March 1, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
March 1, 2005
Saint Joseph's 71
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"First I'd like to say, what a great atmosphere. I love the fact that we had great support out there, and my young guys battled and battled hard. They played with a great deal of intensity. We lost to a more experienced basketball team."
"I said from Day 1, we're chasing St. Joe's, Xavier, and Dayton. And I say that because they have so many experienced guys...That was the difference tonight. They were poised when they needed to get a big shot....We did the the things young teams do. We got a little over-excited, at times we panicked when they got a big lead--the kinds of things that young teams do."
Are you disappointed not clinching a share of the conference title?
"I'm not disappointed at all. We're taking it one game at a time. I don't look at it as clinching because we're not experienced enough...I'm trying to eliminate as much pressure off of these guys as possible. It's all about the process, and we're going to let [the media] and everyone else focus on the results....If the result is an NCAA tournament or winning the A-10, we'll take it, we'll be extremely happy. But this team is not ready for that kind of pressure yet."
Did the pressure of the moment show up in the team's slow start?
"Without question. The build-up to this game, the way we won the last game, we've been on ESPN all week--obviously when teams come to play us, I'm sure their showing in their film sessions all the dunks and that kind of stuff, and they're really up for us....We're not a good team when we fall far behind in a game like that."
Was one of the keys St. Joe's second-chance points?
"That really killed our momentum, and the early missed free throws. Everytime we tried to grab the tempo of the game, we could not make the free throw or we would take the quick jump shot. That's that lack of experience."
Any thoughts on T.J. Thompson?
T.J. has meant so much to this program, and he has set the standard. Unfortunately, we couldn't win the last [home] game for him. My hope is that he can leave here playing in the NCAA tournament. That will be a crying shame if it doesn't happen."
Saint Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli
"I'm awfully proud of this team because we did not really compete on Saturday...The people I feel sorry for from GW are the sports information people; how they're going to put together a highlight film--it's going to be longer than the documentary "Roots." Every game, there are 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 dunks; jumping through the roof."
"In this game, if we made any kind of contest of going up and down the floor, then we wouldn't have a chance because we don't have guys who can run and jump like that. We tried to make it possession by possession by possession. I put on the board [in the locker room] `old school basketball.' They're the new school, flying up and down. Coming into this building, give up 56 points and give up 38% shooting--the players deserve all the credit for how they handled the plan and the execution of the plan."
"The primary thing was attitude--an attitude that we expected to win. We didn't on Saturday; we didn't play like road warriors, which is how you have to play in hostile situations. Tonight was certainly one of those situations. That's a very, very impressive win by a group who, as I've told them since January 1st, I stand in awe of them. I really don't know how they can get back to this level of confidence and determination, but they've done it every night out."
Was there any sense among the players to win the game for John Bryant?
"John doesn't want that. John's still a part of this team. He runs the warmup before the game, he runs the stretching in practice, he's in practice gear every day...We care about everybody. To have to win one for the Gipper or whatever kind of title you want to give him--that's really not part of our nature."
What's been the toughest thing for you this last week?
"Biting the inside of my cheek. [Is it a little raw in there?] It's a lot raw, but you know what? It feels better now."
Will the A-10 get only one bid to the NCAA tournament?
"I think that GW has done enough to be an at-large team. However, I know that going into that room, the league has not upheld its part of the bargain...Nobody would want to hear an Atlantic 10 school called, especially a GW team that's so athletic. We'll have to see how it plays out, but it's going to be a hell of a tournament. I've been in the league 20 years, and I don't ever remember it being as fiercely fought as I expect it next week."
Any comments on the statement released by the university before the game?
"I haven't seen it, but I know that [SJU AD] Don DiJulia and [President] Father Lannon have done remarkable work in a highly pressurized situation. And what they're trying to achieve... is to make John Bryant and that basketball team whole....I thank them because they haven't involved me. I have a team to coach, I had a game to prepare for, and I couldn't get caught up in all the maneuverings that went on behind the scenes."
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