Jan. 13, 2007
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Are you more pleased with the way the team executed today than at UMass?
"I guess I was. St. Bonaventure played much better in the second half. We went on a couple of runs, and that was the major difference in the game. But overall, we took the shots we needed to take. In the last game, we took some ill-advised shots. We did a little better job in our shot selection."
Did you concentrate on trying to get points in the paint?
"We really wanted to establish ourselves with getting the ball inside. Dokun [Akingbade] did a really great job, and the guards really stayed focused to that game plan. We had some terrific finishes."
Have you been focusing on rebounding in practice?
"Yes, we've talked about that a lot. We wanted to do a better job of rebounding today, and take advantage of our size. Every time a shot went up, Regis [Koundjia] always seemed to be around the ball, especially on the offensive glass."
Richmond plays a slow-down style similar to Air Force. Are you concerned about that?
"They are very disciplined in terms of being patient with their offense. They like to spread you out, and like to shoot 3s. I think we've only won down there once, and we've never put together a complete game down there. That's going to be a difficult thing for us, and we'll have to make it an up-tempo game and get them out of their rhythm. When they get comfortable with their offense, they are tough to defend."
"We also have to avoid falling behind. Don't get down 8 or 10. They really play very well when they have the lead. Those first 4 minutes may be the key to the ballgame down there."
"No question. We starting to have a little better rotation and depth. Damian is getting better, and really played well at UMass. He's not making freshman mistakes, and really improving. Those two guys really allow us to play a high-pace game....We've never had a guy who'll get us 20 points a night. But we have been a team that's complete in the sense of three or four guys getting double-figures. That's been a consistent theme for our program. But I am hoping somebody will emerge who can get 20 points a game."
Are you concerned about free-throw shooting?
"I'm very concerned because some pretty good free-throw shooters are missing them. And those are the guys who are going to have the ball at the end of the games. We've been a pretty good free-throw shooting team, but we've fallen into a slump beginning with the Fordham game. We kept taking ourselves out of the game from a tempo/momentum standpoint....We're going to try to get in some extra practice, especially as we go on the road."
GW Senior F Dokun Akingbade
Were you motivated to do well today after the UMass game?
"I was very motivated today. Against UMass, I wasn't very effective. I didn't rebound very well. Today, I knew I had to come out and try to get every single rebound."
How big is a game like this for your confidence?
"It's always very big when you can contribute double figures in points and rebounds, especially with good teams like Richmond and Charlotte coming up...It's a good confidence booster as we go on the road."
St. Bonaventure Coach Anthony Solomon
I want to congratulate George Washington University. They have a great championship basketball program. Myself as well as my staff and our student-athletes were very excited about being here in the Nation's Capital on a Saturday afternoon with the opportunity to do something special. I thought more than 80 percent of the game, we had opportunities to be there at the end, but certainly some miscues at certain times at both ends of the floor really took away some of that opportunity. We got it to 8 points, but there were some crucial turnovers that allowed their lead to go back to double-figures a little too quickly. It was a great effort by our young men."
What is the next step for this team?
"The next step is finding ways during the game that prevent a mistake or a miscue. We can't allow that one mistake to affect us for the next two minutes. Those are the things that catch up with you. And we have to move on to the next play quicker than we do, especially when we're playing against a program that has experienced the success that George Washington has."
What makes it tough to rebound against a team like GW?
"We've played some other teams that are as athletic as GW recently. The key is to put bodies on people. We didn't do it as well today as we have the last three games. When we don't, we give up second and third chance opportunities, and those are difficult to overcome."