What Josh Pastner Said After Georgia Tech's 68-64 Loss To Louisville
First off I want give a lot of credit to Louisville and Coach Mack and their staff and their team. It’s a great basketball team, they're very well coached. I had said back in the preseason before ACC Media Day that I think there they got a great chance, and actually would be surprised if they don't get to Atlanta. I think there are really good basketball team and they're very, very well coached. Coach Mack’s one of the best coaches in the country, and both offensively and defensively he's been an extremely successful for a very, very long time. So they're a great basketball team. You know, our guys have fought, kicked, clawed, battled as hard as we could. All you can ask for is a shot to tie or win the game late. We had two opportunities and neither fell. I wanted Michael Devoe, I wanted to go for the win at the end there. He had a good look and he shot that 50,000 times in practice. It looked good when it released his hands, it just rimmed out. Obviously we've had an issue with turnovers and the offensive rebounds have hurt us. Today was the same thing. We had 17 turnovers and we gave up 14 offensive rebounds That’s 31 extra possessions. They had 28 points off those two [factors], and that's the difference in the game there. But as I told the postgame radio, we have gotten a lot better. We are a way better team than where we started the beginning of the year. We have continued to get better. Unfortunately, in sports, it's a scoreboard game and it's a win/loss game. Unfortunately we have not had the results go our way to show that we have gotten better based on wins and losses. But from my chair, I know our guys have gotten better. They've improved. They give me everything they have and that's all I can ask for. We've got to keep competing and fighting and getting better. Life in the ACC, as I said many times, you can play really well and still lose. And that happened tonight. [We had] a big play in the second half, we were ready to maybe even stretch the lead. Jose Alvarado had that three right in front of our bench that literally went in the hoop and popped out. That could have been such a swing play there. That's the way the ball bounces. Sometimes the ball hasn’t bounced our way.
On rebounding in the game:
We rebounded well, but the issue was that they had 14 offensive rebounds and we had to do a better job in our post defense. Both [Steven] Enoch and [Malik] Williams got deeper, and James [Banks III] & Moses [Wright] have to a better job of three quartering. But they got some key offensive rebounds in those late situations and they had 15 points off their second chances on that and then 13 points off of our turnovers. But take the offensive rebounding out of it, it's our turnovers. That's just been an Achilles heel for us. We are doing everything humanly possible that you can think of to try to correct and solve that problem. And we've improved offensively, like we are a way better offensive team, but our turnovers have just kicked us in the rear. That’s just been an Achilles heel of ours. And we’ll have to keep trying to get better at that. Besides that, our team has gotten a lot better. Unfortunately, it just hasn't shown up in the win/loss column.
On why he thinks Louisville is a Final Four team:
I would like to give ourselves credit. I think we play hard. We compete. I think the way we do things offensively and defensively can be a hard match up for different teams. But I just think Louisville is really good. I think they're really talented. I think Coach Mack’s an excellent coach. I think he's one of the best coaches in the country. I think he's been to the Sweet 16 nine of the last eleven years. But I think he's one of the best coaches in the game. His teams always defend well, they always rebound well and they have a lot of talent. So I just think they’re a really good basketball team and they're very, very well coached.
On having Jose Alvarado guard Jordan Nwora:
Jose’s fight and toughness and he's one of our best defenders. He doesn't worry about giving up some size things. And he had 10 rebounds, 10 defensive rebounds. He played great defense. I mean, look, we held them 41% from the field at 30% from three. Again, the turnovers. They bit us in the rear. Just, goodness gracious. I just pull my hair out.
On David Johnson:
Well, I thought David Johnson vs. Duke was the best player on the floor, regardless of either team. Both Duke and Louisville, David Johnson was the best player in that game. And he's a really good player. I don't know how much he was playing prior to the Duke game. That goes to Louisville's depth. They've got they've got great depth. They can bring guys in off the bench and there's no drop off.
On getting bullied in the paint:
Yeah, we had some bad passes. There was one where Moses didn't meet the ball. He's got to give up the the position for the possession of the ball. And James, one where he threw a left hand over his right shoulder there. We're best when we’re able to drive and get to the paint. We need Moses and James to be able to handle the physicality a little bit better than they've had in the last two games.
On the late rally following a Louisville run:
I just told you guys we need to regroup. No time for the “woe is me” syndrome or play the victim game or the blame game. This is basketball. So suck it up. Tough it out. And let's just get a stop and one possession at a time. And we did that. Man, we had some chances. Mike threw that pass to Jose over his head for no reason, that would have been an easy 2. Moses missed 1/2 free throws and James missed one short.
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