Jan. 14, 2006
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
January 14, 2006
Saint Joseph's 70
@ GW 82
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
On the team coming out with a lot of energy today...
"We felt that this game was going to be dictated by our defense... It made the difference today because it set the tone and gave us a large enough lead to make it difficult for Saint Joe's to catch us in the second half. We're only going to be able to contain those guys for so long; they're going to start to make some shots. And they shot 58% in the second half, which I think is the most anyone has shot on us in a half."
Did you have a different strategy to start the game today?
"Not really. We wanted to have our defense generate some offense...and it did. That really got us off to a good start."
Were you concerned about Saint Joe's perimeter shooting?
"Absolutely. Coach Martelli may be one of the most underrated coaches in the country... His teams are always very good and among the top teams in the country defensively. And they have a style that is difficult to defend. We really wanted to get out on their shooters. We did a good job of switching out, because our guys did a good job of communicating on the defensive end."
Do you feel like you dominated the game?
"There were moments when we did, but I wouldn't use that word. We got off to a really good start and disrupted them with our pressure. At that point, we could play the game at our pace. But we have build from the game and go on the road. I'm just hoping we just continue to get better and over-achieve."
You're 12-1; how is that still over-achieving?
GW senior F Mike Hall
"Because I don't trust you guys in the media [laughs]. I watched a game the other night when the announcer predicted that we might not lose another game this season. That scared me to death. I don't want people to over-assess who we are because we're trying to manage expectations. We have some young kids who are doing some wonderful things, and we don't want things to get out of whack."
You've struggled some in the past few games. What made the difference in your performance today?
"For the last two games, it was me not being in the flow. I was a step too slow or two fast; I wasn't in the same rhythm with my teammates. That just happens. But my teammates were confident, and Coach was very positive in practice. I guess it all came together today."
How did it feel to get off to such a fast start?
"It felt good. All the things that we've worked on in practice, trusting Coach's game plan, coming out and relying on one another, and sticking with the game plan made the difference...It's definitely a confidence booster, but we have a lot to work on."
GW junior G Carl Elliott
On the team's fast start...
"We came out very intense and put a lot of pressure on them... we put a lot of pressure on their guards to force them to do things under duress. And that's what we did."
Saint Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli
"The comments to our team at halftime was that this was exactly what it was going to be. It was going to be flurries; guys were going to come at you. You had to be ready to be manly with the ball everytime you got it, and that this was a team that dropped their head and drove the ball....I thought they were squeezing the ball, and that we could get some long rebounds on their shots. In the 2nd half, they didn't miss their shots during our flurry."
"I like the way they defend; they challenge you to be skillful... I don't think the score is indicative of the spread. They dominated the game, and that's why they dominated the game. They'll serve the Atlantic 10 well as we build on this national scene."
On the inconsistencies in play between the 1st and 2nd halves...
"Mixed in with the plays were physical and skill inconsistencies. Mentally, our group will hang and fight. They may be fighting with sticks and the other guys [are fighting] with bullets, but at least they would fight."
You've played some big teams this year. How does GW fit into what you've seen so far?
"I'm very, very impressed with their balance. Some of the other teams we've played haven't had the same balance. I don't know where you go to take them away. They've bought into a system to have hard run-outs on makes, and have hard run-outs across the board. They have terrific bench play from Maureece Rice. If the other teams that we've played see that they've drawn GW, they're going to take a gulp; it's going to be a long pause because it's a very taxing style physically and mentally that they run."
Were you players a little panicked in the first 10 minutes?
"A little? [laughs] Yes, they were panicked. They got physically unnerved in a lot of ways...When you get physically intimidated that way, you crack mentally. That's what I think happened in the first eight minutes...It sure seemed like they have more than 5 guys and we had less than 5 at that point."