Jan. 15, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
January 15, 2005
GW 74 OT
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Did UMass' final sequence in OT turn out as you expected?
"I knew nothing good was going to happen just because they had the ball and that was how the flow of the game was going. And the ball was in their best player's hands. Usually in that kind of a situation, good things happen [for that team]."
"I was never comfortable throughout the game because we were struggling with our perimeter shooting, and we couldn't get in a good rhythm. There was never a moment where I felt comfortable at all."
Did their defense cause problems for you?
"Their zone controlled the tempo, and we did not shoot well against it. And at times, we became a little frustrated because we couldn't make the jump shots that we normally make. There's no doubt in my mind that everybody who will play us will play a zone at some point in the game."
Were you frustrated to come back and still lose?
"It was more frustrating that we allowed their lead to happen. But you have to give a great deal of credit to the UMass kids. They came in as a desperate basketball team and played that way. Coach Lappas did a great job of coaching his team. Even when we made our run, he stayed in the zone."
Did Pops sit late in the game because of foul trouble?
"Mike Hall and Omar Williams were playing extremely well, and they were scoring for us. At times, Pops couldn't finish a couple of plays inside. The other two guys gave us more speed and flexibility on the defensive end."
Was a close game like this a necessary experience for your team?
"I don't know if it was `necessary' per se... We're going to be in a lot of close ball games, but I don't think that was a factor at all. We had chances to win the game. We made a tremendous effort in coming back, and just needed to finish off a couple of plays. We had good shots and good looks, but sometimes the ball doesn't go down."
On Maureece Rice's
"The young guy had a tremendous game. It was so tough that in terms of playing him, I thought we needed experience instead. I was really fighting back and forth whether to put him in because it was so tempting. I just thought my experienced guys were going to make those shots...That's the nice thing about our program. We've progressed to the point where we're not relying on freshmen to win games. That's a good place for Maureece to be; there isn't a lot of pressure on him as a player."
UMass Coach Steve Lappas
"It's a tremendous game by our guys. To outrebound that team was a huge accomplishment for us. We've been up and down with our rebounding all year. Our guys came in with a definite mindeset. Defensively, we played super, and we were fortunate to get it done."
On the final overtime sequence
"I didn't want to call time out (near the end), just as I didn't want to call it at the end of regulation. When you get a team like that backpedaling instead of setting up and getting the ball inbounds and they can steal it....our kids just made the right play."
Your 2-3 zone seemed to bog GW down.
"We play a lot of different things defensively, and we did 4 or 5 things tonight. They're a great team, and it's no secret that they're a great transition team. If you hold down the transitions, you feel like you have a chance at least."
On absorbing GW's 2nd half run
"I didn't know it was going to come that quick. We were up 18, and I knew they'd make a run, and I thought it get to be 7 or 8. I didn't think they'd take a 3 or 4-point lead like they did. B ut you know they're going to come back at you. They're not going to lose by 18 or 20 at home. You know it's going to be a tough game. You just want to be like us and walk out at the buzzer, winning it at the end."
Should GW play half-court more often?
"GW is so good at what they do, and it's because that's what they do. A lot of time when you try to do more, you're not as good as you think. Karl has done one of the best jobs in the country, and they're a great basketball team. I wouldn't change a thing."