GW 68, New Hampshire 64
GRADUATE STUDENT FORWARD Patrick Steeves
On the importance of veterans stepping up:
“I think Yuta [Watanabe] hit some huge shots for us – two corner 3-pointers when the mood was kind of shifting. That’s what we have to do in those tough situations when we’re down and coming back against a team who we believe we can beat.”
On his dunk tonight:
“That’s in my package, man. I don’t know. I just caught the offensive rebound and there was nobody near the rim, so … I may be old, but if there’s nobody near the rim, I can still dunk. I promise you [laughter].”
On what it means to play well during his final year:
“Nights like that are always fun. The biggest thing with this game though – I thought the flow was much better in the game. I think we’re sharing the ball a lot better – 16 assists, I think we got. The ball was moving. We were getting fired up. Not just individually or anything, but I think the whole team was just kind of happy, having fun and moving the ball out there, which is huge going into this last game before conference play and then conference play right before New Year’s.”
HEAD COACH Maurice Joseph
On the importance of tonight’s win:
“Very important, especially at home. One game before conference play. Only one game left before conference play. We want to try to build as much momentum as we can going into conference play, and we’re going to have to continue to do that with one more against Harvard. More so than anything, it’s just an opportunity for an inexperienced team to continue to grow and kind of figure each other out. This was a game where we knew they’d play zone, but we didn’t know they’d play it for 40 minutes. They probably watched that first half of the Miami game and saw us laying bricks out there, so he’s a smart coach. He’s a good coach. I’ve known him for a long time. I competed against him as a player, so he knows what he’s doing. He has a heck of a team and I think they’ll be pretty good, so credit to them. We did a good job kind of not letting them get up big and putting together some consecutive stops after that monster run and we went on. We’ve just got to be able to hunker down and guard at a higher level consistently. When we do it with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, we’re tremendous. We can really guard. Terry Nolan Jr. – it seems like every game I look up and he has three, four, maybe five steals. More so than that, he’s getting a ton of deflections, so he’s really active defensively. We started making some plays that we’ve been talking about we’re going to need to make at certain points. [Adam] Mitola’s charge was a huge, huge play for us. Yuta [Watanabe]’s charge was also another huge play. We did a great job making some winning plays, so I’m really happy with the outcome. Obviously, we’ve got to get better in a lot of areas, especially defensively. I tell our guys every day that winning is hard. Winning is hard. Nobody is going to come in and make it easy on you or take it easy on you. You’re going to have to earn every yard you get and that was an example of that today. I’m hoping our guys take that message and grow from it.”
On Yuta Watanabe and Patrick Steeves’ offensive rebound ability:
“Yeah, I mean we challenged our guys at halftime to go offensive rebound. Anybody who knows basketball – if you’re playing zone, it’s a little bit more difficult to rebound out of it. We wanted to make sure that we came out and attacked the glass, because if we weren’t going to hit a bunch of shots, then let’s go get second chances. I think we did a good job. I’m not sure who got the bulk of them … Yuta got five of them and Steeves got four, so that was huge for us. To get 16 second-chance points is vital, especially for a team that’s in the zone for 40 minutes, and if you’re not going to be consistently knocking down shots. I’m really happy with that adjustment because we did challenge our guys at halftime to go attack the glass.”
On tonight’s free throw woes:
“We shoot free throws every single day. Free throws are a funny deal. There’s nothing you can do to work on it but work on it. It’s not X’s and O’s. It’s not a magic potion. You’ve got to step up. You’ve got to shoot your routines in practice so that your muscle memory is there, so that the variables are all the same. The only thing that changes is time and score, but you should be in a routine every single day. You should be shooting free throws in practice. We’re going to have some great days at the line and we’re going to have some shaky days. The line today was certainly a shaky day, but we’ve got to continue to shoot them every day. I’m not going to turn into a free throw magician all of a sudden. We’ve just got to keep shooting and step up and shoot them with confidence. [Jair] Bolden did a great job after going 0-2, stepping up and hitting two in a row in a crucial part of the game. We didn’t shoot them great, but we knocked some down when we needed to and we’re going to keep working at it. We’re going to keep working at it.”
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