Josh Pastner praises Georgia Tech’s women’s team: ‘So good’

Following his team’s win over Clayton State on Sunday at McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner used his news conference to talk up counterpart Nell Fortner and the Yellow Jackets women’s team, which defeated No. 20 North Carolina earlier in the day at McCamish.

“I would recommend if anyone has not seen them play in person, you should see them play in person,” Pastner said. “I would recommend buying tickets, doing whatever you can do to support that program because they are so good. They lead the country in defense. Coach Fortner and her staff and her young ladies are just outstanding. They are really good.”

Said Pastner of Fortner: “What she’s done here – wow.”

The women’s team, ranked 18th, improved to 15-4 with the 55-38 win over the Tar Heels and appear headed for a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Pastner worked with many of the members of Fortner’s team prior to her hire in April 2019. With former coach MaChelle Joseph and her staff having been fired in March, there was no one to work the team out in offseason practice. Pastner volunteered.

Pastner has been touting the women’s team as having the potential to make the Final Four. (His own team, at 8-10, appears destined for an outcome short of the national semifinals.) As is his wont in saluting the coaches of upcoming opponents, Pastner suggested that someday Fortner’s name be added to that of Bobby Cremins on the McCamish court.

“She awfully deserves it, I tell you that, the way their program is,” Pastner said.

The women’s team plays its next game Thursday at home against Boston College. Pastner was typically effusive in expressing his gratitude, also thanking assistant athletic director John Tweedy for overseeing the staging of two games at McCamish in a seven-hour period and cheerleading coach Daniel Nester and band director Chris Moore for the support that their groups provided.

“Even the students that were there,” Pastner said. “Great energy by the students. Very appreciative of that.”

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