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Conversation with Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner

Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner reacts during an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the NIT against Mississippi on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Oxford, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

In the midst of staff meetings, home visits and planning for the 2017-18 season, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner took time last week to speak with the AJC about his first season coaching the Yellow Jackets and the job that lies ahead. He hit his talking points — “People have to remember this is a major rebuild job” — and also shared his thoughts about his favorite games, the NIT run and how the Jackets can improve.

Answers were edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: On Friday, the day after you lost to TCU in the NIT championship, what did you do?

A: I was scheduled to coach in the NABC senior all-star game (at the Final Four), but obviously, our wins in the NIT disallowed that. I was going to go to Phoenix, but did not end up going. After that, just came home. I was already geared up, already thinking about what we’ve got to do for next season.

I was putting thoughts down. I asked every member of the staff to send me their thoughts on what we need to do to get better and improve in different areas, and you really go right into recruiting mode because now you’ve got to try to get some guys and you’ve got to get organized on what are we doing in the ’17 class to finish out and then obviously getting ready to recruit kids in the ’18 class.

Q: Was losing to TCU maybe not the worst thing?

A: I’m going to turn it into a real positive. I will be reminding our guys every day as we go into offseason workouts about how you got your butt kicked. I’m not taking anything away from a great season. We had a really good season. I mean, it was awesome. What an awesome season. I hope to be — I’m 39 — if I can coach till I’m 75, God willing, I don’t think I’ll ever be around a team like this type of team.

The stars aligned. Everything was special. However, what I would tell you is they will be reminded constantly that we got our butts kicked in the final vs. TCU. We will use that as a positive. We don’t want to to be satisfied and we’ve got to stay on edge, and that’s going to be important as we continue to try to build and grow.

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