Postgame Quotes

Feb. 27, 2012

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Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III

On Georgetown's smothering defensive effort...

I thought our defense was very good today. You play a team like that where they have so many good shooters, to go through a game and only allow them to take 17 threes is a big deal. Forget the fact they only made three, but the fact that they only took 17...something they are good at doing, something they try to do...I thought our guys were pretty attentive, our close-outs were good. We did a good job of protecting the three point line, but not staying spread out, so with penetration they had clear passes.

On what went into the defensive effort...

The guys worked, I thought Jason (Clark) set the tone from the beginning and was consistent throughout the game. I thought Henry (Sims) did a good job defending Cooley, because he makes you work. It's hard to guard him, Henry is going to sleep well tonight, because he makes you work.

On the team channeling the emotion of Senior Night in the team's win...

I think we went into this understanding how well we needed to play defense to win. If you relax a little bit they score in so many ways. They have multiple people that can score and I think as we prepared that's all we talked about, we have to have a good effort defensively.

On the difference in the team's defensive effort in the last two victories...

You don't want to keep going back to it, but that's following a very poor performance at Seton Hall. We've said all year when we defend and rebound, we'll score enough points to win.

On the difficulty of changing Notre Dame's pace...

They're slow. I don't mean the personnel, I mean the pace at which they play. They call it the burn offense, because they're burning the clock. We discussed this a lot, you have to guard for 35 seconds. I told our team as we prepared for this game, they score with under seven seconds left in the shot clock better than any team in the country. What they do is they get you chasing, they get you chasing and then they attack. They're banking on the fact that you don't want to stick to your principles and you don't want to guard for the full shot clock. I think our guys were very good at for the whole possession we have to defend and then we have to go get the rebound, because they hurt you when you guard them for 30 seconds and they bang a three or you guard for 31 seconds, then they miss, get a rebound. Our guys did a good job of paying attention for all of that.

On Henry Sims performance on offense...

That's what Henry has done all year and that's we need him to do, the balance between when is it his turn to score and when is it his turn to get a shot. For most of the year with a few glaring exceptions I think he's been very good at that balance of when is it my turn and when should I get my teammate a shot.

On the inside-outside play on offense...

I think we wanted to do that. The way that they defend a lot of times, you end up taking as many threes as they do, just passing around the perimeter and taking threes. We wanted to make sure we got it in and got it back out. Our guys were good today, there's no other way around it, they were good.

On a chance to get a double bye with a win at Marquette... Honestly, I don't know where we stand. I know we're up there, but we have to go and beat Marquette...My answer is the same, I guess I'm trying to be coy, but not trying to be a smart alec, forget all that. We have to win our next game. Forget all that we have to prepare for our next game and after that we have to prepare for our next game. If we start thinking about double byes, single byes, seedings, this, that and the other, you forget to prepare for the next game. So we have to go and spend the next few days and put all of our energy into see if we can find a way to beat a very tough Marquette team on their home court.

On Greg Whittington emerging as a scorer...

He forgot that we still need him to rebound. You look at this stat sheet here, Whittington, one rebound. He fell in his love with his shooting today and forgot to do everything else. No, but I've said this, our team knows this, he knows this, Greg is a scorer. You go through this year, he's a freshman. He's kind of getting his feet wet, getting adjusted and hasn't scored yet the way he can. That today, in spite of what the year has shown is what we see everyday. I don't think his performance today was a surprise to anyone in our locker room. The rebounding was, he usually rebounds.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

"Well, let's get this over with so I can get back to South Bend. They really defended us. I'm very impressed with them defensively. Their length and their size and their quickness bothered us. We had the tempo we wanted, but we've got to score a little bit more to make it interesting. But again, I give a lot of credit to Georgetown and their defense. That may be the best defensive team we've played against this season."

On the loss and doing something better:

"I think it's great. It comes at a good time. It's a nice wake-up after an unbelievable run for us, this stretch in New York and D.C. I talked to them very level-headed in the locker room about us needing some practice reps and getting a little edge back. We may be a little human, which with the run we had, I'm very proud of our group. We need some practice time, and it's a one-game season now. We've got one game left in the season to achieve something with the double bye."

On what will help get that edge back:

"The karma wasn't good tonight. A lot of that was Georgetown's doing. They got the 50/50 balls, put-backs, we couldn't defensive rebound. For Jack to go 25 minutes and not get a rebound, we've got to get him going. That's project number one when we get back."

On where the game was lost in the second half:

"Even though we were down ten at halftime, we were hanging on for dear life. Eventually we were going to have to play faster and try to score quickly. We had some transition opportunities, we had some good looks. We're going to have to make some more threes. We didn't shoot it very well on this roadtrip. Part of our nine-game run we shot it well at key times. We didn't shoot it well against St. John's and Georgetown. I give both defenses credit. St. John's flustered us, and these guys had us harassed because they're so long."

On Jack Cooley...

"I know for Jack he's very disappointed. I couldn't figure out how to help him. We got him out, we played small. That is by far his worst effort. For him to play 25 minutes and not get a rebound is staggering. That's the one thing he can do. He may not score all the time, but I thought he was just a step slow. Maybe we need to get him a little rest tomorrow and then get him practicing Wednesday."

On changing defenses in the first half...

"The zone helped us, saved us for a while. But we couldn't score on the other end. We change defenses, we go back and forth and we've had a nice mix of that. They were hard to defend man to man tonight. Sims is so good with the ball. They play off him. That's a unique team that he's the lead assist guy. I've really never seen anything like that. They really play well off him. They really didn't play a point guard much tonight, they just played big guys. But we had a hard time guarding them man to man."

On where to start when the team returns to South Bend...

"We won't over-analyze it. We need a little recovery. Martin's got a little bit of a tweaked ankle. I didn't even know if he was going to play. For him to take charges when we're down by 20, I mean that's unbelievable. We've got to get back and just get into some October practice plans. We need some breakdown defensive stuff, some competition drills. We just need a little bit of that twice on Wednesday, once on Thursday, and let's play basketball Friday. I hope we can play as well on senior night as these guys did."

On the development of Atkins and Grant...

"They're a big part of the program now. They didn't play as well as they wanted to here [tonight]. They really are a key reason why we're going to go to the NCAA Tournament this year after it looking very bleak last time when we were here on December 4th. Those two guys just continue to get better. I think they will become one of the better backcourts in this league quickly. They've made us believe and it started back in mid-January. I'm really proud of them. It's tough for them losing here, they really wanted this one. But we've got to get them back and get them ready. But they're on their way."

On hugging his seniors as they left the floor...

It can be difficult. Four years go by really fast. These guys, in a couple months will graduate and both of these guys will be playing basketball for a very long time. This is the last time they get to do it in this building wearing Georgetown. It's a special day for them. I remember my last home game many moons ago, but I remember it very well and I'm sure they will remember it very well for the rest of their lives.

Georgetown senior guard Jason Clark

On the emotions of playing on Senior Night...

I tried not to focus on that, I just tried to focus on the game. I knew my family always has my back and they are always going to be there for me, so tonight isn't any different, they always have my back they're always cheering for me, so I just tried to focus on the game as much as I could.

On the team's defensive effort...

This is definitely how we can play defense, this is what we've been striving for. We've had some games in the past where we've played defense like this, and if we play defense like this in every single game we can be a very good team.

On defending Notre Dame and their strong three-point shooters...

We guarded the three point line hard, communicating and knowing where the shooters are at all times. They put four shooters on the court at a time, so we have to stay attentive to where everybody is at all times.

On how tough the team is when Henry Sims establishes himself...

We're very good when he plays well. He's very good at finding everybody on the court. He's good at knowing when it's time to score.

On being out there with Henry Sims on Senior Night...

It was very big for us. We talked about it before, we wanted to leave with a bang. We didn't want to go out with a loss, we wanted to do the best we could on the court to get a win.

On if he took it personally that people thought it would be a rebuilding year...

Definitely. We knew coming into the season from day one that we were the only ones that knew what we were capable of. We took it personal, we did everything we could every single day to get better.

Freshman forward Greg Whittington...

On his career-high 15 points...

It was all because of (Henry) Sims. Sims was having the defense close in on him, like coach said, "go inside out," and my shot was there and coach just said, "bang'em," so I did.

Senior center Henry Sims...

On if the game was the Hoyas most dominant win in BIG EAST play...

The last two games we have ended with comfortable leads, so these last two games are defensively the best wins we've had.

On his performance, including five assists...

My performance is based on my teammates. Like you said, I passed the ball, they have to catch it and finish, so my performance is based on them.

On taking Cooley out of the game...

Like coach said, he's a big kid. He makes you tired guarding him. I just had to work, every play they're looking for him and every play he's looking to get the ball, so I had to continuously work.

On leaving the Verizon Center floor for the last time in Blue & Gray...

We won, that was the biggest thing. It was good to see a lot of the family members who I haven't seen in a long time, it was just good to leave here with a win.

On being able to determine their own destiny in the BIG EAST...

If we play defense like we did in the last few games, I mean you've gotta be happy with that. If we play defense like we did, the offense is going to come, but if we play defense like that, we're going to be a really tough team to beat.



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