Postgame Comments: Massachusetts at GW
Feb. 17, 2010
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Was the importance of this game to both teams the reason why it was so tightly contested?
"Yes, but I think it was going to be that kind of game anyway. They were playing very well, they're playing their best basketball, and we're starting to find ourselves a little bit. It was two young teams that played with a lot of energy...That second half, I thought it was going to be, who can make a free throw. Our goal was to eliminate [Ricky] Harris' shot attempts, and eliminate [Anthony} Gurley's shot attempts. We held one guy to single digits, but Gurley made this game interesting."
The team was aggressive on the boards tonight. What did you do to emphasize it?
"We felt that was the key. [Sampson] Carter had 19 rebounds in the game, 11 were offensive. In practice, we tested guys on the number of rebounds vs the number of minutes they play. We really stressed that, and it shows in the stat sheet."
What did you tell the team when things got a little chippy with Damian's foul and Javorn Farrell's ejection?
"I don't think the players noticed. It was such a play that didn't matter, so we didn't tell them anything that we could see."
Were you concerned that the chippy kind of play would escalate?
"I just thought that as the game progressed, everyone was playing a lot harder. And both teams were attacking the basket. Neither team could make a jump shot at one point...I thought both teams were playing aggressive basketball, and that the game was officiated very well."
How important was Joseph Katuka tonight?
"He kept us in the game early. we got the ball into him, and he
finished plays. He helped us stay within reach, and not give them a
double-figure lead. Then his rebounding down the stretch and a great
finish down the stretch. He just had a great game, and tonight, we
needed that kind of game out of him."
GW Senior F Damian Hollis
After the foul that led to Farrell's ejection, did the coaches say anything to help you keep your composure?
"They just told me to stay smart, and try not to throw those cheap fouls. I might have said something to the refs, and I became `the one.'"
Were things as chippy out there as they looked?
"Both teams knew we were in a desperate situation. We both came out aggressive. In return, the refs had to call things tight. We had to stick out game plan, and hopefully come out on top."
UMass Coach Derek Kellogg
"That was a tough, hard-fought game. GW did a great job on the boards; when you're outrebounded by 21, it's difficult to come away with a victory. We had our chances, but didn't capitalize on them. I give credit to their team, coming up with loose balls and loose rebounds and tough plays, that was the difference in the game tonight."
Was that particularly tough because you emphasize rebounding so much?
"It meant a lot, there was so much riding on that game. It wasn't so much getting to the free throw line than them beating us on the boards...there were 3 plays in the game that made a difference, and the rebounding is what beat us."
Talk about the challenges of coaching young guys not to make mistakes.
"It's a challenge for both teams. GW's young--maybe not quite as young as we are, but pretty close. When you have 2 and 3 freshman on the floor for several minutes at a stretch, every time is a learning experience for them. They're going to make some mistakes; you just hope they're not mistakes that end up costing you baskets or inopportune turnovers at tough times in the game."
Talk about the overall intensity in the game, and how much it meant in the A10 standings.
"I was under the impression that it would be a chippy, physical kind of game. They play a lot of bodies to keep guys fresh, they do some different things to trap, and they play a pretty physical style for how both teams really want to run. It ends up being more of a physical, half-court game. I actually like to coach and play that way myself. I feel like you have to have a certain level of toughness to win games. And they were more mature today."