Coming off an impressive first season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets, Josh Pastner talked recruiting and development at a recent fundraising event.
While speaking to a crowd in downtown Rome, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year gave several points of insight into his style of recruiting and the process of building the culture of the basketball program.
“We have to do a perfect job in our evaluation of prospects,” Pastern said of the recruiting process. “We have to do a perfect job on our development once we get them here,” he continued. “We have a really good group of guys. We’re more talented that we were last year, but less experienced.”
Pastner said this year’s team will look to build on the defensive success of last season. “We were the sixth best team last year in defensive efficiency. We weren’t a good defensive team, we weren’t a great defensive team… we were an elite defensive team,” Pastner told the crowd. “We were one of the very best in the country. Our issue was that we were dead last in the ACC in offense.”
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Having set a Georgia Tech program record with 17 home wins in 2016-16, Pastner said the team will have to get deeper and older to continue improvement against the rest of the conference.
“To win in the ACC you’ve got to get old and stay old.” Pastner said. “That’s how you beat those guys who are just getting a bunch of freshman that are highly rated. Notre Dame is a good example of that and Virginia is a good example of that.”
Pastner also said next year’s team need to do better away from McCamish Pavilion.
“We’ve got to win some road games,” Pastner said. “We’ve got to protect home court, but we’ve got to find a way to win road games. We’ve got to stay health. We’re just not able to weather that any other way because we don’t have enough recruiting classes in to be nine deep.”
The building of a new culture in Atlanta was also a big topic during Pastner’s trip to Rome.
“I want us to be a self-motivated culture,” Pastner told fans. “I want guys who are internally driven, and have a blue-collar work ethic.”Georgia Tech plays Faulkner in an exhibition on November 2 at home, and then plays UCLA in Shanghai, China on November 10.