Feb. 28, 2004
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
February 28, 2004
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"[The loss] was a combination of a couple of things. One, our defense wasn't very good; two, we couldn't make shots. I just think we lost to a better, more experienced basketball team today."
[Was the team to tight coming into the game.]
"Actually, I think they might have been too loose. I wish they were a little tight, a little scared. We did some things you can't do to win this kind of a game. We had the opportunity to make a couple of layups, and we didn't finish them off. That's part of the learning process...This is the first game we've played all year where the pressure was on us to win. We've never been in that situation before."
[on the play of Richmond freshmen Daon Merritt and Gaston Moliva]
"Those two guys made plays for them, and that was the difference. The kid Merritt makes the big 3, which was a huge play. If that shot doesn't go in--we might have been plus 5 or 9 at the time--that was a huge play."
[on the crowd support]
"It was second to none. The crowd was absolutely fantastic. To come out here at 12 o'clock and see a line around the building, I just never dreamed of it getting to this point. I can't begin to express my gratitude to the students."
[What do you take from this loss]
"As I told the team, sometimes you get knocked down, but you're responsible for getting back up. We lost to a good basketball team. I can't take anything away from them. Obviously, we've got to work on our defense, we've got to get in the gym and get some shots up, and we've got to find a way to win one basketball game."
"I don't want to get carried away [with analyzing the loss]...I don't want to make this out to be more than it needs to be. We lost a basketball game, we need to shore up our defense, we've got to play better against the zone, and we've got to do things better on the basketball court. That's as simple as it is."
GW junior T.J. Thompson
"I felt like I was in a rhythm, but the shots just didn't go in. They felt good when they left, but some of them rattled in and out."
"There was pressure to win, but like Coach said, I think we did come in a little too loose. We usually play better when we're the underdog and scared of the opponent. We just came in lackadaisical."
"We have to never get satisfied with winning. We're only as good as our last game. We can't go into every game thinking that teams are just going to fold for us. We have to come prepared and ready to play for every game...You can tell we weren't focused because we got a technical before the game. That's never happened to us. That right there should have showed that our focus wasn't really about winning today."
GW freshman J.R. Pinnock
"We warmed up like we knew what we were going to do. We played bad, but we were still right there. Like Coach said, the better team won today. They're more experienced, and their seniors dominated."
Richmond Coach Jerry Wainwright
"With due respect to Phil Martelli, who has a veteran team, Karl [Hobbs] has demonstrated all year that he is the Coach of the Year in our league. He's done a wonderful job with the team he's got....There's no nicer kid in the country than Pops Mensah-Bonsu. He's really got a good group of kids. They play really hard. They're very versatile and difficult to play against."
"We withstood the early knockout punch, hung in there, and got a late spurt, which is what you have to do on the road. We were able in the last few minutes to make free throws, which is something else you have to do. A very hard-fought game. They're obviously a team that's going to not only going to be a factor in the A-10 tournament, but also a factor in post-season play. My hat's off to them."
[on Richmond's ability to win in difficult venues such as Smith Center]
"I think it's our style. We're not as high-octane as a lot of teams. This was a high-turnover game for both teams because of the speed of play. It was a very physical game. But we have a veteran team. Our three ball handlers-Dobbins, Brown, and Skrocki-are what GW's players will be when they're seniors. We were able to withstand the pressure and we're a pretty decent free-throw shooting season, though we weren't great today, and that usually helps on the road."
[on shutting down GW's perimeter game]
"We're not a real big team, but our perimeter kids are all pretty long...They're all pretty angular, so you can switch and do some things with them that allow you to get out on shooters. We left our inside guys alone early on and obviously Pops really hurt us inside.
"I thought we did a pretty good job contesting their shots, but you give something else away. They hurt us on the glass in the zone. But we felt we had to stop their 3-point shooting and their transition 3s...They're a very hard team to guard. We just kept reaching in a hat to make up stuff, but finally got in a rhythm of something we can do."
"Again, I think [GW] will play for the title. They have a big game coming up with Xavier. I think they'll bounce right back I think they're one of the best teams in our league. We said that after we played them the first time. We're very fortunate to win here."