Dec. 2, 2001
GW Coach Karl Hobbs:
"We wanted to take time off the clock and slow their fast break down. We felt it was to our advantage because we are smaller. We wanted to try and force them to shoot the ball from the perimeter. The young guy there, Gordon, really stepped up. He was the difference in the basketball game."
"I'm not happy, but I am proud of my team. Our effort was tremendous. My point guard played a tremendous game. Chris Monroe was a dominant player out there tonight with 27 points and 9 rebounds. I thought Tamal Forchion in the 2nd half really made his presence felt in the middle, and at times, we played like a young team. We missed some opportunities that we could have converted on, particularly in transition. We just needed a little more patience on offense, particularly in the 2nd half. I thought we had them on the run. At times, we weren't patient getting shots up that we really wanted."
[on the short time to prepare for Princeton]:
"That's very, very difficult for this team. T.J. Thompson, my freshman point guard, is playing the most minutes, he's playing 38 minutes. Chris Monroe is playing about 37 minutes. Jason Smith is playing about 35 minutes. We have a lot guys playing a lot of minutes, so fatigue and legs will be a factor. Obviously, a team like Princeton--when you guard them, they pass the ball very well. They're the best passing team in the country, and they're constantly moving. We've got to exert a lot of energy to defend them."
"I thought we missed some of our shots because we were playing from behind.
We had to rush a little bit. I thought we had some pretty good looks, we
were trying to get Greg Collucci some extra looks. But the one thing about
Connecticut is, they get out and they defend you. If you had told me we
were going to get 76 points today, I'll take that. Particularly against
Connecticut, I'll take that."
[On TJ Thompson's injury]:
"I think he hurt his ankle. I' haven't gotten the full report on it. The only thing I can do when I'm in my room by myself and I turn the lights off, I've got to say a little prayer. There's no doubt in my mind he's the most valuable player on our team in the sense of how we play."
[on Chris Monroe]:
"He is everything to this basketball team. When we need a basket, we go to him. When we need a rebound, we go to him. When we need a defensive stop, we go to him. We' re asking him to do so much, and I know it's not fair. But he's stepping up to the challenge. When you look at what he's done statistically--last year, he was averaging 18 points a game. I think this year, he's averaging around 23 or 24 points a game. He's getting more rebounds, he's averaging more assists. He's doing all the things a terrific basketball player is supposed to do for his team."
[on playing Connecticut]:
"No, not at all. The thing we wanted to do is focus in on our game plan. There was was no odd feeling whatsoever."
[on not letting the game get out of control]:
"We're used to being down 18, it's kind of like our strategy. It's something I've talked about with the team, we've got to do a better job of it. Right now in the first half, we're giving up about 43 points. I think we did that tonight. We're trying to correct that. We went back and looked at all of our games. Somewhere around the 12 minute mark in the first half, we somehow fall apart, we lose our focus a little bit. We wanted to try and prevent that today. So around the 12 minute mark, we tried to slow the game down and we thought that would correct it. I thought our kids kept their composure and their poise, they never thought they were out of the game. We just kept playing."
[on his knowledge of the UConn program]:
"Obviously in preparation, it definitely worked in our favor because we knew their strengths and weaknesses. Johnny Selvie surprised me a little earlier because he made some good perimeter shots. But again, Ben Gordon made the difference. When he made those 3-point shots, they made 5 and he made 4--all 4 were critical shots particularly in the 2nd half."
[on 2nd half comebacks]:
"I can't tell you what it is. If I knew honestly, we wouldn't be down. I think we're a second half team. If we're tied with you at halftime, we're going to give you a great game. I can't tell you why we come out in the second half and play like we do. Maybe it's because we feel out the team. We have a lot of young players on our team, and they need confidence. When they hear we're playing Uconn, they say "Oh Man!" Once the first half, they think 'Hey, I can play with these guys.'"
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