Dec. 18, 2004
NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL
December 18, 2004
@ #19 GW 85
GW Coach Karl Hobbs
Were there problems with distractions of final exams and the long layoff? "It was a game that we wanted to hurry up and play it. It just seems like we haven't played in so long. It's been one game a week, and we haven't had the whole team together for practices [because of exams]."
"Overall, I was pleased with how we played. We just missed too many layups. That's what kept them in the game. But Towson maintained their poise, they stayed within their offense, and they never looked like they were rattled or played like they were out of the game. That's a great credit to the coach and how he got the team prepared."
On the problems scoring inside:
"I think we missed four dunks and we have a rule that if you can't dunk, lay it in. [grins at Ricky Lucas] So we missed some easy layups, and it's unusual for Pops to go 5-for-14. But overall, we still put up 85 points, and I'm happy with that. And overall, the defense was fairly good for us. If we can keep teams shooting 40 percent, we will have some success."
On Ricky Lucas's contributions:
"Getting out of the gate, he was thinking about that anthropology exam in the first half. [laughs] After he shook that off in the second half and he missed the dunk...we stayed right with them, and he separated the game because he hit two 3s in a row. That kept the momentum in our favor."
What parts of your game do you need to work on going into two hostile environments on the road?
"First and foremost, we need to tighten up our defense. We have to be come a little bit tougher physically and mentally, and we'll need a tremendous amount of poise going into those two games on the road. We can't let the emotion of the game get away from us. Florida International is a very physical team, and we cannot allow it to get out of what we do. At West Virginia, it'll be more of a crowd issue, and the way they play; they play with a lot of poise on their defense. They're so fundamentally sound, so it will be a real mental challenge."
"We have to finish off the easy plays. We get layups, we've got to finish them, especially going on the road. We're going to need every basket because winning on the road is a very difficult thing to do."
GW G Ricky Lucas
What got you going in the 2nd half?
"After the first half, I felt that I had to start being a little more aggressive. The first 3 was all I needed and I was ready to roll."
Did the layoff and exams make it hard to focus?
"It's tough, but it's also an opportunity for us to get in the gym and get up some extra shots, get in the weight room, and prepare for these upcoming games. It's negative in a sense because we can't wait to play, but it's positive because it gives us time to get ready."
GW G Carl Elliott
Did the layoff and exams make it hard to focus?
"I don't think it was a hard adjustment coming into the game because we've been practicing a lot...But that stretch with the games spread out was a drag. It dragged on. But when we came here today, we were focused."
Towson Coach Pat Kennedy
"I've seen a lot of rebulding efforts, but I really have to credit Karl Hobbs. The level of talent they've put together the last three years and the way that they're playing is a real tribute [to Hobbs]. I've seen a lot of GW basketball over the years, and they've had some talented groups. But collectively, this is as talented a group as I've ever seen here. Karl and his staff have done a really good job."
"We didn't handle the pressure well...for 33 minutes, our guys went toe-to-toe. In the beginning of the game, we were concerned about the pressure. One of our Achilles Heels is that we haven't handled pressure well, but we're getting better at it....and that hurt us early. We were very, very hesitant. We had 12 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game, then 9 for the next 30."
"This is the most talented team we've played, and it's good preparation for the Colonial Conference. I'm very proud of our kids, they fought hard. If you're sitting there looking at 31-10, you might have thought that this would be a 40-pointer. But they had to earn it. We cut it to 7, but then we left our feet on the defensive possession, and they got inside and a 3-point play. If we get a stop down 7, it's a different game."
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