Feb. 16, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 16, 2005
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Did you anticipate such a fast-paced game?
"Absolutely. We knew they had a terrific shooter in Anderson, we knew Dunston is as good a player as there is in the league, particularly as a rebounder. He really showed it today."
On the 2nd half run
"TJ really understood that he had to guard Anderson and not allow him to make any more baskets. That helped us a great deal. We were also able to get some consecutive stops, and score baskets in transition. Mike Hall was just incredible. He got a little banged up, but in the 2nd half, he stepped up big time for us."
"Fordham reminds me of us last year in terms of their style, their ability to put points on the board. They play a fun way. We can't allow a team to score so easily on us in our building, particularly in the 1st half. They got into a nice [rhythm]. And for us, we came out and were scoring so quickly, we got caught up with scoring, and forgot that these guys were running right back at us. We dunk one time and we're celebrating. Guess what? They were dunking right back on us. We have to be careful of that kind of thing."
How biig was JR Pinnock's 3-pointer to go up 68-60?
"No doubt, that shot gave us enough cushion to force them to do everything correct from that point on. They had to make every shot, and every free throw. That helped us put the game away, and not have it come down to a possession.
On Mike Hall's intensity at the start of the 2nd half run
"Mike showed a real sense of urgency, and a will to win. He hurt his ankle, but just totally ignored the fact that he was banged up and had that refuse to lose mentality. It's the time of year when that's what it takes. Everybody's fighting now. You make too many mistakes in the ball game, you lose it. Period.
GW senior G T.J. Thompson
Seems like a bad turnover sparked your 8-point run in the 2nd half. Were you afraid Coach was going to yell at you?
"He was already yelling at me by then [laughs]. We came down one time and coach had called a play for the ball to go inside to Pops. But he had set up such a good screen and my man was trailing, so I had a good open look. The others just came in transition."
Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg
"We played a very good first half. We rebounded like we wanted. We didn't get the ball to Dunston; they were keying on him, which we new was going to happen. Then at the start of the 2nd half, we started out like gangbusters. [GW] made a little run at the end, and we had chances to stop it. But...9 for 22 from the free throw line--we make our free throws, we stop the run, it's a different game...The timely missing of free throws really hurt us at the end, and they got a lttle momentum... We certainly had our chances today against a good basketball team."
On keeping up with GW's fast-paced offense
"That's the way we're going to play. We just don't have enough guys. We like to play up-tempo. We had a chance to score 80 points ourselves...We couldn't pressure and we couldn't play the man-to-man defense that I like to play. But you'll see a different team next year."
How big was Pinnock's 3-pointer that put GW up 68-60?
"Huge shot...it was 65-60, and we were in the game. All we had to do was get a stop. Huge play, nobody rotated out. And that's the difference. They're 3, 4 years in, they have an experienced team, they made their plays, and that's what you expect. You leave a guy open, you make the shot, and we're not there....A lot of young mistakes for us. You can't go on the road and make those kinds of mental mistakes and expect to win the game."
Was this a fun game to be a part of?
"Absolutely. Both teams pushing the ball up, both teams trapping. It was a great game. That's what a TV game should be about--two teams like that are battling."