Brad Brownell's GT postgame comments
NOTE: Brownell comments start at the 5:00 mark
COACH BROWNELL: First of all, I want to thank those of you that are still here following us. Really proud of our team. Just found a way to win when we really weren’t playing as well as we needed to to win.
I thought Georgia Tech, give their kids a lot of credit, their coaches a lot of credit. They outcompeted us the first 20 minutes, really hurt us on the boards. Thought we were a little nervous offensively and turned the ball over a lot but settled into the game a little bit better and just tried to fight. Got down I think it was 49 40, got the guys into a timeout and somehow KJ and Rod kind of rallied them a little bit, Damarc kind of rallied our troops a little bit. We started to up our defense. I thought Damarc moving over to Golden helped us. His size I thought slowed some things down for them. And then we just found a way to get a few buckets and to find a way to win in overtime after we lost the lead was really special, especially since we’ve been in a couple of these kind of games last week.
Q. To both Coach and Damarcus. How difficult was it to bounce back after what happened against Pittsburgh? And, Brad, what does it say about your kids that they were able to, when things got tough at the end, bounce back and pull it out?
COACH BROWNELL: Yeah, the Pitt loss was a brutal one in a lot of ways. Obviously the inbounds play, the call at the end, questionable call at the end on whether it was good or not. But to be honest with you, we moved past it. We had a meeting on Sunday where we just talked about the regular season was over. And it was start of a new season and we needed to play our best basketball now.
We celebrated what we did during the season. We accomplished a lot. We did a lot more than people expected and really most of it was just doing what we did tonight. I don’t know that we’re more talented or better coached or anything else. I think we out tough people sometimes and find ways to win and that’s a great characteristic to talk about with your team.
DAMARCUS HARRISON: Like Coach said, we looked at it like it was a new season. It’s always great to be able to play another game after a loss like that. I think we, in the second half, we came out and competed better. It showed like we fought back against that loss against Pitt. We’re still in this thing to play a season and win the fight and win more games to have our goal to advance in March.
Q. Coach, KJ had a rough shooting night, 4 out of 15. First of all, what do you think kind of led to that, secondly, how did he do it to be able to overcome that and still have winning plays for you guys?
COACH BROWNELL: He is battling right now. He’s had a shoulder injury for about a week now, or two. Unfortunately, I think it’s progressively getting a little more problematic. We’re trying to rest him and do some things to help him with it. But there’s no question it’s bothering him. So I think that was part of it. I think you got to give the Georgia Tech coaches and players credit. We’ve played each other three times now. When you play each other this many times, I think you begin to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses. You know a lot of their plays and know what everybody’s trying to do and it makes it hard. It makes it harder to score. I think what needs to be pointed out is KJ found a way to get to the free throw line 11 times, get fouled, attack the basket, make ten free throws and still have 18 points and six rebounds without playing his best.
Q. Brad, there was a stretch with about six, seven minutes to go, you were down by six, Jaron Blossomgame scored six points. I think he had a steal and a rebound. Can you talk about that contribution and that stretch, how important it was to get back in the game?
COACH BROWNELL: I think it was critical. Jaron, he is a freshman who most people don’t know, Jaron, red shirt freshman, that broke his leg. He had the Kevin Ware injury the bone broke, came out of his leg. He had to have