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October 26, 2016

Quinton Stephens

Josh Heath

Charlotte, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Georgia Tech Quinton Stephens will be first, and Josh Heath will be second. Questions for Quinton.

Q. Just what you can say about your first impression of Coach Pastner, when he came in and what you took away from him?
QUINTON STEPHENS: Man, he came in and let us know he's a really energetic guy. He's going to demand excellence from everyone on the team and himself. He's going to do his best to make this team as good as it can get, and we're all going to do it together. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Sometimes change can be hard. Personally how have you been able to deal with this transition?
QUINTON STEPHENS: Well, I mean, with us having so much experience, I'd say last year, as far as leadership is concerned, there's definitely a new role for myself and my teammates. We have a core group. We were excited when the freshmen and the grad students joined us. So I'd say the experience is mainly understanding that everyone has their own personality, and I have to build that trust with each individual. That's been new for me.

Q. How would you describe your guys' pace of play this year? And what can we expect from Georgia Tech?
QUINTON STEPHENS: You're going to see a lot of downhill drives. We're trying to create gaps and really get to the free-throw line. We've got to maximize the versatility that we have on our team, and I think that would put us in a position for the most success.

Q. You guys lost a lot of scoring off last year's team. Does that mean you're going to be the one to step up or where are the points going to come from this year?
QUINTON STEPHENS: Well, I mean, if we consider the numbers, yeah, they have more minutes, so naturally there will be more scoring. So I think it just builds more opportunity for the other guys. Not only with myself, but guys like Josh, and Ben, and Tadric, and even the freshmen that come in. So really it's just opportunity, and we're looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.

Q. We asked this question earlier of another student-athlete, do you talk about leadership openly with your teammates? Do you talk about the style of leaders you're supposed to be? Is there a strategy that goes into leading a team?
QUINTON STEPHENS: Yeah, I think we all lead in different ways. We all have our own motivational preferences. Some guys you need to call out. Some guys you need to pull to the side and let them know what you think, let them know they're doing well. But I think there's a fine line. You don't want to be coaching them, you want to be more supportive. But, yeah, each and every one of us has a leadership role on this team.

Q. Can you describe Josh as a student-athlete?
QUINTON STEPHENS: He brings fun into the classroom and on the court. We have fun together. We have a couple classes together, actually, this leadership class that we're taking. And I noticed we both have it taken into consideration. And, yeah, we're both looking forward to our senior year and making the most of it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Josh Heath.

Q. Josh, just what you can say as well as your first impressions of Coach Pastner, and what you took away from him when he walked through the door and what he can mean to this team?
JOSH HEATH: Very determined, very demanding, definitely a hard worker, high energy, and just wants the best out of his guys at all times.

Q. What did you work on during the off-season to make your game better?
JOSH HEATH: Just tried to get in the gym, get a lot of shots up, get stronger in the weight room. And just continue to try and get in the best physical shape possible.

Q. You've had some health problems the last couple years. Are you healthy now? Has that kind of held you back from being what you've wanted to be so far?
JOSH HEATH: Yeah, I'm still in the process of getting completely healthy. I'm right around the corner, just got to continue to get stronger and just build my body back. In terms of holding me back, I wouldn't say that. But I definitely think that as I continue to get back completely healthy, I'll be able to be in better shape, play more, and play harder and sustain it for longer.

Q. You talk about being in the gym and putting up as many balls as you can. Is there a number? Obviously you're going to spend a certain amount of time in the gym, but do you have a number of balls that you want to put up in the air?
JOSH HEATH: Our coach wants us to get 1,000 makes up a week. So trying to meet that expectation or exceed it is really the number that drives me.

Q. Do you parcel that out? Do you say, if I make 200, okay, I can do 200 tomorrow? If you're fewer on one day, I guess you have to work harder the next day?
JOSH HEATH: Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly what it is. Just by the end of the week saying I made at least a thousand jump shots.

Q. The younger kids that are coming along, obviously Coach Pastner's going to build a different system, is there something about the new kids on the block that excites you or are there a couple guys we can expect to look for this season? Five new guys this year.
JOSH HEATH: Yeah, I think they all kind of fit Coach's system. They're fast, they play hard and they like to, you know, play in attack mode, try to get in the paint and make plays. That's kind of what Coach wants from us.

Q. Sometimes success can be hung on titles or championships. Do you have to win a title or a championship to call this a successful season?
JOSH HEATH: I think you definitely want to try to meet that goal. At the end of the day, if we go out there and play our hardest and do everything that Coach asks of us, I'll be satisfied with that. But, yeah, we definitely want to get into postseason play, for sure.

Q. "Legacy" is a really big word. If you're going to leave something behind at Georgia Tech after you walk off the floor for the first time, what do you think your legacy might be?
JOSH HEATH: It's kind of a new era for Georgia Tech basketball in terms of a new coach, a new coaching staff. And we've got some freshmen. So I think if me and Q and the other seniors can set good examples and in terms of just leadership, if the younger guys can see that and build off that as they continue to build the Georgia Tech program back, I think that I would be satisfied with leaving that kind of legacy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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