenly he or "they" "get it".

Paul Hewitt on Zam Fredrick:

You never know what's going to spark someone and be a defining moment. Hopefully that's the one that will propel him to better shooting. I think his play has been good. His defense has improved and he's running the club better. He's been a good shooter all his life, and who knows, maybe this is the one that turns it around for him.

There has been talk of turning point games, turning point shots, etc. I think the BC game proves that the only way to win is to have 40 minutes of "turning points". Was Buck's shot the turning point for the team? No - it was the previous 39 minutes of hard play. Was it Buck's personal turning point - I guess it might be. We'll just have to see.

So evidently J-Smith is the emotional leader of this team.

"I told the guys last week after we beat Vanderbilt to just calm down. You can’t have that swagger,", Jeremis Smith said.

"I told the AJC after the Vanderbilt game to ask me after the Boston College game if I was happy, so now we're going to have a swagger about our self, but we're not going to stop there. We have to keep on working in practice, keep listening to coach [Paul] Hewitt, who's a great coach, and the coaching staff. We have plenty of teams left, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, UNC, so we still have a crazy schedule ahead of us so we have to keep it up."

"Today, we can have a little swagger about ourselves," Smith said. "We've been saying since the beginning of the season that we were going to be a good team. But we're just getting to the place where our expectations were."

Evidently Smith has really become the serious on-court leader of this team, and he's just as serious mentally as he appears while playing:

All Anthony Morrow wanted out of Georgia Tech teammate Jeremis Smith was a smile.

So Morrow jumped on Smith's back and applied a mock headlock after Sunday's 60-58 victory over No. 11 Boston College. He wasn't about to let Smith, who scolded teammates for celebrating last week's win against Vanderbilt, put a damper on the victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

"He's a pretty serious guy," Morrow said of Smith. "We call him little coach Hewitt. He's pretty intense."

However, let's not kid ourselves on who the real leader of the team is - Coach Hewitt:

"He [Paul Hewitt] breaks things down so much to let us know that no matter who we play, if we play them the right way, it shouldn't be a surprise that we beat them. Play with a high level of energy, play hard, box out and rebound."

BC's Tyrese Rice on the loss:

"It's going to be payback," Rice said. "We have to get them when they come to our place."

Oh, by the way, here are Craig Smith's comments after beating UMass just prior to the GT game:

"We are ready to roll and see what this ACC is all about," said preseason
All-American Craig Smith, who yesterday was named ACC Player of the Week. "We
got one 'L' which we should have won and that's behind us. We are ready to roll
in ACC play."

Here were Al Skinner's comments after beating UMass:

"This is a different team that played against Maryland," said Skinner. "It's clear that we're improving. If we're gonna have success in this league we're gonna need to get better. The real season is about to start."

Wow, I guess we beat BC at their best then. Must be a different Tech team as well.

See Jeremis Smith and Paul Hewitt talk to FSN after the game - link here.