Jan. 30, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
January 30, 2004
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"We've become--for lack of a better word--a desperate basketball team. We really felt we needed to do whatever it would take to win it. Probably one of the most proudest moments was when Pops took a charge. That was a huge, huge play. That was the difference in the game. It gave everybody a lift; everybody fed on it."
Was it better to take care of the "little things" instead of the home-run?
"I think so. TJ didn't throw any overhead passes, Mike Hall didn't get any technicals today [laughs]. But we did take care of the little things. They came out prepared, they made some terrific shots, especially with the 3s in the first half. They just shot incredible; it didn't make a difference who the guy was. They have some terrific players, and we beat a very good team."
How were the final minutes of this game different from previous games?
"In the 2nd half, our defense picked up, and we were more conscious of their 3-point shooting. The game was played at such a high pace and such a fast pace. They missed a couple of open looks, so we were definitely lucky there. but our defense picked up and we defended the 3 well. And we did a good job on Monty Scott. He's got to be one of the best wing players in the league."
Is this a good time for a break in your schedule?
"No question, you couldn't ask for a better time to have a week off. After the Temple game, the guys are going to need 3 days off because they'll be bruised and beat up. It'll be that kind of game for us. Our schedule is set up nice for us because we'll need time to prepare for Temple. Hopefully, we'll use our time very wisely and get ourselves prepared."
How important will Maureece Rice be down the stretch?
"He was big today. He came in and made some great defensive plays, got a couple of steals. More importantly, he was very good with the basketball. His 14 minutes today were valuable, and he will continue to be."
What was the strategy with starting Dokun Akingbade
and bringing Pops off the bench?
"It was to give Pops a chance to see what was going on out there. I like it because he gives us instant energy. We may stay with that; I'm not sure."
GW senior guard T.J. Thompson
Are you playing with a greater sense of urgency?
"We did for the simple fact that we have about eight games left. We know that the season is coming to an end eal fast, so we need to play with more emotion and more energy."
Is your knee feeling better.
"It is, but the last few games I was favoring my knee. But I was also selfish because I was more concerned about my knee than the team. My whole goal is to come out, try to play through it and not even think about it."
GW junior forward Mike Hall
You had some great rebounds in the 2nd half. Were you just hungry for the ball?
"I have a motivation; I love TJ like a brother, and I understand his career is coming to an end. I want to play as hard as I possibly can because he deserves to have good things happen. I want to try and help us win for that guy."
Did this game feel like a tournament game?
"Dayton is first in the league and we've had some tough games against them since I've been here. so it's always an exciting game when we play them because there's so much emotion and motivation."
Dayton Coach Brian Gregory
"Give GW credit because they played extremely well in that 2nd half, and in that last six minutes. They did a great job of getting on that offensive glass. That and some turnovers they forced were the difference in the game. They're a very good team, a very talented team... They made the plays down the stretch that needed to be made."
"We still outrebounded them, which means we're doing something pretty well too. Unfortunately, the thing that was evident today is that our freshmen can't finish like their junors and seniors. And Karl went through that a couple of years ago... But for us to outrebound that team is unbelievable."
On Mike Hall getting the tip-in off the missed free throw:
"When you're playing on the road, you can't make mistakes against a team like that. I've seen Mike Hall play since he was a junior in high school. He's a great player; he does things like that. That's probably why he's the leader of the team; he makes those plays."
It seems the 3-point shot is the big equalizer in college basketball.
"Yes. When GW came back on Xavier, they hit a bunch of 3s. We were able to do it with dribble penetration, kick-outs, and spreading the court. If you can make those shots--it's funny because it's only one more point. But it gets you going and gets them down. A lot of it is mental more than anything."