Brownell is first up at about the 10 minute mark. You can skip ahead using the bar at the bottom of the player. Transcript is below.
Yeah, coming off a really good win last night at Georgia Tech. Got off to a slow start. I thought Georgia Tech really played well the first 10-12 minutes of the game, had us on our heels a little bit. But Gabe DeVoe hit some big shots for us to kind of keep us in it against their zone, and our guys battled back and I thought showed a lot of grit and toughness. I think our defense really improved the longer the game went, and we managed to come away with a very nice road win in a difficult environment. So I’m proud of our guys. Obviously, we’re still kind of trying to figure out how to play without Donte Grantham, but hopefully we made some strides with the win last night at Georgia Tech.
Is being 5-1 in games decided by 5 points or less a function of your experience, guys like DeVoe?
To be honest with you, I don’t know what it’s a function of. Last year we had an older team, and we lost all those games. I don’t know if I got smarter or our players got better. To be honest with you, I think some of it’s just basketball. Sometimes things happen for you—guys make a big shot, miss a big shot. I think some of it’s momentum that comes from winning some games or losing some games that sometimes just feel like things aren’t going your way. Certainly, I think us having older perimeter players helps in terms of our guys not being afraid or having courage to make big shots or big plays, get stops when you need it—especially on the road. But, to be honest with you, I’m not sure because last year we had an older team and didn’t win very many games down the stretch in close games, and this year we won a few.
On strength of ACC last few years:
Yeah, I don’t think there’s any question in the last 3 years it’s gotten tougher and tougher. And I think some of that’s because some of the schools that aren’t the name brand schools in our league continue to get better. And it’s added depth to our league. You know, the name brand schools have always been good, they’re always gonna be good. But now, the quality of depth you see at a lot of places…a lot of places are really trying to make more of a commitment to basketball. I think guys get into their job and get set and hopefully do some good things. But there’s no question that the last couple, three years, there’s just a lot of really good players at each school and there’s a lot of really good coaches in this league. And I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future. I think it’s really hard to win in this league. Consistently win.
Overall impressions of Georgia Tech:
I think they’re good. Josh Okogie is one of the best players in our league and was las year as a freshman. Certainly hasn’t done anything to change that. You know, I’ve always been a big fan of Ben Lammers. I think he does a lot of little things that go into winning, that are more than just points and rebounding and blocked shots. I think he just has a presence about him that is really good. I was really impressed with Alvarado. First time I’ve seen him live. His speed and quickness were really good. I thought he played the game with really good poise. You know, we were fortunate in a lot of ways to win the game. I thought our guys hung in there pretty good, but it was certainly a back-and-forth, evenly played game, and we just happened to make one more play at the end. So I was very impressed with their team. I think it’s hard when you have to start like Josh had to start, with guys being hurt. There’s a rhythm that has to come from your guys in play, and I think that’s really hard. You know, you get off to a tough start the way they did. I think they’re battling back. And obviously they always play great at home, like most teams, but I think they’re very well-equipped to do well.
On Donnal's status:
Yeah, he took a shot to the head yesterday late in the game right there at the end, and I think he’s gonna go under concussion protocol stuff today and take a look. Probably won’t know until later today whether he’ll be available for the game or not.
On schedule preparing for quick turnaround with UNC:
We won’t do much physically at all today. We’ll do some film work, and we’ll walk through a few things. Maybe shoot a little bit and talk about offensive and defensive keys, and what we need to do. And we’ll meet a little bit and then have a game day shoot around to try to tighten some things up. But obviously it’s a difficult turnaround for us. A team that we’ve had a hard time playing with lately, so we’ve gotta figure some things out and need a real good mental preparation day to get ready to go for tomorrow night’s game.
On Virginia’s defense:
I think it all goes together, and that’s why it’s really good. There’s a lot of people that play the pack line defense, but nobody that really plays the pack line defense and then plays offense the way that Tony plays, and so I think it’s a combination. Number one, if you don’t give Tony Bennett, his staff and players the credit for the way they do things, you’re sadly mistaken because they just don’t make very many mistakes. They do what they do, they do it extremely well at an elite level. They have very good individual defenders to go along with they way they play their team defense. They’re physical, they’re smart, they’re tough. But then you put that together with an offense that is a grinding offense that wears you down physically on that end too, and you know long possessions during a game and not many possessions in the game. Everything just fits together and makes it hard. You have to be unbelievably efficient to beat them. You have to really out-execute them because the game just doesn’t get going up and down much to where you get many easy baskets. And obviously I think it’s a very smart way to do things, and it’s proved to be successful for Tony and Virginia.