Dec. 29, 2006
AIR FORCE 66, GEORGE WASHINGTON 52
On Air Force:
"In my six years as a head coach, they were probably the most well-disciplined, balanced team that I've ever coached against. They remind me of a little bit of the West Virginia team we played a few years back. They were just so impressive, and play with a great deal of poise."
On the game:
"I thought we did some very good things in the first half. We did a terrific job attacking their matchup zone, we kept them off-balance a little bit, but we weren't able to maintain that level of focus for the second 20 minutes. I thought we lost the game in the first five minutes of the second half. That was the difference tonight."
On George Washington's performance:
"I thought we got some really good looks, but they were having a good day. What makes them so good is that when we made a mistake, they capitalized on the other end."
On GW's speed and quickness playing a role in the game:
"I thought we did a good job of playing to our advantages in the first half. We were really forcing them to have to make plays away from their regular offensive sets."
On playing a Top 25 team:
"Now we can go back to playing our style of basketball. Tonight they didn't really allow us to play the way I like to play. We had to have a separate gameplan coming in."
Air Force Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik:
Regarding how the second half went as opposed to the first:
"It's hard to simulate that in practice, I think our guys became more aggressive. We had six turnovers in the second half as opposed to eight in the first, we were a little bit more aggressive, more solid defensively, we were just a little bit better in every area."
On George Washington's defensive play:
"Again, you can't simulate the length and the quickness that they have in practice, but still, we shot 50% from the floor and 55% in the first half. We found a way."
On opening the second half with a 10-0 run:
"[The second-half-opening run] gave us a little separation, which is always a good thing."
On the win:
"It's a huge win because George Washington has been having and is going to have a great year, and you just need to keep trying to win as many games as you can. That's the objective. This was a quality, quality win."
On facing Santa Clara in the championship game:
"Santa Clara is an extremely well-coached and disciplined basketball team. They are rock-solid in all positions, they don't beat themselves, and they are big, strong and physical."
Air Force Guard Tim Anderson:
On the win:
"It's a big win for us, especially coming back from the break, it gets us started off on the right foot. To play Santa Clara tomorrow night is a great opportunity for us to keep our momentum going."
On the tight first half:
"We were expecting a good team, and they switched up a lot of defenses on us, trying to get some mismatches, and it worked for a while, but in the second half I think we caught on and got better from there."
Air Force Forward Dan Nwaelele:
On the second-half adjustments that led to the win:
"Coach came into the locker room and told us we were in good shape, only down by one. It was a time for us to keep our composure and come out strong in the second half."
On his second-half performance (14 points):
"Coaches kept telling us to be more aggressive, and that's what I was trying to do out there. I was getting open, so when I was getting it I was just trying to be aggressive and go to the hoop, try to shoot outside, and do everything."