You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Satisfying home finale for Quinton Stephens

Georgia Tech forward Quinton Stephens came to his post-game interview Sunday with his white jersey stained with blood. It turned out he had opened a cut on a finger at the end of the Yellow Jackets’ 71-57 second-round win in the NIT over Belmont at McCamish Pavilion.

“I had nowhere else to (wipe the blood),” said Stephens, who, perhaps ironically, whose teammates voted him the best dressed player in a video played at halftime Sunday. “But I see it as symbolism, just go out blood, sweat and tears, whatever you want to call it. There was definitely a lot of that. I felt a lot of emotions with this team, and I couldn’t ask for a better coach, better team. I’m just having a lot of fun, and I’m grateful.”

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Stephens will accept his diploma for his business administration degree in May in graduation exercises at McCamish. Sunday’s game was a valedictory of its own, as Stephens played perhaps the best game of his career in his final game at McCamish, an opportunity extended through Tech playing in the NIT and the bracket falling the right way.

The significance was not lost on Stephens from the start. As the pep band played the national anthem, Stephens said, “I’m just thanking God for the opportunity to play here again.”

Stephens came out firing and didn’t relent. He knocked down two 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game, the second of which gave the Jackets an early 11-8 lead and helped give his team some momentum after a slow start.

He closed the half with a steal that led to a Tadric Jackson 3-pointer and then scored on a layup off a steal by guard Josh Heath to send the Jackets to halftime up 30-26.

Stephens turned it up in the second half, making seven of nine from the field, including a 3-pointer, for 15 points to go with four rebounds, four assists, one steal and no turnovers. He scored on jumpers, in the open court and going to the basket in the half court.

His final line: a career-high 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, no turnovers. Coach Josh Pastner expressed his appreciation again for his captain after the game. Stephens played a perimeter role in his first three seasons, but became a “stretch 4” power forward this season, playing closer to the basket and embracing a more physical style. He went into Sunday’s game ninth in the ACC in rebounding at 7.7 rebounds per game.

“He bleeds Georgia Tech, and literally bled (Saturday), but he laid the foundation for what we’re trying to build,” Pastner said. “What I would tell you is it’s a real direct correlation on how well he played and what he’s meant to this program. For him to finish out like he did, I’m so happy for him. I love him dearly.”

Stephens was similarly contemplative.

“I think what I did here was what I needed to do,” he said. “Everything really lined up with this team, I think. The personnel, the new coach, the energy of coach Pastner and then just the seniors that we have here really wanted to buy in. Everyone just came into new roles and they embraced it. Who knows where this team will go? Who knows where the Georgia Tech program will go? I think it’s on the upward slope, and I’m excited.”

At game’s end, Stephens and fellow seniors Corey Heyward and Rand Rowland kissed the Cremins Court hardwood as their final good-bye. He had meant to include Heath, but, Stephens said, Heath ran off before he could corral him.

Stephens’ career will end either Tuesday against Ole Miss or in New York next week. He admitted he wanted to play Georgia in the second round before Belmont upset the Bulldogs. He also wanted to play Syracuse, but Mississippi knocked out the Orange in the second round. But, the Belmont win over Georgia meant one final game at home, a game that he’ll remember for a while.

“I’m really grateful,” Stephens said. “I love McCamish Pavilion.”

‘A typical Tech kid’ plays his final home game for Jackets: A profile of Stephens ahead of Tech’s senior-night game against Pittsburgh

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Braves’ final roster decisions might not be made before weekend
Braves’ final roster decisions might not be made before weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Braves still haven’t decided for sure whether they’ll go with an eight-man bullpen or instead opt for an extra hitter for the bench, a decision that might not be made until after they see who becomes available before a Sunday deadline to set 25-man rosters. “We’re still talking it through,&rdquo...
Versatile veteran Collmenter could be valuable commodity for Braves
Versatile veteran Collmenter could be valuable commodity for Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The barrel-chested dude with the beard and straight-over-the-top delivery doesn’t light up radar guns with his fastball or have a breaking ball that falls off the table, but Josh Collmenter gets outs, and he could end up being an important piece for the Braves. The veteran right-hander is penciled in for the long...
A first, slightly skewed, glimpse at Braves new world
A first, slightly skewed, glimpse at Braves new world

At SunTrust Park there is plenty of room to display Braves pennants dating to the 19th Century – and plenty of room to add more in the future.
Sandy Springs still has its eye on SunTrust traffic
Sandy Springs still has its eye on SunTrust traffic

There will be many watching when the Atlanta Braves take the field at SunTrust Park in Cobb County for the first time on Friday, but one nearby city will have its eye on the traffic. While Friday’s game against the New York Yankees is an exhibition, Sandy Springs plans to implement its game day traffic program. Rusty Paul, the Mayor of Sandy...
Where do Atlanta United’s players come from?
Where do Atlanta United’s players come from?

If you haven’t seen it, MLS produced this excellent graphic on the birth countries represented by its players. There are 67 countries in the list. Someone on twitter pointed out this Atlanta United has contributed to this. The MLS expansion team has 13 countries repped in its 30-man roster. Here is the breakdown:...
More Stories