Jan. 29, 2003
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL January 29, 2003
GW 74 Saint Joseph's 68
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
[on the difference between the final minutes of tonight and Saturday's game] "The key to this game was we took care of the basketball, and maintained a level of focus for 40 minutes. We depend on six freshmen to do so much. The proudest moment for me, though, was when [SJU's Pat Carroll] came down and made two 3-pointers, we were able to keep our composure and we didn't panic. That was a measure of growth for us."
[on defending Jameer Nelson]
"We had to limit his shot attempts. In the 2nd half, anytime he had the ball, we sent one of our big guys to go up and trap him. That was a key for us--keeping the ball out of his hands. When he has the ball in his hands, only bad things are going to happen to you, and good things will happen for Saint Joe's."
[on the team's progress]
"I'm not measuring this team on wins and losses. I'm counting on six freshmen. If you look at the top 100 freshmen in the country, there's only about five of them that are playing more than 15 minutes a game. I measure this team on whether we got better from the last game. I'm not letting anybody dictate to me what is success and what is failure. This was a small step today, and showed good signs of progress. But we can't pat ourselves on the back too long, because we have to get right back at it tomorrow."
"An important factor is that TJ was fresh toward the end of the game. He was able to play defense, and more importantly, he was able to run our team and make sure we got the shot we needed to get. Before, TJ played 40 minutes 5 or 6 games in a row. Check around the country and see how many sophmore point guards are playing 40 minutes a game."
[on taking only six 3-point shots]
"We are not a great 3-point shooting team. We're trying to limit the number of 3s we should take. I credit Saint Joe's for part of that tonight. You don take a jump shot that isn't contested. I hope someday to get my team to play defense like that."
[on the strong support of the students]
"I'm really happy that they've stuck it out with these young guys. There were just great. But the best thing is that they're going to watch this team grow and come of age. Imagine [Pops Mensha-Bonsu] with 20 more pounds on him. Picture Omar with 10 more pounds on him. Think of the fun it's going to be to watch these guys grow and develop."
"This win was great. Saint Joe's came in here at 14-2, and they are a real good team. We wanted to come out and show we could play. We've been in a lot of games where we just couldn't get it at the end. We wanted to finish off this game, and it was big for us."
[on his role as a team leader]
"It is part of my role, but my teammates see me slipping and they pull me up too. I had a couple of turnovers and they picked me right back up by making some good defensive stops. We helped each other. We were all leaders out there, including the freshmen."
[on the significance of the win in his career]
"Setting points records isn't a big thing. This game was big; we were on a slide and this was a big win. We're still in the middle of the season and have a lot of games coming up. We can reverse things. Instead of losing to the teams that we should have beaten, maybe we can start beating the teams everybody expects we'll lose to."
[on jumping into the student section after the game]
"The fans were our sixth man out there tonight. [Jameer Nelson] is a good free-throw shooter, and they were part of the reason he missed them. So I had to go up there and thank them for helping us win the game."
[on helping out TJ Thompson with bringing the ball upcourt]
"Coach has wanted me to be strong with the ball and help TJ out a little. Because he's our only point guard, he has to go hard for 40 minutes. I just try to take some of the pressure off of him by helping out and bringing it up. Tonight it worked out."
[on the presence of Chris Monroe on the court]
"He's as big a presence as you can get. If he sees us with our heads down and getting frustrated, he's right there to help us get focused. He never gets down on us; he always picks us up and tells us the right thing to do."
[on handling the losing streak]
"It was hard on all of us. Nobody likes losing. After awhile, we wondered if winning wasn't meant for us. Every game we played hard; tonight we pulled it out."
Saint Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli
"Really bad basketball, in my opinion. Eight for 20 from the foul line the 2nd half is deplorable. We go zone when we get the lead because we have so much foul trouble...keep the ball in front, keep the ball in front...they dribble penetrate, dribble penetrate...This is really disheartening for me."
"Clutch and grab games are not our forte. We need a rhythm game and that wasn't it. It was chopped up. We live on an edge, even though we were 14-2 because we have these flaws. We have a frontcourt flaw; basically we're playing 5 against 4. And we have a foul shooting flaw. If it's going to be walk to the line, walk to the line, we're going to be in trouble...This is the second time we've lost because of poor foul shooting."
"We knew it'd be frenzied, and a crazy atmosphere. But there's no rhyme or reason for some of the turnovers, and some of the speed instead of a calm with which we should have played."
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