Feb. 23, 2008
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
What influenced you to go to the half-court traps after the first few minutes?
"That's how we've played all year. What we really wanted to do was go to half-court traps, then fall back into a little bit of our zone defense. We didn't want to get into chasing them and defending all of their cuts."
How instrumental was that in the win?
"I think it was the difference in the game. Their guards are terrific. They are really good players and understand how to play with each other. I also thought we did a good job of communicating. Other than the first 4 or 5 minutes of the game, our defense was pretty good for the rest of the day."
On GW's free throw shooting (27-31).
"We've been shooting a lot in practice. We know that every game is going to come down to--if we have a chance to win, it's going to come down to sinking free throws. We're just not explosive enough to where it gets down to 2 minutes and we're up 12 or 14, we just don't have that kind of spurt in us at this point. So we have to do the little things down the stretch, and make some free throws, and we've got to catch a break. And we were fortunate today where we caught a couple of breaks."
How important was it to limit turnovers today?
"I believe they scored 11 points off our turnovers. So one of the things we talked about in the locker room is that if we want to have a chance to win this game, we can't beat ourselves. We really have to take care of the basketball. I thought we played with a great deal of poise in the 2nd half, and we took care of the ball. We just didn't make any shots. I thought we had a lot of great looks. Noel [Wilmore] had a great look, his favorite spot, but the ball just didn't go down. In the past when we didn't score, we'd get discouraged and lose our poise and confidence. Today, our attitude was if we're not going to score, we're not going to let you score. And I hope we can maintain that.
GW junior F Rob Diggs
What did you do to keep the team in the game when the shots weren't falling?
"Just play my game. I know that in the past, we'd get discouraged when we didn't score. I just tried to keep us on the boards and keep us energized."
Richmond Coach Chris Mooney
"My hat's off to GW. I think they played well. They are very well-coached. Certainly, their pressure and playing zone defense was a good strategy. And though we handled it early, we just didn't make enough shots to be able to keep them off balance. I'm proud of the way my guys fought back, but we didn't make enough shots to give ourselves a chance."
On the inability to keep GW off the line in the 2nd half.
"It's frustrating because we're ahead by 7 at the half, and they make six field goals in the entire 2nd half, and we lose the game...I cannot speak to the inability to keep them off the line....I thought our defense was OK."
What did you do to slow down Rob Diggs?
"We just made a little adjustment so that Gaston Moliva would be guarding him and Oumar Sylla would be guarding him. They were able to do a better job and not give him so many baskets. He's a good player, very strong, and he just had his way in the 1st half. I thought making that adjustment in the 2nd half was very positive for us. Again, limiting them to six field goals and no 3s...that's a good stat for us."
Your trap defense got you back in the game toward the end. Did you think about doing that earlier?
"We did a little bit. That's something that we do have in our arsenal that's pretty good. But sometimes when you do that, you speed up the game, and that's more into their hands. Maybe we could have gone to it a little earlier."
On Richmond's steals
"That's us, they're huge. We've been stealing the ball and turning teams over quite a bit. And that gets you easy baskets. That's easier than having to take the ball down and work it around their zone. The trapping gets us easy baskets, and they were good for us. I wish we had a couple more."