March 18, 2010
Ohio - 97
Georgetown - 83
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We're joined right now by Georgetown student athletes Chris Wright and Greg Monroe and head coach John Thompson III. Coach Thompson, would you like to make an opening statement?
COACH THOMPSON III: I want to congratulate Ohio University. They played extremely well tonight. I just want to congratulate them as they move on. Obviously it's difficult to end the season today.
Q. You had two Big East teams today, high seeded, and one went into over time and one lost. What does that say about the conference, the Big East, as opposed to the lower seeds in the tournament?
Greg Monroe: No matter what happened before, when you get on the court you have to play. And I think as far as our game, they were better today. We didn't do the things we needed to do to win the game. They needed everything they needed to do to win, and the outcome came out like that.
Q. Greg, did you think that those guys would ever cool off, shooting a three? And just how cold blooded was that, and what is your impression of those guys?
Greg Monroe: You can't expect somebody you can't try and wait and expect the other team to go in a slump or something like that. You have to make plays on your own. They were hot tonight, it's no secret. And they were making shots. They stepped up tonight. We couldn't do anything to stop them.
Q. Greg, obviously it's a little early but can you say if this was your last game at Georgetown and what are your memories of the season?
Greg Monroe: No, it wasn't.
Q. Greg, after you fouled out, the crowd gave you a big round of applause, and I saw Coach whisper in your ear. Can you say what was going through your head when the crowd cheered and what coach said to you?
Greg Monroe: The fans have been with us the whole season, I guess it was an absolute for this year. He told me to keep my head up. And that was basically it. Our fans have been going good to us the whole year.
Q. Chris, you guys, of course, had a rally in the second half and cut it to seven, could you speak a bit about the mindset when you pull within seven. And then also maybe speak a bit about what made Bassett and Cooper particularly difficult to defend?
Chris Wright: We were just thinking that we needed to stop when we got to seven. And they came down and made a big play. I think one of their guys, I can't remember who, hit a three. And so they made a big shot. But it was tough to defend because they use ball screens. They use millions and millions of ball screens. When guards like that, they get a head of steam, it's hard to contain them coming up with ball screens. They made plays, got in the paint and made plays.
Q. Obviously you were well prepared. You watched them on film and saw them. But as you saw them tonight on court, is there something they did that surprised you that you didn't expect them to do?
Chris Wright: No, nothing they did surprised me. As we watched on film, they've been doing the same thing. They were just aggressive on ball screens. That was pretty much 90 percent of their offense. They know how to use ball screens were well and they were efficient coming off of them.
Q. Just wanted to know, you guys talked this week about playing welcoming off the Big East tournament. You felt like you were playing your best basketball this season. Chris, was there a moment early in the game where you were sort of shocked into reality that as well as you guys have been playing that Ohio was playing just as well?
Chris Wright: I don't think we were shocked about anything. We knew what they were capable of. We knew that they could score. Ohio is a good team. Obviously they've proven it. They had two big guards and guys that can knock down shots and feed off their energy and really, I guess, understand the way the guards play. And they feed off of them. And they're ready to knock down shots whenever they passed to them. I don't think we were shocked. They just came out and played a heck of a game and that's pretty much it.
Q. Greg, I'm wondering, how would you assess this season? Obviously some great wins for you guys and some disappointing losses. When you look back on the season, how would you describe it?
Greg Monroe: Obviously ups and downs. I think as a team we were inconsistent. That's probably the most glaring thing. We didn't have the same focus and we weren't the same team every night. That's basically it. Every night we had to come out and be the best team we could be and we didn't do that.
Q. From your standpoint, you just said this wasn't your last game at Georgetown, how much of this season and the fact that you seem like you didn't say disappointing, but obviously there were some things about it that you felt weren't as great as it could be. How much is a factor in that decision?
Greg Monroe: I don't know. The season just finished. Basically I'm not looking to the future right now. I'm ready to go back and see how I can help my team next year.
Q. Can you just talk about what you wanted to do defensively and how much pressure those two guards put on your defense right from the get go?
COACH THOMPSON III: They were spectacular, to tell you the truth. They handled everything that we threw at them tonight. Either Greg or Chris said it, they were the better team today. They did a good job. Chris talked about the ball screens, no matter how we guarded it they were able to find a way to score. We're at the shortened of it tonight but that is what athletics is all about. You can sit and talk tactics and strategy and at the end of the day sometimes it just comes down to players making plays. And those two kids, over and over again, made plays, regardless of how we approached it.
Q. Could you address Freeman's play today? He got off to kind of a slow start, got two fouls and never seemed to get into it?
COACH THOMPSON III: Clearly anyone who watched Austin play, this was not one of his better games. Unfortunately not one of his better games came tonight in the tournament. But if you were asking physically was he okay, as far as I know at this point, as far as our medical staff articulated to me throughout the game he was fine. He just didn't have one of his better days.
Q. What do you think it was about this team this year that could be good enough to beat a Duke or a Villanova on a given night, but also lost some games which you guys were heavily favored?
COACH THOMPSON III: You've got to step on the court and play. I think I said this, and you can get caught up in heavily favored. We lost to some good teams that probably were better than most people gave them credit for. This team is young. It was something we it's probably the first time I said that all year, because we didn't want to lean on that, we didn't want to talk about that. This is a team with no seniors. And so you still, as much as we did not like I said, it's the first time I said that, we didn't use that as an excuse. But you have to go through some growing pains. And this group went through some growing pains this year.
Q. Was there a moment in the first half given how much the team had talked about how well you guys had played last week, was there a moment in the first half that you realized that Ohio just as much momentum seemingly as you did?
COACH THOMPSON III: We talked about that with the guys. I said it to you guys, I mean coming into this tournament I think they won 7 of 8 and won four games in a row in their conference tournament. So that was something we knew they were playing well. It wasn't a surprise. We didn't become enlightened midway through the game or early in the game. But they did a great job. They did a terrific job and it was led by their back court. They just had all the answers. As I said, sitting here thinking about it, sometimes players just make plays. And they consistently made the plays over and over again.
Q. With the way you guys finished sort of fizzled out last year and the way you finished this season, the notion that the system you run holds back the talent that you have is going to be raised again. Can you address that and do you have any thoughts or plans about changing or tinkering with that?
COACH THOMPSON III: When you say fizzled out, I guess you mean the loss to West Virginia.
Q. Last year.
COACH THOMPSON III: Last year is a totally separate monster. Last year we were here we're here at the end of this year and now we're talking about last year. Everyone has a system. Everyone has a way that they play. Everyone has a way to skin the cat. I think history has shown that the way we do things every year you have to adjust, you have to tweak, which we did this year, as we did last year, as we'll do next year, because next year's group will be different. There's no need to it's about five guys playing together.
And I think this group over and over again, particularly the two guys that were sitting up here, along with Austin, showed that as long as they're unselfish on any given night, Chris can score 30, Austin can score 30, the individual can they do a good job of helping and sharing with each other and finding when and where we had the miss matches this year, and tried to exploit that.
If your question is are we going to change our system? The answer to that is, no. If the question is are we going to adjust and tweak the group we have in the locker room next year just like we did this year, yes. This year we did things different than last year, and every year you have to make adjustments.
Q. Of course this was Greg's first NCAA Tournament game. I know it's quick, but on balance, could you talk about what he showed? Did people see the full range of his potential or what did Ohio do well against him?
COACH THOMPSON III: I'm not sure. Did he show his full range of potential? I haven't looked at the stat sheets yet. I can look at the numbers and see if I can say yes or no to that. Greg didn't have our team, no one in that locker room I can look at and say they had a good game, and that was indicative of who that player is or what our team is. So did he show people, probably got a small glimpse of every area today of what Greg can do.
Q. Obviously it's a quick turnaround, but do you expect Greg back next season, could you address that, please?
COACH THOMPSON III: I think you asked him that question half an hour after the season ended, you know, I think that he's going to sit and make that decision as time goes on right here.
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