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March 6, 2018

Jim Christian

Nik Popovic

Ky Bowman

New York, New York

Boston College - 87, Georgia Tech - 77

JIM CHRISTIAN: I was really proud with our defensive effort today. I thought for 40 minutes, maybe up until the last two minutes, one of our better defensive efforts. Guys were locked in on the game plan, really making it difficult for them to get to the basket. And then obviously offensively, if we can go 2 for 14 from three and win the game, we played a really good floor game today. That's what gave us a chance. That's usually not our MO, so I know we'll shoot the ball better in this tournament, and we're happy to move on. We're lucky enough to play another day.

Q. Ky, we all know how this ended for you last year, but I never asked you, how much did that drive you to get back here this year?
KY BOWMAN: I knew my opportunity was going to come around again, so just being able to come here again and play again was a great feeling for me, but being able to get back on the court with my teammates was even better.

Q. At the same time, can you just talk about the number of ways he impacted this game, whether it was with his play making at the end of the first half, the and-ones in the middle of the second half, and even with eight turnovers?
JIM CHRISTIAN: Yeah, the turnovers sometimes, they're just plays he's just going to grow from, but he's got the ball a lot, so we depend on him to do a lot of things. It's running our offense, it's being the point of our defense, it's rebounding the basketball, leading the break. The one thing we did our guards rebounded the ball again today and we were able to get out and run. When we're able to get out and run we can make plays on the break and that's the difference with our team. We have to get stops, we have to rebound, and then we have to attack. And when we get another guy, an additional guy to Jordan, Ky and Jerome, today Niko played phenomenal, maybe the best game he's played since he's been here. When we can get that other guy to step up, we become a really good team.

Q. Nik, what has happened with your game over the last month? You've become so much more efficient. What has changed for you?
NIK POPOVIC: My guards, like my teammates find a way to feed me all the time. Sometimes it's like I waste balls sometimes. Not this game I didn't. So I do a good job recognizing when I have a good day, and they open up shots for me.

Q. I know the game just ended, but you play NC State tomorrow, a team that plays up tempo and very fast. Do you think getting this win helps you today? Do you think that might hurt that you have to play two games back to back like that?
KY BOWMAN: I think with us playing today, it just builds off of this. We can just build confidence going into the next game. It's just going to help us. Our strategy to win the next game should be higher.

NIK POPOVIC: Yeah, definitely. We know the weaknesses from the last game, so it should be better this time.

Q. You talked about this was one of your better defensive performances. Georgia Tech started out 2 of 10 but 0 of 5 from three-point land. Did you try to force them outside of the arc?
JIM CHRISTIAN: No, we just do what we always do, and just be aware of certain guys. I think it was more important for us to take away the drives and some of their basket cuts than it was to -- if they're going to beat us from three, they're going to beat us from three. But it changes every night who you play, and you can't just play one way in this league, the teams are too good. And they adjusted and they attacked us I thought in the second half much better than they did in the first half. Then we had to execute on the offensive end, which I thought we did until maybe the last two minutes where we had a couple mistakes against the pressure. I thought we executed very well all day.

Q. Jim, you guys were up by 19 with about six and a half minutes to go. What happened at that point? Did they just turn it on or did you guys get a little sloppy?
JIM CHRISTIAN: I think it was both. I thought we stopped guarding, and we started giving up lay-ups. If you give up lay-ups they're going to get back in the game. We made a couple mistakes turnover wise, but it happens. Guys will just keep playing. It's going to be like that the whole way. They're not going to go down easily in March, nobody is. So it's really not one way or the other, it's a combination really.

Q. Did you ever feel like the lead was threatened or did you feel like you still had it under control all the way?
KY BOWMAN: I felt like we still had it under control. They were picking up pressure. We know in the ACC tournament everybody is going to make a good run, so they made a good run on us so we just had to bounce back from it.

Q. Ky, you seemed very free, loose, play making out there today. Why were you able to be so successful?
KY BOWMAN: Just last year this opportunity I had, I wasn't able to play the second half with my team, so this year was even a better feeling for me to get out there and play a game with my teammates.

Q. About 24 hours until you tip off again. What is that preparation like moving forward?
JIM CHRISTIAN: My preparation probably begins in about 20 seconds. Their preparation doesn't begin until we meet with them later -- get off their legs, rest, enjoy this win, until we meet and talk about NC State. But this is an important time to enjoy. I want these guys to enjoy it, and then we'll start getting ready right away. We've already played them once. We know a lot of stuff that they do. We know how they're going to attack us in certain ways, and we'll be prepared and ready to go, but really it's about rest right now.

Q. Given the way that Ben Lammers finished the season playing a little healthier, and also the way he played against you, were you braced for a full dose of him?
JIM CHRISTIAN: Well, if you looked at how he played coming down the stretch at the last five games, he got back to maybe the way he was at the old. They played him at the 5 a lot more where he's a little more comfortable. And he's a huge piece, so he was a real big focal point of ours. It was the majority of our preparation in this game was to try to take him off certain spots of the floor. He's so effective and such a good player. That was really the focal point of our preparation in playing them.

Q. You talked a little bit about just the importance of you guys wanting to make a run in this tournament. This is obviously the first step, but it's a big one.
JIM CHRISTIAN: It's always the hardest step. The first game is always the hardest to play. Kids are excited. They're a little bit nervous in a good way because for the first time we're actually trying to win games. They're fighting for their season, as was Georgia Tech. It's rewarding for everybody that we're fortunate enough to play the next night, or afternoon.

Q. Nik, Ben Lammers has played 40 minutes. As a big guy, can you kind of appreciate that sort of effort that goes into playing that many minutes?
NIK POPOVIC: I mean, yes, and I certainly know that he didn't play his best game, because I played him before, and I know this wasn't his best game for sure. I mean, he played 40 minutes, and that was a lot. I mean, even it's a lot for me, so I don't know how he handled playing a 40-minute game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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