Feb. 4, 2004
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 4, 2004
St. Bonaventure 78
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
[on controlling Marques Green this year]
"I was absolutely scared to death of him. If you saw tapes of last year's game, you'd see why. I think he had 12 points in the first half and then he scored 22 straight points. If we could have stopped him and made him miss one time, we would have won that game. Tonight, we really wanted to limit his number of shots. We wanted him to pass the ball, but not get it back. We also didn't want him to control the tempo of the game. I really thought T.J. was mentally ready for the challenge from a defensive standpoint...He knew what was important today."
[on reminding the team to play defense when the game got wide open]
"Absolutely. No lead is safe because of the 3-point shot, and they have 3 guys who can make 3s. I was concerned all the way until 1:43 left."
[Is this the kind of tempo you like the team to play?]
"Yes it is. The only time I got concerned about the tempo was when we fell back into a zone, and so did they. I was concerned about that, so we just played zone for 3 or 4 possessions, then went back to man-to-man because I didn't want it to come down to our half-court versus their half-court. That's not the way I want to play. That would have given them the potential to get back into the ballgame."
"We try to accellerate the tempo of the game. They have a different coach [from last year], so obviously they're playing a different style. It's very difficult to come in your first year. It's a real bear. I understand Coach Solomon's frustrations in installing his style. I think with time, they're going to be more than OK."
[Did Alex Kireev earn tonight's start with good practices?]
"He's had two weeks of terrific practices. The assistants have been all over me to give him more playing time. He was terrific tonight. When he got the ball inside, he was very poised; he didn't rush it up in a panic state. He also did a good job defensively. When [Marques] Green came off of the high screen, he was out hedging pretty good, he was getting back in the play. I'm really happy for him."
"I want him to force me to play him. And that's what he's been doing for the past two weeks. If he can give us what he gave tonight--another inside scoring presence and good defense when guys penetrate--he will really help us."
GW freshman G J.R. Pinnock:
on his outstanding game tonight:
"I don't know.... The ball fell in my hands, I just put it in the hole. I didn't go out looking to score points. They just came."
[on his role as the team's "energy guy"]
"That's what coach said he wanted when he recruited me. I love being that part of the team--playing [guard] and lock-up man. Everything else takes care of itself."
[on having multiple scorers on the team]
"We have so many guys who can hurt you. It can be somebody in the starting lineup, somebody off the bench, or it might be somebody like Ricky Lucas who doesn't play a bunch, but comes in and gives you 15. There's no way really to prepare for that."
[on playing Marques Green]
"He's probably one of the most underrated players in the country. He's the hardest person I've had to guard in my short career. He's quick, he can shoot it from anywhere. If you give him a couple of inches, there's no doubt about it...he'd probably be in the NBA. He's awesome."
[Was it difficulty keeping focused on defense when the game got wide open?]
Yes, especially after coming off the loss against Richmond. We just wanted to have fun. We have to remember that tonight isn't the main goal. We still have something we're working for. We can't relax on a team like that because they might get back into the game."
St. Bonaventure coach Anthony Solomon:
"George Washington is a very talented and deep basketball team. They can really go out and transition with the best of them. Watching them on tape doesn't do them justice. Karl's done a fantastic job with building this program. They're going to be a factor in this league for years to come."
[on the fast pace to start out]
"They really set the tone early in terms of their offensive efficiency. The didn't just settle for 3-point shots. They went inside. They executed extremely well. We started off playing zone, and we eventually went to some man-to-man. But they were really efficient as a basketball team."
"Because of our lack of depth, we have to be mindful of how quickly the basketball game goes. But GW has a lot of talented basketball players, and they're probably the fastest team in the conference. From the 1 position all the way to the 5 position, they are really quick and have a lot of speed. So they can force the tempo with the best of them."
[on the play of Alex Kireev]
"He really set the tone for them. He's really skilled around the basket He got good position a couple of times...he has a good soft touch around the basket, he's long. But he was really impressive."