Postgame Comments: GW vs. Richmond
Feb. 9, 2011
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
What happened on the last play when you were down 2, Tony brought up to the basket, and lost the ball out of bounds?
"Tony clearly had a layup and he lost the ball. We drove a great play, it was right inside, and he lost the ball. It looked like he was pretty open to me."
Your thoughts on losing a close game by 4 points.
"Just losing the game itself is disappointing. I don't want to get into how the game was officiated, but at some point the players have to decide who wins and who loses ball games."
Talk about playing one of the top teams in the league close the whole way and be there at the end.
"I think the game came down to the last two possessions, and we did a terrific job on Anderson, particularly in the 2nd half. And we were able to score in the 2nd half. Even though some calls put Joe [Katuka] on the bench, we were able to sustain ourselves and put ourselves in a position to win the game down the stretch."
Talk about Richmond having the luxury of three seniors they can count on to do so many things.
"They have three seniors who are trying to have a special senior year. We did a good job one one of them. But those are the things you battle when you're a young basketball team. We played them close all the way to the end, but unfortunately we didn't finish a couple of plays, we didn't get a rebound off a missed free-throw. Those were big plays."
The game was up and down, just like the season has been. What's causing the team to have so much trouble finding its groove?
"Overall, we're starting to hit our stride at this point, and we're playing much better basketball. Aside from the Duquesne game and St. Bonaventure game, we've been playing pretty well. But we still have some growing to do, we still have to finish some plays down the stretch, we have to make some defensive stops. So there's still a lot more improvement for us."
Richmond has their three `go-to' guys. You have a lot of guys who can score, but it's Tony who provides the bulk of your offense. Does that cause a problem late in games when they collapse on him?
"I can't really compare ourselves to them. We're two different basketball teams and play a totally different style, but we are a team that, down the stretch, is going to put the ball in Tony's hands and make a play."
What do you take away from a game like this to prepare for the rest of the schedule?
"One of the things we need to do is rebound the basketball. The thing that's been a concern for us all year is defending the 3-point line. We didn't do a good job of that at all in the 1st half, and we never really got a good lead at all because they continued to make 3s. That's an area we need to get better at."
GW Jr. G/F Aaron Ware
What to you was the difference between Richmond coming out on top, and GW coming out on top?
"The game came down to the possession at the end. It always comes down to defense and will, really. I think we just had a couple of missed opportunities on the defensive boards. And obviously, turnovers aren't going to help either. We just need to cut those, box out and that's the difference in the game."
GW Jr. G Tony Taylor
In a back-and-forth game like this, how are you adjusting your mentality?
"Just staying focused, taking one possession at a time, and just trying to will ourselves to win."
Kevin Smith made those 2 free throws that put them up 4. What were you looking for when you took possession?
"I just made a bad decision. I was thinking too much in that kind of situation instead of trying to get Nemanja [Mikic] the ball.
Richmond coach Chris Mooney
"Winning on the road is a difficult thing in the A-10. This has always been a great game, a very intense rivalry, a great home court, and a great program. We're thrilled that we made enough plays at the end of the game to win. We have a lot of senior players who have played a lot of games, won a lot of games. From my perspective they were the difference today."
Talk about the luxury of having Justin Harper as your `go-to' guy.
"Justin is an outstanding player. For the people in Richmond, we've seen him grow and get better. He has a tremendous amount of talent, but he's also a diligent worker. He has a calmness and a presence about him. Near the end of the game, they were trying to take Kevin out of the game, and they did a great job of that. But Justin has the ability to put the ball in the basket in a number of ways. I thought he was terrific."
You were down 5 or 6 with about 3 minutes to play. What's the reason you were able to pull it out?
"I think we have a certain poise. Most teams with as many seniors as us would exhibit some poise, and we really did. We came to the time out, and Kevin Smith spoke up and said this is our game, be calm--all the things you'd expect to have said, but it's coming from the player. He's very sincere and passionate. These guys have played in a lot of games, and it's hard to rattle them."
Richmond Sr. F Justin Harper
In the first half, was the plan to accentuate 3-pointers, or did that just happen because you were hot?
"We were just trying to get good shots and be solid. We they were going to be guarding us tough defensively. If we just ran through our offense, we knew we'd be able to get open shots. We were just able to knock them down early."
With :43 left, you were able to get down to the low post and get a basket. Was that a called play?
"It was just something that developed. We wanted the ball in [Kevin Anderson's] hands in clutch times of the game. They triple-teamed him so he was able swing the ball, and I was able to get good post position and make a good play."
Things have gone well for you on the road. What's helping you win away from home?
"I think it's just focus. We have our minds set on winning this title. We had a few bumps on the road and at home, but we know we're a good enough team to go on the road and play solid."
Your perimeter shooting fell off in the second half. Did GW do something to take that away?
"They were pretty much overplaying us. When me and Kevin were off the ball, they were just face guarding us, and making it hard for us to get any good looks."