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March 18, 2010
DENNIS KRAUSE: Joining us now Georgia Tech student-athletes Iman Shumpert, D'Andre Bell and Gani Lawal.
Q. Iman, how much family do you have up here?
IMAN SHUMPERT: I don't have any family in Milwaukee, but at least none that I know of. But a lot of people from Chicago are coming straight over.
Q. Do you know how many?
IMAN SHUMPERT: I don't know the exact number. But it's a lot, though.
Q. D'Andre, I know you guys have given up your cell phones for the tournament, for the post season, what's it like to go without a cell phone and how is it working?
D'ANDRE BELL: It can be very tough. I mean, we were in a technology-driven world. We're very used to Internet and just all the functions of a PDA. So it's tough. But I like it a lot, just not having my phone ring every two seconds and just being with my teammates.
Q. How does it change your behavior? How does it change the way you interact with your teammates?
D'ANDRE BELL: Doesn't necessarily change that. It's just more focus. Everyone's their own person. We're just able to focus more on one another and our goals.
Q. Can you fill me in a little bit on the cell phones? Is this a tournament-wide thing that you guys aren't going to use them? When was the last time you were on your cell phone and when is the next time you can use it?
D'ANDRE BELL: It's just for the tournaments. That's the only time we've done it. The ACC tournament, the beginning of the tournament we turned it in. After the first practice. And we've turned it in after today's practice.
Q. When will you get it back?
D'ANDRE BELL: When the tournament is over.
Q. D'Andre, sometimes the teams who have gone four games in four days to get into the tournament don't stay very long in the big tournament. I don't know whether they feel like they've had their run or they're tired or they hit a better team or what. Do you guys feel like you still have another run in you and do you think or do you think you left the best part of your team back in Greensboro?
D'ANDRE BELL: I feel we have a lot more to accomplish and a lot more in us. We've definitely blossomed late and we have a lot more in the tank.
Q. After watching some film of Anderson, can you talk about the challenges he'll present defensively?
IMAN SHUMPERT: He's a really aggressive player. Always catching the ball, looking to score, looking to create for his teammates. So I just gotta basically make them protect the catch and keep them off balance at all times, even if I can keep the ball out of his hands. He's a really good player.
Q. A lot's been made of your guys' height versus their kind of speed and quickness. How does height play an advantage for you guys, and do you think you can wear them down a little bit with your size inside?
GANI LAWAL: Yeah, I think we can. Going into every game, that's our strong point, inside. And that's the way we try to approach it, inside out, work it out that way and get our guard shots and have that type of mindset.
Q. D'Andre, a follow-up questions on the cell phones. Whose idea was it to do it?
D'ANDRE BELL: Coach Hewitt suggested it and said we'd have a team meeting and decide as a team if we wanted to do it. So we all -- it wasn't a unanimous decision, but we all ended up doing it.
Q. How did you vote?
D'ANDRE BELL: I said yeah.
Q. How about the other guys on your team? How did they vote?
IMAN SHUMPERT: I voted to put it in. I gave it up.
GANI LAWAL: Nobody calls me anyway so it wasn't a big deal.
Q. When you and James Anderson played on the McDonald's team, were you on the same team or opposite?
GANI LAWAL: I can't remember. I just remember he hit a lot of shots in that game, like four 3s, but he's aggressive, can really score the ball. So I should have my eye on him at all times tomorrow.
Q. Gani, do you feel better about your team than a week ago going to Greensboro. There was obviously no guarantee you would get into the tournament when you were going to Carolina. Now that you're in it, has your opinion changed about the team or is it the same as all season?
GANI LAWAL: I feel better coming into Milwaukee, as I told you guys in Greensboro our effort was great, our defense was great. If we can keep our defense where it is we'll be in every game. That's all you can ask for, just to be in every game having four or five minutes to go and have a chance to win it. That's definitely our mindset coming into Milwaukee.
Q. Iman, what's been the added benefit of having Moe Miller come on the way he has the last few games, obviously hitting some of the big 3s that he hit in Greensboro? How has that helped you guys on the perimeter?
IMAN SHUMPERT: On the perimeter, Moe's the oldest, though he hasn't gotten a lot of time early on. When everything is just sort of going wrong, you can hear Moe's voice in the huddle. He's got the most experience. When he's out there on the perimeter, he's comfortable. You don't ever see him too frantic. He's always comfortable.
So I think just having his experience on the floor helps us with a lot of confidence on the perimeter.
Q. D'Andre or Gani, what do you think has been the biggest difference in Derrick over the last ten games and was there any kind of a turning point that you saw for him this season?
GANI LAWAL: I mean, with Derrick, I've said it all season, if he's on the floor he's going to dominate. There isn't a difference. If he's in foul trouble you can't dominate. So you just see him on the floor having a big impact. As you saw in the championship game, that's the types of things he can do night in, night out, blocking shots, rebounding, finishing strong, put-backs, everything, definitely makes life a lot easier having him on the floor than him sitting on the bench.
D'ANDRE BELL: I believe his confidence has grown and maturity. Experience, the more games he's played. He's gotten better game to game.
Q. When you watch video, does any other team come to mind that you've played as far as, I mean, they shoot a lot of 3s. They've tried about 30 a game in the last four games. Anybody else come to mind about how you might have to try to defend them?
IMAN SHUMPERT: No. They look pretty aggressive on the 3-point line. I don't think we've played a team that's --
D'ANDRE BELL: They're very unique, watching film. I've never seen a team really play the type of basketball they play. But it works for them.
Q. As in the way they move the ball to get those 3s you mean or what?
D'ANDRE BELL: The type of 3s they take, contested 3s, in transition 3s, whether the hand is in their face or not, it goes in for them.
IMAN SHUMPERT: I think that's the biggest thing about them, the confidence they have of shooting while a guy's in their face. That's the biggest thing.
DENNIS KRAUSE: Thank you. Questions for Coach Paul Hewitt.
Q. Coach, about the last time Georgia and Oklahoma State met, classic game, Final Four, San Antonio, memories of that game?
COACH HEWITT: Marvin Lewis making five 3s in the first half, first thing. Of course Will Bynum's shot at the end of the game. It was a great game, great college basketball game.
Q. Have you seen some different, what are the creative ways you've seen people try to stop Favors? And secondly, how do you keep a young man from getting rattled on a stage like this, do you worry about that with him?
COACH HEWITT: First, he's a guy that just doesn't get rattled. That's one of the impressive things about Derrick all year. We anticipate double teams. And I think you can definitely see that. It helps when our perimeter guys like Brian Oliver and Iman Shumpert knocking down shots, it helps us space the floor out.
But if we can keep Derrick out of foul trouble, he usually does a good job.
Q. If you look at your stats and wins and losses, your two big guys average just about the same number of points and rebounds. So where is the difference coming from?
COACH HEWITT: Turnovers. Turnovers, taking care of the basketball. When we do a good job in that area, then obviously we're getting more attempts. The other thing is defending that 3-point line. And obviously that's crucial for tomorrow's game against Oklahoma State, because they're a great 3-point shooting team, one of the better 3-point shooting teams we've seen all year. When we've struggled we've really allowed people to get going from 3.
Q. I know the cell phone thing went pretty well last week. Where did you get the idea, and how does it change behavior, and do you worry that some guys are carrying around a second cell phone?
COACH HEWITT: [Laughing]. That's a big question. Just something I thought about. You know, as far as just trying to get them to really focus more on the task at hand over the last weekend. No, I don't think anybody has a second cell phone. What was the other part of your question.
Q. How does it change the behavior?
COACH HEWITT: You just see them talking more. You see them interacting more. And I'm not sure how significant it is. I mean, maybe it helped last weekend, maybe it didn't. I feel better. Maybe it's just my paranoia, I feel better that they're talking to each other a lot more and really getting to know each other more.
Q. What about iPods?
COACH HEWITT: I can't take everything away, the technology age we're in here [laughing].
Q. So much was obviously made of James Anderson. But their, quote/unquote, big guys have done a pretty good job of shutting people down even though they're not as big as a lot of the guys they face and they won't be as big as your guys. What have you seen from them on film that could give you guys some trouble or that impresses you?
COACH HEWITT: They're very athletic. Bouncy guys. They can really finish strong around the basket. And the other thing, all of their players seem to be able to put the ball on the floor and attack off the dribble pretty well. Even Pilgrim and Moses, both of those guys seem to put the ball on the floor very well.
Q. Your thoughts on Oklahoma State's All-American player James Anderson?
COACH HEWITT: He's a great player. I've heard about him. I read about him during the season, but haven't watched watching tape on him, I'm not sure there's anything he -- there's nothing he can't do. He shoots the 3, go with the dribble, great from the foul line. The only thing I haven't seen him do consistently is post up. I'm sure if he needed to, he could do that, too.
Q. It's been said that there's no real team they can compare Oklahoma State to in terms of 3-point shooting, is there anyone they remind you of and how difficult is their 3-point shooting to defend?
COACH HEWITT: In terms of who? Oklahoma?
COACH HEWITT: They remind me of Duke, actually, in terms of how they shoot the basketball, and they run more sets than Duke. But both teams do a great job of screening for their shooters and creating space. But that's the team, when watching them, that's what I keep thinking about, Scheyer, Singler and Smith and how they shoot it; and these kids, Anderson and Page and Muonelo, all those guys shoot the ball very well.
Q. With you having a height advantage and with the teams having different strengths, can you talk about the importance of making the other team match up to you instead of vice versa?
COACH HEWITT: I anticipate they're going to change defenses. So when they change defenses, we've got to recognize it and still do what we have to do to get the ball inside to our bigs and play inside or attack off the dribble and get the ball to the paint.
Q. In the NCAA tournament, everybody talks about match-ups. But as Jimmy said, you're complete opposites. Does that benefit a team to play a smaller team or for them playing a bigger team or they're playing a smaller team, vice versa, does it benefit either team either way?
COACH HEWITT: Just play the game, we'll find out. We'll see. I'm sure a large part of who is successful is going to come down whose point guard play is better, in terms of guard play, who can take care of the tempo, get the ball inside or get the ball to their guys to where they want to get it.
DENNIS KRAUSE: Thank you.
End of FastScripts