Comments following George Washington's 60-57 victory over Princeton in the Consolation Game of the BB&T Classic.
Dec. 3, 2001
Princeton Head Coach John Thompson
On the game:
"We got every shot we wanted. The ball just didn't go in the basket."
On George Washington's defense:
"They laid off us and they gave us shots. They said, "We're not going to give them layups, we're going to make them make shots," -- and we didn't make shots. We've seen that before and that goes along with the way we play. We have to have shooters because either we're going to cut, or get open or put the ball in the basket. They made a conscience effort just to lay a couple feet off us to defend the cuts. It worked, it was a good game plan. Our offense is set up where we have to have good shooters because if they stop that, we get open shots, which we got today."
On Princeton's performance in the BB&T Classic:
"We need a spark right now. This was a very disappointing tournament. The energy [and] the zest wasn't there today. We just didn't have the life that was necessary."
On defending [George Washington forward] Chris Monroe:
"Chris is such a talented offensive player and such an aggressive offensive player, I don't think you can take him out of his game. Much like our shooting, he might have been a little off today. Chris is the hub of their team and everything goes through and around him, so you have to know where he is. I think we did a pretty good job defending him, but he was just off. You're not going to stop Chris."
On Princeton six games into the season:
"We have to get some wins. It's as simple as that. It's not rocket science here. We have had some games where I think I can honestly sit here and say we're making strides and we're improving. Now we just have to figure out who is going to make plays, how we're going to step up and win some games. We're improving, but we need to get wins."
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
"We played a very good game. I thought we outplayed them and deserved to win. But then we tried to be creative to give the game back to them. Our youth and our inexperience showed tonight. When we had an opportunity to close the game out, we didn't take care of things."
"Anytime you can play a Princeton team and hold them to 34 percent shooting, and more importantly hold them to 26 percent shooting from the 3, that was the difference in the game. Our defense was magnificent, the activity was fantastic. I was so proud of what we did defensively."
"We charted their shots from yesterday and found that they scored their early baskets against Maryland either inside the land, which was the back door, or a 3-point shot right at the top of the key. That's what we wanted to defend. We didn't want to give them any 3s up top, and we didn't. We paid attention to detail."
"We went into the zone because Princeton is sort of a rhythm team. You can see they were starting to get into their flow. The fluidity of their offense was running so smoothly that we wanted to go zone just so they'd be stationary. I thought that sort of broke up their fluidity and their offense."
On Greg Collucci
"We have a rule: if Greg Collucci is open, you're not allowed to throw him a bad pass. You can throw Chris Monroe a bad pass, I won't kill you. But I'll kill you if you throw Greg a bad pass. If he catches the ball in the pocket, if he has time, it's going down, he's going to make 50 percent of them. I thought he may have rushed one shot, a little too quick, but for the most part I want him shooting the ball. I want him pulling the trigger, and he was tremendous today."
On the team's impatience
"I don't want the guys to play tight on offense. As a result, we aren't very patient. We can never seem to reverse the ball. If it gets in Chris' hands, he cant wait to shoot it. If it gets in Collucci's hands, he can't wait to shoot it. That's part of the immaturity of our offense. As you saw in the second half, because I didn't trust my team on offense because we were in such a hurry, is held the ball out. If we're going to win the game, we're going to win the game defensively because with a half-court offense, we were trying to score too many points in a hurry."
"We've been giving up 42 points in the first half. We didn't do that today, that was the difference in the game. We have to continue to hold teams in the 30s, we can't give up 42, 45 points in the first half. Secondly, we have to become a more patient team in our offensive sets. If we can do those two things, we have a chance to have a special year. I wouldn't have said that about a month and a half ago. But the courage and the effort and the enthusiasm and the will to win of this team is really starting to come together.
On TJ Thompson
"I really didn't want to play him because he wasn't 100 percent. But he kept staring me down. I was trying not to look at him because he was giving me that look like 'How come I'm not in the game?' I thought he showed a lot of courage, even though he wasn't 100 percent. He really matured in these last two games. The best thing he did yesterday was handle the pressure of the Connecticut guards, that's the best thing hes done throughout this tournament."
"It doesn't make a difference how rocky the ocean is, they just want you to bring the ship in. That's our motto. We could make excuses and say that none of these guys have played in big games, they're all young. No one cares about that. They want you to bring the ship in. And that's all we care about.."
Guard Greg Colluci
On becoming more confident with his shooting
"It's just the opportunity to get more shots in the flow of the game. Being in the game and having the chance to do what I can do leads to more confidence. The more you do something, the more confidence you get."
On winning close games
"I don't like the way we're doing it, but I'll take it."
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