March 4, 2006
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
March 4, 2006
@ GW 86 (OT)
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
How does this game rank with the emotional games you've coached or played in?
"This has to rank as the number one game since I've been coaching. To end in such a dramatic fashion on these guys' Senior Day, you couldn't ask for a better way to close it out. They deserve full credit for it. They worked hard all game. And with all due respect to Charlotte, who I thought played an excellent game. I truly believe they are an NCAA team. Their top players played like top players today. They made big shots at big times."
What was your plan for the last shot?
"We drew it up that we'd inbound the ball to Maureece [Rice]--something we've worked on in practice. We knew we wanted the shot to be in the air with 2 seconds, and wanted Regis [Koundjia] to be in position to tip it in. But Carl [Elliott] came out of nowhere, and thank goodness he did. It looked like Regis could tip it in too, but Carl just came out of nowhere to tip it in. I think Maureece was suprised to see them in the zone, and he made a little bit of a move and gave it to Noel [Wilmore]. Noel had the presence of mind to give a shot fake, and knew he didn't have time to do anything else but just shoot the ball. Thank goodness he did put it up there. Carl Elliott made a Herculean effort to put that thing in."
You were concerned about there being too much emphasis on this game. Do you think there was a little too much adreneline out there?
"I thought so, a little bit, because we did some things that are uncharacteristic of us like turnovers, some quick shot selection...I thought we got a little excited at times, but then we settled down. I thought these guys handled the emotional parts really well, particularly the seniors."
What was it like to send Pops off like this, even though he couldn't play?
"It was an incredible feeling. I wanted to single him out when I spoke to the students because it was obviously difficult for him when he got hurt...Not to be able to play in this kind of game, with his parents here from England. I wanted him to know how much we love him, how much we appreciate him, how much we miss him. Our heart goes out to him, and I think the students feel the same way."
GW junior G Carl Elliott
On making another big game-winning shot "Well I'm just a big shot guy. [laughs] It's good to get a win on our home court. And it's good to do it for those guys [our seniors]. It's more about those guys than my shot."
Take us through that last play...
"The play was designed for Maureece. I saw the shot coming off and tried to get there to rebound it and put it in the hole....It had a high arc on it, so as it was coming down, it looked like it was off."
GW junior G Danilo Pinnock
What was it like out there after the game?
"It was really hard for me because I had to sit and watch the last minute or so. If I ever need something or am in a desperate situation, I've got to call this guy right here [Elliott]. But the most important thing about today is that Mike [Hall], Omar [Williams], Pops [Mensah-Bonsu], and Alex [Kireev] left GW with a win. We haven't been that successful on Senior Day my first two years here. It's a great thing to get this win for these guys."
GW senior F Mike Hall
What was it like out there after the game?
"It was a great feeling to have your student body be proud of you and be able to share in that experience and be on the court because they cheer for us so much. They dedicate so much of their time to cheer us on and give us motivation. We wanted to be part of that."
What happened with the technical foul?
"I don't recall spefically what happened. We just got tangled up. I was so caught up in the moment and trying to win the game when it happened...There was a lot of commotion and when I saw their coach out on the court, I walked over to our bench so I wouldn't get caught up in the middle of anything."
GW senior F Omar Williams
What's the attitude of the team going into the A-10 and NCAA tournaments?
"We definitely want to keep this ride going. The last few weeks in practice, the coach has been instilling in us that every game was going to be tough, and we have to be ready for it."
What was it like on the court after the game?
"It was great. I think we have the best fans in the country...They support us so much, and even come out on the road. There's no way you can not be up for a game like this. If you're not, by time you get on the court, the crowd will get you up for the game...But it was tough fouling out. I felt like I wasn't helping the team. But at the same time, I had confidence that these guys were going to go out there and win the game."
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