Jan. 20, 2007
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
January 20, 2007
@ GW 76
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Was this the best game the team has played this year?
"I think as far as the last five minutes goes, it was the best in terms of our overall concentration and focus, especially on the defensive end and also on offense. We scored three or four possessions in a row, and we got everything out of our offense. It wasn't because somebody had to make a great play. It was right out of our set. We did a terrific job of communicating on defense. Five guys have got to be in tune with each other. They have a couple of guys who make you hold your breath when they shoot their 3s because they're all going in."
Are you concerned about starting so many games slowly?
"I am worried about it. Part of it has been the other team. Coach Lutz is a great coach, and his team came in here prepared. We were concerned about their 3-point shooting, and they started out going inside on us. They also made some adjustments that we hadn't anticipated....But I am conccerned and that will be more important as we go on the road."
Are you pleased with your current eight-player rotation?
"I am, but we still have to work on it. We have to get a few more minutes out of Travis [King]. I don't know if Maureece Rice missed some free-throws down the stretch because of fatigue, but that's something Travis can help with. But guys need to continue to step up, especially since this is really the very beginning of the Atlantic 10 season. The season is very delicate; one loss and you're in a tailspin, so we're going to try to stay out of the tailspin."
On defending De'Angelo Alexander
"We knew we couldn't let him or [Leemire] Goldwire score a lot of points. We had to contain one of them, and I thought we did a great job on both. It was a great team effort. Dokun helped Regis [Koundjia] with some screens."
GW senior F Dokun Akingbade
What was your strategy with Charlotte after last year's close game?
"We knew they were going to come in here hungry for the win after the result of last year's game. So we knew we had to out with energy also and do whatever we could to win."
How do you feel about having these performances as a senior?
It feels great. I put in a lot of hard work the first four years, and it feels pretty good to see it pay off."
GW freshman G Damian Hollis
How is the transition going between high school and college basketball?
"It's crazy. I went from slow-paced high school to fast-paced college. Everybody's stronger and faster. It's hard, and I have to keep working every day. But I am getting more comfortable with it."
Charlotte Coach Bobby Lutz
"It was a very good basketball game. We're obviously pleased with the first half, with the only real mistake being that we gave up a few too many transition baskets. In the second half, we really struggled to guard. No matter what defense we were in, they managed to score very effectively. At the end of the game, we were struggling to rebound. A lot of guys had played a lot of minutes, and had probably worn down a little bit."
"GW's guards are terrific. They understand what they have to do and play very well doing whatever Coach Hobbs wants them to do."
After last year's game, did you treat today's game any differently?
"We want to win every game. We can't get to high or low in how we approach a game. We want to have the same focus. To the fans or the media, maybe one game is bigger than another. But at the end of the year, each one counts the same. Sure, we talked about playing with poise and that the students would be saying a lot of things. But I thought we handled it very well. And we have tremendous respect for their program. They were undefeated in the league last year, and are always well-coached. But we didn't spend much time talking about anything different than we normally do."
Is there a rivalry developing between Charlotte and GW?
"In some ways, yes. We've played them eight times since I've been here, and playing them twice a year helps. But we need to win some of them if you want it to be a rivalry. That's what makes it a great competition. They've done their part. We just need to do the same."
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