March 13, 2003
GEORGE WASHINGTON vs. XAVIER
Xavier Head Coach Thad Matta
"This team has resiliency. There were a couple of opportunities to drop our heads, but we stayed with it. We made big plays at the right time. There was one play where David (West) beat everybody to the ball. He loves to win. That's the way players of the year play. This team wants to get better everyday. I've told them that it's much easier to get to the top than to stay at the top."
"This is my ninth year, I think, in conference tournaments. The first game is always a war. We're playing to set the school win streak, for the NCAA tournament. For GW, it's about keeping their season alive. They've got a great basketball team. They've given us 120 minutes of great basketball this season."
"Chris Monroe is a tremendous player. He can hurt you in so many ways. He seems like a great kid. He's had a tremendous A-10 career. I've really enjoyed watching him play."
"Temple is a team that we just played a few days ago. They're tough. They put four guards out there. They're zone is a little bit unique. Richmond has beaten us this year. They're a good team, and they're not going to beat themselves. We'll take whoever at this point. I just hope their game goes into about nine overtimes."
Xavier Senior Forward David West
"I was getting the ball a little closer to the basket today that I normally would. And it was just a matter of knocking down some good looks."
(On talking to GW Senior Chris Monroe following the game)
"They (George Washington) make you play ugly. A lot of them thought they got robbed at our joint, so we knew we were going to have to come out and play them very tough today. And in the end, it was our five again."
"We want to be greedy while we're up here. We know that every team is going to give us their best shot. We've been in dogfights all year."
George Washington Head Coach Karl Hobbs
"I thought we really kept to our game plan. Our defensive effort was excellent. We had a chance with a few free throws and lay ups and had we made those shots it could have been the difference in the game. Down the stretch we had an opportunity to win the game and got the looks and shots, but they didn't fall. I like the way we played defense. We stuck to our strategy and did what we wanted to do. I am very proud of this team's effort."
"I think we loss control in the first half. We got away from our plan and rushed some shots. They were able to get transition points and David West just used his physical play inside, especially during the second half. He has the ability to just score period and I think that is what the best player is suppose to do. He (West) finds ways for them to win."
"I thought the officiating was good today. We are a difficult team to officiate because we play so aggressive. I thought it was very good and consistent."
"We look at the five players we brought in because they are strong student athletes. They can academically excel at GW and they bring so much to the court. We are succeeding as a program and headed in the right direction. They have matured so much and have come around."
"I can't say enough about T.J. Thompson. He had more than five games were he had to play for 40 minutes. His development has been tremendous and exciting. We are excited about next year and we just hired a new strength coach this year. It will be fun to see how Omar (Williams) and Pops (Mensah-Bonsu) bodies develop."
"I think next year we really have to work on our consistency and look even more to our defense."
George Washington Senior Guard Chris Monroe
"It was real hard looking at the score late. I saw we were down six and I was just hoping a miracle was going to come our way."
"I'm going to miss my teammates the most, especially this guy to my right (T.J. Thompson). We played in high school together and now here in college. The friendships I've made on this team will be what I miss the most."
George Washington Sophomore Guard T.J. Thompson
"We tried to press them (Xavier) all game. And we saw late that they started to lose some focus and we tried to gamble to get some things to go our way."