Feb. 8, 2006
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 8, 2006
@ #8 GW 81
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
On the fast start to the game...
"I thought we got out of the gate pretty early. Pops established our inside presence, which is what we wanted to do tonight due to the lack of experience among their inside guys."
What does it mean to have the best 20-game start in school history?
"I'm not sure. It's great for the fans; I think it means more to them. Maybe at the end of the season I can reflect on it. But when you're in the middle of the season and you have a tough stretch coming up...I don't mean to diminish it, but when you have Saint Joe's staring at you Saturday, you don't think about it."
On Danilo Pinnock...
"I thought he played terrific. He's starting to string together some pretty good games. He's a special player when he's really hitting the 3-point shot.
On the goal of beating many of the A-10's best teams this season...
"Our goal is to be competitive every year. We're hoping that we can sustain what we're doing to be a competitor every year. Right now, we're overacheiving. And I'll continue to say that until the players show me otherwise...When you look at what we achieved last year, you can figure out [what I'm looking for]."
What are your impressions of Saint Joe's?
"They're a very good basketball team. They're dangerous because they have 3 or 4 guys who can make threes. That means they're always in the game. And we've never won there [under Hobbs]. That's something we need to overcome...It'll be a hostile environment, they played us very well here. This will be the toughest task we'll face [so far this season]."
Is the national attention having an affect on the team?
"I don't think so. At today's shoot-around, they were very loose. It was almost like an NBA shoot-around, which is a very different shoot-around for us because I'm constantly intense. But trust me, the shoot-around will be a little more aggressive on Saturday morning."
GW junior G Danilo Pinnock
Which of the two second-half dunks was your favorite?
"I have to go with the one where [Montrell McDonald] threw me the [alley]-oop. We practice our breaks like that a lot. I was so surprised he threw it that I had to stop afterward. I think the pass was better than the dunk, truthfully."
What does it mean to have the best 20-game start in school history?
"It's a big thing tonight, but tomorrow it won't mean very much because we have other goals. It's a great accomplishment, but it wasn't one of our goals when we started the season. Tomorrow, it's back to work to get [win] number 20."
Do you watch the nationally known teams and think that you can beat them?
"We're going to play whoever's on the court against us. Those teams are great for a reason; it's not just the name. We just want to get where they're at."
GW senior C Pops Mensah-Bonsu
What are your thoughts on Saint Joe's after seeing them play Villanova last night?
"We have to approach it the same way we approached Xavier. We have to be focused, be ready to play, and be mentally prepared. We can't have any slip-ups when we go down there.
Dayton Coach Brian Gregory
"I told Karl before the game that I'm really pleased to see where he's taken this program. He's done it the right way over a four-year span. That's a heck of a team we played tonight; unselfish--21 assists, 29 baskets...You have to play a very good game at both ends of the court to beat a team that's as diverse in ways to beat you as GW."
You shot 45 percent against GW; what did you do to combat their aggressive defense?
"You have to keep the ball moving and save space. Unfortunately, our best shooter had 7 pretty good looks at 3s and didn't make any, and our 2nd best shooter went 2 for 9...We did a good job of taking care of the ball too. Sixteen turnovers isn't bad, but they turn every turnover into a basket. A lot of times, it's a very unbelievable basket that gets them going. You have to play with unbelievable patience and poise against them."
How does GW compare to other teams in the A-10 and nationally?
"Before the game, I was talking to a buddy of mine who's an NBA scout. He said GW is the second most athletic team in the country, right behind Memphis."
"I've seen some pretty good teams, and they're as good as anybody around. They have a good chemistry; you have to have senior leadership. They have 3 seniors who have seen it all...and now you have two juniors in Pinnock and Elliott who have played a ton of minutes already. So they have all the ingredients to make a run at this thing.
"I'd take 10 Michael Halls right now and play anybody in the country. He's one of my favorite players that I've played against. For us to hold him to 5 points and 2 rebounds shows how good they are at compensating for the heart and soul of their team."
On Pops Mensah-Bonsu dominating the inside game...
"You still have to make Pops score over you. Unfortunately, we gave him some transition baskets where we didn't get back and he got the layup. He probably scored on all three of his offensive rebounds, and we let him get the ball too deep... It's hard to trap him in the post because he's so fast when he gets the ball."
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