Feb. 10, 2007
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL February 10, 2007
Xavier 87 @ GW 58
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
What went wrong in the 2nd half?
"A little bit of everything. We needed to get back quicker on defense, and they were scoring too many baskets in transition. Our rebounding was the part of the game where we didn't quite get it done. We lost to a better, more experienced basketball team. Whenever there was a big play to be made in the 2nd half, they made it. Whenever there was a big stop or a loose ball, they got it. That's what veteran teams do."
Is it difficult to go through this stretch with three losses?
"It was going to be a difficult stretch to begin with. That's just part of it. You have to go through it. Now we have to lick our wounds and battle and keep going."
Is it harder for the team to rebound from these losses because they haven't experienced it?
"Not in the sense that they're not used to losing. It's jus a matter of who you play. We could've played our best game tonight and still lost....These are the things you have to go through. People forget that Mike Hall, Pops [Mensah-Bonsu], and Omar [Williams] went through it their freshman year. When you're rebuilding the program, this is what you have to go through."
What's the psyche of this team now?
"The team knows that their backs are against the wall. We need to find a way to win a few more games. If you'd told me at the beginning of the season that we'd be 15-7 at this point, I'd have been very pleased. We just need to work on winning a few more games...Win one more game and life changes a bit. Win two more games, and it really changes because it'll put us back near first place in the A-10."
Xavier Coach Sean Miller
How crucial was this game for the post-season?
"It's difficult to lock in to those things because it drives everyone crazy--the coach, the team. We've been in this situation many, many times. It's about being consistent, and getting better at the things you need to get better at....In our case, we just need to keep developing. When we're consistent on defense, we're tough to beat, and that's what happened tonight in the second half."
Is there significance to breaking GW's home winning streak?
"There is significance. Give George Washington tremendous credit. It's amazing the players they lost from last year's team--Pinnock, Omar Williams, Mike Hall, Pops Mensah-Bonsu. That they've continued to win is tremendous credit to Karl and George Washington. I was excited--and our team was excited--to play in an environment like this. It says a lot about George Washington's program, and we have a good rivalry with them."
What did you prepare for coming into tonight's game, and were you successful?
"George Washington really forces turnovers, the way they play defense. They're at they're best when they turn you over. We did an excellent job of taking care of the ball, which is an excellent step in trying to beat them."
Xavier G Stanley Burrell
What kind of adjustment did your coach make at halftime defensively?
"We had to man-up and get after them. The last play of the half kinda killed us when Carl Elliott got the rebound and put it back in. We said that we weren't going to let this happen to us. We've really been playing well, and it was all about defense. We needed to turn it up. Each man stepped up to a whole new level. We kept our defense tight and force them to take outside shots."
Do you see GW as a rivalry?
"It's a tremendous atmosphere. Those guys really get it done here at home. That's a credit to their crowd and their great coach, Karl Hobbs. He really has those guys ready to go when it's a home game."