Jan. 2, 2010
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
Howard 63 @ GW 81
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Were you nervous when the shots weren't falling early on?
"No I wasn't only because the guys continued to play. There was no body language suggesting that we were going to give up. We were getting good shots, we just needed to settle down. They made a couple of 3s off the backboard, but I wasn't concerned in that regard.
What got things going to start the 2nd half?
"We just kept playing. The one adjustment we made was to rebound the basketball in the 2nd half. Anytime we do a terrific job of rebounding, we're able to create some easy baskets in transition. Damian and Tony came out and made a couple quick baskets, and that generated our energy a little bit. But one of the most important things we missed was the student body. We didn't have the energy that the Colonial Army gives us."
With the non-conference schedule over, what have you learned about your team going into conference play?
"It's not so much what I didn't know, but more areas where we need to improve and get better at--rebounding and defending the 3-point line. The league averages around 18 to 20 3s a game. Those are the areas we need to improve upon in order to have some success in the league."
Having played well on the road so far, will that help as you begin conference play at St. Bonaventure?
"I think so. The games at East Carolina and UNC Wilmington were like Atlantic 10 games. We gained a lot from those games. If we take care of the basketball and focus on the things we need to do, we can win on the road. I'm not so sure that was the case last year, but with this team it's given us a lot of confidence."
Is starting the season on the road a good thing in a way?
"No, it's never good to start the season on the road. We can't set the
schedule, but you're going to have to win games on the road. We just
welcome the challenge of the Atlantic 10. I'm not sure where the
journey will end, but we're excited to be venturing into those waters.
Regardless of where we play, we're just excited to get going with
Will you have Tim Johnson for the St. Bonaventure game?
"I hope so. Each day, he's been progressing. We're hopeful he'll be available for at least some minutes in the St. Bonaventure game. We really need his outside shooting, and we missed it in the Holy Cross and Harvard games. Even today, particularly in the first half, we really needed an extra 3-point shooter out there."
will Lasan Kromah have to do to break out of his slump?
"I think it's just going to come. He just needs to focus on the little things and do a better job working to get the real open shots. We worked together yesterday working on his rhythm. Young players are going to go through that. Shooters go through slumps, and right now, I like the fact that he's going through it early so he can get it out of the way. We're certainly going to need him to make some shots from the perimeter."
GW senior F Damian Hollis
You've already matched last season's win total. Is that significant to the team?
"It is. At the beginning of the season, I knew we'd have at least 10 wins because this is such a good group of guys. It's no surprise at all...We had some ups and downs at the beginning of the season, and we learned a lot of things. It jumpstarts us for the conference because a lot of the teams are stronger this year."
GW sophomore G Tony Taylor
Early on, you were the only one who was getting shots to fall. What got you going?
"I just tried to play with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy. My teammates were setting me up perfectly, so that allowed me to get the shots. We all try to do that for each other, and today just happened to be my day."
Howard Coach Gil Jackson
What positives do you take from this game regarding your team's progress?
"Our younger kids are playing more minutes, and hopefully that will help us in league play. But the glaring thing was their transition. We got destroyed on transitions baskets. They're shooting layups and we're having to make 3s and tough shots. We got hurt at St. Mary's with the same type of thing, so I'm quite sure Coach Hobbs saw that on film and they were pushing it."
On the play of Dadrian Collins and Curtis White
"Dadrian's playing well. We've been working with him and we need him to keep progressing. We need his scoring, and we also need that size out there and that he becomes a good basketball player. He took a couple of forced shots out there...I'm also happy with Curtis White. He probably played his first game as a senior. We all our seniors to step up and carry the load. The freshmen are playing OK, but I know they're going to wear down. They're going to hit that wall around the first of February so our seniors are going to have to come through for us."
Are you looking forward to conference play and an end to all the traveling you've been doing?
"I was expecting our seniors to be a little stronger this year. We were playing teams in the middle of Division 1 for the most part, and we felt that we'd be OK. But our seniors haven't played the way I'd like for them to play. They're going to have to accept the travel. The travel wasn't crazy travel, but it wears on you, especially when you're playing younger guys...Those are things they have to experience. But it goes back to the fact that we have six seniors and they have to step up."