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Maryland-Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: Maryland Athletics
Release: 01/04/2014

Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon

Opening Statement:

“I’m really pleased with the way we played. We just continue to get a little bit better. I can talk about a lot of things that went well. One was our post players played well and our post defense was really good. We didn’t always finish, but we had a presence down there. We played inside out, which was great and it carried over from the defensive end to the offensive end. We had 16 assists and six turnovers. That’s really good for us. Roddy [Peters] had five assists and no turnovers and that’s really great for him. His defense on [Trae] Golden was tremendous. We did a lot of things well. Guys played smart defensively. Our execution was better than it has been all year. Georgia Tech is a hard team to score against, and we got 77 today, so it’s good for us.”

On the team’s unselfishness:

“It’s a fight every day to get guys to pass the ball. We had a really good practice today. We really shared the ball, we executed and guys were having fun. It carried over. For the most part, our shot selection was better. We shot a few shots that led to layups for them, but our passing was better and our guys are looking for each other. Just having more offensive players on the floor, it makes us harder to guard. They key so hard on Jake [Layman] that it opens everything else up for us. The guys really shared the ball and it was good to see.”

On Nick Faust’s improved shooting:

“He got his release up higher, that’s number one. That happened right before Christmas. Then just getting away, and having one more scorer playing takes a lot of pressure off Nick. When you look at percentages, who are you going to let shoot. You’re going to let Nick shoot, but he’s knocking them down right now. I’m happy for him and really defended. He’s just under control. He’s so much better with the ball and not forcing things. He’s playing like a veteran guard should.”

On Shaq Cleare:

“I’m so happy for Shaq. When he hit that running hook at the start of the game, I looked over to [Coach] Spinelli and said, ‘wow, that was big time.’ It’s hard for Shaq. Most of the time Shaq’s chasing around a 6’7” skinny guy, and tonight he got to bang on a big kid. If you remember last year when Shaq played well, he was usually banging on a big body. Today he had a good matchup. He loves hitting and being physical. He got his offense going and he was much better. It really, really helped us.”

Sophomore Center Shaquille Cleare

On getting the first basket of the game:

“We needed that bucket to get the game going.  Coach [Turgeon] just told me to go in right away and make an impact and be aggressive from the get-go.”

On what he’s doing to handle the offense:

“It’s time for a change; I’m just working hard in practice, staying positive when things aren’t going my way.  Everything is going to fall into place for me, I just have to stay positive and work hard.”

On being more comfortable defending a player his size:

“It’s a lot easier; defense is one of our main things.  People scoring on me is really personal; [Daniel Miller] is not a smaller guy I have to chase around.  It’s just him and I one-on-one, it’s up to who is going to be the toughest guy.”

Junior Forward Evan Smotrycz

On if Coach Turgeon has changed anything he’s saying throughout the season:

“[Coach Turgeon] has been saying the same thing, coming back from Christmas break we wanted to think of it as a fresh start and ever since then we’ve really been playing tough on defense and I think that spurs our offense a little bit.”

On how they adjusted from the loss to Boston University:

“It was timely in the fact that we got to go home and reevaluate things and realize what we needed to bring and how we needed to bring it every day.  Ever since we came back guys have been playing hard for us and we have really good depth so we can wear teams down.”

On Shaq’s opening basket:

“That was a nice move -- big for him and big for us too.  He really got us going.  It’s good to play inside out.  When our bigs are scoring we’re tough to guard; if a team collapses on our bigs then we’ll knock down shots.  We have a lot of depth and guys just played really hard today.”

Junior Guard Nick Faust

On the team’s play of late:

“We’ve been playing really well lately and as a team we’ve really been concentrating a lot on defense so I really think that’s a reason why our offense is going so well, it’s because of our defensive pressure.”

On his role off the bench:

“Coming off the bench I can just bring a lot of energy. Me and Seth [Allen], coming off the bench, we’re a big spark for our team. We’re excited just coming off the bench and bringing a lot of energy.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory

Opening Statement:

“Give them credit, [it’s] a very eerie similarity to last year’s game at our place. Their post players played well. I think when you combine [Shaquille] Cleare and [Charles] Mitchell, I think it’s 14, 15 points and 12 or 13 rebounds. And last year, we had Daniel [Miller] play well. Last year we had a couple guys shoot the ball extremely well from the three, and that’s what happened this year for them. Similar games, unfortunately the wrong team played the same. Give them credit. They did a good job. Defensively they did a good job on us, and we weren’t as good defensively as you need to be on the road.  I think you’re starting to see the Maryland team that I think maybe was projected early in the year, with multiple players that can really hurt you offensively. And I think they’re a team that’s only going to keep getting better.”

On the loss:

“Anytime you play in this league, there’s going to be ebbs and flows to games, and you’ve got to be able to sustain your concentration during another team’s run. And I thought we did that early. I thought we hung in there and then got that thing back to five,  then let it slip those last five minutes. That was the most disappointing thing for me during that game. They’re going to have some runs and make some plays, they’re a high-quality team, but we gave up some threes, and I know three for sure in the first half that were just defensive mistakes. And their guys still have to make shots, so give them credit for making them.”

On Quinton Stephens and Kammeon Holsey:

“I thought Q [Quinton Stephens], for a freshman in his first ACC game, crawling into that situation did a lot of good things. He had six rebounds for us, 10 points, did some good things. He’s going to be a good player in this league. He’s going to be forced to maybe do some more stuff faster than maybe you’d like, but I think he’s capable of helping us. I thought Kamm [Kammeon Holsey] is Kamm; he did a good job. We’re going to have to keep evolving, obviously.”

On Dez Wells:

“Mark [Turgeon] asks him to do a lot of things, but sooner or later because of your intensity level and your energy level, a lot of good things are going to happen. He’s gotten to a point that even when he’s not playing as well, or maybe making some jump shots—I don’t know if he even made one jump shot tonight—he was a big key in that. He did a lot of good things. We got him in foul trouble because we were aggressive against him, but [Nick] Faust comes in and steps up and does a good job. Again, those guys are maturing a little bit.”

Senior Guard Trae Golden

On tough start of the game:

“It was tough. They hit a lot of three’s tonight. We didn’t guard the three’s very well and that’s definitely tough to overcome on the road.”

On adjusting without Robert Carter, Jr.:

“It’s a big adjustment. He is a big part of our team. We have to just prepare. Guys who step out [on the court] have to make shots and share the ball.”

On the conference loss:

“We didn’t play well as a team. We didn’t defend well. Some of our better guys didn’t shoot well. It’s a loss, but we have 18 or 19 more games. We just have to watch film and let it go.”

Sophomore Guard Marcus Georges-Hunt

On playing against Dez Wells:

“We are both aggressive scorers. We are both strong and physical. He’s a great player. I think it was a good matchup.”

On early troubles defensively:

“We didn’t communicate in the transition defense. They got a lot of open shots and knocked them down. They finished the game 53 percent from the three-point line. They shared the ball great and their defense talked on transition. That is how they got a lot of easy baskets.”

On first ACC game as a loss:

“We have to learn what we did wrong to play better and not give up. We have to stick together as a team and play each game. We have another game on Tuesday, so we just have to learn from this one. That is how we will play better moving forward.”



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