Nov. 30, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
November 30, 2005
Saint Francis 68
at #19/22 George Washington 85
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"[Saint Francis] is pretty disciplined. They're going to run their stuff, [G Garrett Farha] is going to control the ball, and I warned my point guard not to gamble on them. You'll be tempted to reach and overplay. We started out with a great deal of energy, but started to lose our patience defensively."
What halftime adjustments did you make?
"We were more focused, and paid more attention to detail in the sense of guarding Grant [Surprenant], who was having an outstanding night. That was the difference in the game. In the first half, he was getting the ball in comfortable spots, and whenever he saw daylight, he made the shots. In the 2nd half, we limited the number of shots he had and made him work harder for them."
Are you looking forward to getting Pops Mensah-Bonsu back in time to play Boston University?
"Absolutely. I'm going to sleep well knowing that he'll be available Friday. He is a terrific offensive player...He will make our offense run a lot smoother. When we go through those scoring droughts, we'll get the ball in to him and he'll give us positive results."
Your freshmen seem to be progressing.
"I hope they will continue to be able to do that because there are going to be games where we need those guys to step up. Now, they're bringing good energy and they're doing a good job of giving JR and Michael [a rest], yet we don't seem to lose our intensity."
Any thoughts on Boston University, which is already battle-tested having played Duke?
"This is their sixth game. Teams are coming in that have already figured out what's wrong and have corrected those things. We're still trying to figure out where the lose ends are with us. BU is a tough team, it's going to be a physical game. And they're a lot like this team in that they run a lot of sets, and really execute what they want to do. And they like to control the tempo; they would love the game to be like 60 to 50 where we want a high-scoring game. It's going to be a test of wills in that game."
Have you made a decision on Dokun Akingbade's status for this season?
"I think it's in his best interests, and the best interests in the program, to redshirt him. When you look at our team next year, we don't have any experience coming back at that position. He will allow us to have an experienced guy next year. I think it's a great thing for him and it's a great thing for our program."
GW junior G Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock
What's it like trying to quarterback this team this season?
"We all take our own role in leading this team. Coach wants us to take the team where we're going to go, and just be along for the ride. So we all do our part in being leaders."
Were you surprised that Saint Francis played you close for 25 minutes?
"Not at all. They're a very good team. We went up there last year, and they played us tough. This game was almost a replay--it was close at halftime and we were lucky enough to pull away at halftime."
What did you do differently toward the end of the game that you weren't doing before?
"Our defense was lacking...They're very patient on offense and just waiting for you to make a mistake. We love to gamble; that's the way we play...But sometimes we have to be a little more solid on defense."
"We also slowed down [G Grant Surprenant]. He came in averaging 3 points a game, and at halftime he had 17. He lit a spark under the whole team and had them ready to go. In the 2nd half, we slowed him down and that took a little air out of them."
Saint Francis Coach Bobby Jones
"We knew coming in the caliber of the team that we'd be playing. Coach Hobbs has done an excellent job assembling so much talent. They're very deep and athletic, and they have guys that can play all five positions; they just run them in and out. We knew we'd have our hands full coming into this type of environment, playing against the #22 team in the country."
How did you try to counter GW's athleticism?
"We knew they average just under 17 offensive rebounds a game, and that's a big number for any team in the country....We stressed boxing out because we're not as athletic as they are at any position. I thought we did a pretty good job of that for the most part."
Did having two players foul out in the 2nd half make a difference?
"Well, they're two starters...They became `assistant coaches' way too early in this game. We were forced to play two freshmen who have played limited minutes for us, and it's not a great way to baptize in this type of environment...it would have taken a perfect game to beat this ballclub."
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