Feb. 7, 2004
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 7, 2004
Rhode Island 72
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
[Is the team's quickness becoming a weapon?]
"That's what we're trying to do. In the first half, the game got off to a real fast pace. We put in 3 guys right away. We're a team that tries to get the pace of game. We want to go on a run in the first half, and agan in the second half...Our speed and depth is really starting to pay off for us."
[on Pops' good day on the boards]
"He's maturing and still learning the game, getting a better understanding of the position. Lots of times, rebounding is about positioning--leading the ball as it comes off the rim. Or if the shot is coming from the corner, leading where the shot is going to go. I think he's doing a nicer job of that. And he is starting to be very active under that backboard. He carried us today because we couldn't make a 3-point shot."
GW soph. F Pops Mensah-Bonsu
[What got you going today?]
"I knew that this would be a pretty tough and physical game, so I got in and established myself physically from the jump. Last year, I wasn't able to do that because of my weight. This year, I know how to play against people more physical than me."
[You got more rebounds than usual today.]
"I think I'm capable of getting more rebounds. Sometimes I don't stay as active as I did today. Now I think I can do that in every game. I just need to establish myself from the start. If I can be active from the start of the game, it's going to be for the next 40 minutes."
[on the team's progress in the A-10
"We're still a young team and we're still learning how to win...I just don't think we're quite there yet. Today, we got sloppy at times. I thought we had a chance to settle the game down a bit, but we weren't able to. That's where you have to give a lot of credit to Dawan Robinson...He is a terrific, terrific scorer...He's as good a guard I've seen for a guy who can change speeds..."
"We still have a lot of kid in us, and I'd like to see that change though it's a very fine line. I want to see some of the kid in us, but I also want to see us get serious when we have to--to show some maturity."
GW freshman G J.R. Pinnock
[on what Pops brings to the team]
"We both have the same roles--to come of the bench and bring energy into the game. Part of the times when I get on the break, I stop running, especially if I see him running, because I know what's going to happen and I want to see it like everyone else. Pops, TJ, and the coaching staff are the main reasons I came to GW. Watching him play is a lot of fun."
Rhode Island Coach Jim Baron
"When we didn't score, that gave them the opportunity to take it off the backboard and go. They're very good in transition. They've got great athletes. Our turnovers really gave them momentum."
"I said we wanted to win the 2nd half, and we did that. We were down 13 at halftime, but we came back and I felt we won the 2nd half by one point. These are the little things you have to continue to do."
"They're very athletic and they play very aggressive when the shot goes up. They have good bodies, high energy, and high bounce. They did a good job doing that."
"[Pops Mensah-Bonsu] really took it to us inside--very physical, very strong. He had a big game, big rebounds...He plays like he's about 32. He and T.J. Thompson have really, really improved...[GW] has worked really hard and have some new guys coming in, and guys who have gotten better. I have to give them credit. They're a good basketball team."