Feb. 19, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 19, 2005
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"I thought we played hard...in the 2nd half, we really started to make layups--we missed several in the first half. I'm pleased with the win."
It seemed that Duquesne was overwhelmed by GW's pressure.
"Our changing of the defenses--particularly when we were able to trap them and really accelerate the pace of the game--that really disrupted how they wanted to play."
On picking apart Duquesne's zone in the 1st half.
"We utilized Pops very well in terms of getting the ball inside. Maureece hit a big shot in the corner. He has a knack for getting into spots and making shots when he first comes into the game."
Although Maureece Rice didn't score many points, he sparked the offense with his sharp passing.
"When he goes into the game, we encourage him to make plays. He has the ability to not only score for himself, but also create for his teammates. The guys just enjoy playing with him. They're big fans of his. He's almost like the team's little brother and they spend a lot of time teaching him things in terms of our offense and defense. The guys really enjoy him."
Has Pops been working on his post game?
"I have to credit Assistant Coach Roland Houston. When we needed an assistant coach, we felt we needed a big man's coach because so much of what I do is guard-oriented. All our big guys are improving...Pops has become a very versatile player."
What challenges do you face with the upcoming road trip?
"Xavier is the most talented team in the league...They are the most physically imposing team. This will be a big game for us. The only thing I can tell you is that we're going to play extremely hard, we're going to accelerate the pace of the game; they're probably going to play us 40 minutes of zone, so we have to be ready for that. But more importantly, we have to make sure that game is played at our pace and we have to control the tempo."
Is the team where you want it to be at this point in the season?
"We're not quite there yet. We've accomplished a lot, but I don't feel comfortable that we missed a lot of dunks, or that our passing at times wasn't that sharp. A few times we miscommunicated on defense. When you play that next-level game, you cannot afford to make those mistakes, especially on the road against a very good Xavier team."
Duquesne Coach Danny Nee
"GW is a quality team. They have a lot of good players, they play good defense, and if they can take care of business in the conference, they'll be in the NCAAs. Coach Hobbs has done a great job with them."
"Defensively, they picked it up. They play as a team, the players know their roles, they're very solid."
Is it difficult to prepare for GW because of their scoring threats?
"One of their strengths is their diversity. They've got Thompson on the outside, Pops on the inside, and they have interchangable parts with Hall and Pinnock. They're very good players. Everyone knows he's not starting his best 5, but those 6 or 7 kids are his best team. And with interchangable parts, that's what gives them their strengths."
"They can beat you a lot of ways. Tonight, they beat us with defense and rebounds. They can beat you with their 3-point shot, they can beat you with their defense, they can beat you with a half-court offense--4 out, 1 in and pound the ball inside."
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