Jan. 24, 2004
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
January 24, 2004
@ GW 83
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"Those first couple of minutes, they got some really good baskets. Then we missed a couple that I thought should have gone in. Then we sort of trumped up the defense and created a few turnovers. We really scored some terrific baskets in transition. And that was one of the things we talked about...we didn't want to play at their speed and tempo."
[on rebounding after a road loss]
"We're starting to play with a little more confidence on the the defensive end. I thought the guys did a terrific job of communicating. The biggest improvement so far is what we've been able to do defensively."
[on the home-court advantage]
"The students have been great. I like what's happening because they're sort of growing with this team. They're getting to know them a bit. But home court has been phenomenal. We're tough to beat at home."
[Any thoughts on playing Xavier, now that David West is gone?]
"They're still a very good basketball team. I think they were picked to finish first or second on our side. They still have Romain Sato, who was picked among the top 5 players by one publication. So we have our work cut out for us...We're really going to have to play terrific defense, we'll have to rebound. And once again, what will be key to that game is our ability to really defend them....We have to come out and be physically and mentally tough, period."
[on being undefeated at home]
"It's always fun playing at home because the students come out and cheer for us. They really get us hyped up for the game. Even in warmups, they're chanting our names, saying 'Let's go! Let's get ready to play!' It's a lot of fun for me."
[on having Elijah Palmer foul out]
"The coaches stressed all week that we have to contain Palmer because he's really improved. We just focused in on him and the shooter [Jimmy] Tricco today because we figured they were the keys to the team. And we also wanted to attack them when they were on defense. And it worked because Palmer fouled out."
[on GW's home-court advantage.]
"You can't help but feed off of it. It's fun playing at home. I love it."
[Any thoughts on Xavier after playing them so close the last few years?]
"It'd be huge [if we won]. Each win is important, but a win against Xavier would give us a little more confidence that we can pull out the tough games, and make up for some bad feelings from last year."
[Were you intimidated going up against Duquesne's height?]
"I wouldn't say we were intimidated. We had a good strategy going in to try to match up with their big men inside. We're pretty tall and athletic long guys ourselves, so we felt we'd match up pretty well."
Duquesne Coach Danny Nee
"I really think GW is a good, sound, solid basketball team. But college basketball, I've found, is a game of runs. About the 10-minute mark, we got back into the game. When they went on that 12-point run, we just couldn't answer it. And that's it, the game's over with 10-something to go."
"Their pressure the whole night was very effective. They kept the pressure on us, and we just never got into a rhythm."
"I think [GW] is a good tough team. We played them well for 25, maybe 30 minutes, but we couldn't finish it out. And then that run--BAM! I thought GW played at a pretty high level. We gotta make our free throws and we gotta rebound better, but transition defense was the key."
[on GW's depth]
"[Karl Hobbs] has really good depth. They might be the deepest team in the league. They have a lot of quality players; a lot of them...They do a good job. He's a very smart coach."