And, listen, I thought last week, (in losses to) Virginia Tech and Virginia, we played well. We lost both games, but we played well. We really played well. When you watch the film, we really played well. We played hard. Just, they’re two good teams on the road.
And we had two good practices on Monday and Tuesday, and we cleaned some things up, paid attention to really small details on some things that we needed to get better at and the guys executed, and just a great win. Great win for Georgia Tech, for our young men and obviously for the recruits and for the fan base and all the loyal supporters. We had a great crowd tonight, just terrific, terrific crowd. Got a great home-court advantage with that. I saw President (G.P. “Bud”) Peterson there. He was about as fired up, he was ready to come in (the game). He was like one of the students, so it was great.
And that’s the first time since – right, Mike (Flynn)? 03-04 – that we’ve had two top-10 wins, Georgia Tech in the regular season, two top-10 wins, so that’s a good stat, and we’ll continue to get better.
Don’t ever forget the first game, when in the first exhibition game, we had to go to overtime to beat Shorter. We’ve come a long way. We’ve gotten a lot better, and we got lucky to win that game vs. Shorter, Division II, so we’ve come a long way, and in year one of a major rebuild job. This is another great win for us for people to see what we’re trying to do with the vision and what we’re trying to accomplish in the long term.”
On play of guards:
“Josh Heath, maybe as good as I’ve ever seen someone with zero points. 0-for-6, but he had five rebounds and six assists and one turnover. Big thing for me was guard rebounding. Josh Heath had three defensive rebounds, Corey Heyward five defensive rebounds, Justin Moore one, Tadric (Jackson) five. Those four guys right there, and Josh (Okogie) 11.
…I’ve always said guards rebounding is so important to successful teams and that’s important to me, and Josh “O” played really well today because he rebounded. Vs. Virginia, he had 13 points the first half. In the second half, he just tried to come out and ‘I just want to go score.’ He didn’t rebound and he wasn’t playing well. I told him, ‘How many plays did we call for you when we played Tulane and you had 38?’ I said, ‘How many plays did we call for you when we played North Carolina and you had 20?’ He said ‘none.’
I said, this offense is the open man is the go-to man. We’re not good enough where one guy can just put us on their shoulders and just win us a game. It’s, you just let things come to you. But it’s all through energy, all about energy and energy is about getting on the glass and paying attention to little details and making multiple effort plays, but everybody really played well.
Like Quinton Stephens didn’t have maybe the best of stat lines. He had some big 3’s for us, but he played so hard. I mean, the guy gives his body for this team. I mean, literally, gives his body for this team. Ben Lammers, another double-double and four assists, no turnovers, three blocks. Just everybody was good, and Corey Heyward,, I inserted him in the starting lineup and gave us great minutes. Very, very, very good team, team win for us.”
On Josh Okogie:
“First of all, he has gotten a lot better and I want to give a lot of credit to Brian Gregory and the previous staff for signing him. They deserve credit for signing him. Now, I think our assistant coaches deserve a lot of credit – not me, but the assistants – on getting him better. And then all the credit obviously goes to Josh for his improvement, his willingness to work, just the highest level of character of a young man, integrity – he’s just a winner. Obviously, credit goes to the previous staff, Coach Gregory and his staff for signing him and evaluating, the assistant coaches we’ve got for the continuation of the development, but then obviously for Josh ‘O’ for being willing to be so coachable and wanting to get better, and his work ethic’s tremendous.”