Dec. 17, 2005
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
December 17, 2005
Maryland-Eastern Shore 72
#15/15 George Washington 98
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
What do you have to do to prepare the team for NC State?
"They are clearly the best team that we will face up to this point. They're an experienced team, they're an NCAA team that went deep in the tournament last year, they have the majority of their guys back. Right now they have 4 or 5 guys averaging double figures a game. They run very a very effective offence, and they're very, very mature. We have a lot things to be concerned with, particularly on defense."
How many minutes do you expect from Regis Koundija?
"It depends; there's abig difference between playing in practice and being thrown into a game. He'll be sky-high and the adrenelin will be flowing. But we can most certainly use him. This is a great time for him to become eligible because he's going to give Pops a lot of help inside. We need another strong body there."
How important is it to perform well at NC State?
"It can really set the tone for this season. If we can get out of the gate well at N.C. State, then play Temple [on the road] which will be a huge game and our first league game...with what we have coming, we're going to be tested. Hopefully, our experience will get us through this stretch."
The team had 28 assists on 37 field goals. Is that a testament to the team's unselfish play?
"That's been the character of our team and it's what makes us a good offensive team. We've led the A-10 in assists for the last two years, and one year, we didn't have a single guy among the top 10 scorers. It's the way we play. We call it `share the game.' And we're doing a pretty good job of it."
This is the first time GW has been 8-0 since the 1950s. Are you proud of that accomplishment?
"I am; anything that happens this year I'm happy for Mike, Omar, Pops, and Alex. Anything to me is a reflection of these guys and what they've meant to me as a basketball coach and what they've meant to this program. As we're 8-0, I just think of those guys. I'm so happy for them. There's nothing I want more than to see them succeed and have a great year. They most certainly deserve to have good things happen to them."
GW senior F Pops Mensah-Bonsu
How has your game improved since your return against Boston University?
"As far as that game is concerned, I was a little over-anxious, a little too excited to get back on the court. After sitting out for 3 games, all the adrenelin was pumping and I wanted to do so much. After the game I realized I needed to calm down and let the game come to me."
Will the two week layoff affect you?
"I don't think its going to be that hard for us. As Coach Hobbs told us, if we're not ready now, we'll definitely be ready by the 30th. When we come back to practice after this little break, we're going to pick up our game and pick up our intensity, and get ready for conference play and get ready for N.C. State."
What does the team need to work on?
"We're not perfect, I know that. In the first half, we had 9 turnovers. I know we picked it up in the 2nd half, but why put ourselves in that position? As Coach Hobbs syas, we try to make great plays instead of making the right play sometimes...We need to make better decisions during the game."
GW junior G Danilo Pinnock
Is the team ready to play more challenging opponents?
"I just know that we have a big one coming up at NC State after we get back from break. I think everyone will be up for that. And a big piece of our team--Regis [Koundjia]--is going to be eligible. We're really excited about that. He can play every position on the floor. And having him with Pops down low gives us two great shot-blockers."
Any thoughts on the fight in the 1st half?
"I don't think it was a fight. It was just two teams [reacting to] a hard foul, emotions running. That was it. Things like that happen in games all the time."
Are you curious to see how you'll play against stronger opponents?
"Games like this are definitely measuring sticks. I'm confident we're going to go out there and put on a good show. Everybody is real excited about this. We have a chance to go down there and do something really big. We want to take advantage of it."
UMES Coach Larry Lessett
You've played several nationally recognized programs already. Where does GW rank?
"They're the best team on our schedule. I have said that since we scheduled them. And they proved that tonight."
"This game was beneficial for our team as we go into our conference. GW does a lot of things that other teams in our conference do. Don't hold me to this, but I'm not sure there are five other teams in the country with the foot speed George Washington has...One thing that makes George Washington a threat in their conference is their foot speed. And one thing that I think is quietly kept is that they shoot the ball real well."
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