Postgame Quotes - Georgetown vs. Mount St. Mary's

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Nov. 24, 2012

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Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III

On if a lack of intensity was to blame for Georgetown's slow start...
It was intensity. Mount St. Mary's is going to have a pretty good year I think. They came out and played extremely aggressive and came after us. I don't know whether the guys didn't believe the coaches when we told them that that was going to happen, because we came out going through the motions, but I didn't recognize the team that was on the court. In the second half we picked it up a little bit, if not a lot. You go through that first half, but I think they made six threes and we had 11 turnovers and that was the story of the first half.

On second half adjustments...
One I didn't recognize what we were doing in the first half. In the second half I think we just executed our press offense and got open. I thought in the first half we were too casual as dribblers and too casual as receivers. So once we stopped being so casual out there it wasn't as bad.

On if it's human nature to have a let-down after games against UCLA and Indiana...
Yeah, but so what. That's easy to say, but we have to get to the level where that does not happen. Mentally we need to realize that every time you step on the court it's special. You guys have heard me say a lot that it's about us. That doesn't mean you don't pay attention to the other team, but there's a way in which Georgetown basketball has to bring an intensity level to the floor each and every day at both ends of the court. In the first half we were bad at both ends of the court, but we have to bring a certain focus every day, every possession, every practice, every game. So it's easy to say yes, but we have to be better than that, we have to grow up. We still have a young team, I thought Greg Whittington and Otto Porter were really good today, but we still have guys adjusting to different roles, but we're a work in progress.

On the team's turnovers...
It was a big concern. Do I think it's systemic? No, but we were just too casual.

On if he was pleased with the team's shooting...
Probably more so in the second half than in the first half. I think we were shooting 60-some percent in the first half, but we just kept giving it back to them. But they're a good team, they have guys that can score, too. Rashad Whack is pretty good and these guys know it. As a coach I've seen him play all through high school, so it's not a surprise when those guys come out and do what they do. Norfleet is a good player and I have to give them credit, they play very well together.

On only playing seven players until late...
That is not how I want to be, that's now how I wanted today to be. We have some guys, from Moses, to Stephen Domigo, to Aaron Bowen to Bradley Hayes that we need to get ready. But it was an eight -point game with five or six minutes to go. Part of the growth of this team is that we have Mikael still growing, Markel is in a different role, Greg is in a different role from last year, Otto is Otto, and as much as we have to get past our first seven, those guys are still settling into new roles and totally new positions that they have to get accustomed to before league play starts, before eight, nine and ten get ready.

Georgetown Forward Otto Porter

On the players message to each other at halftime...
We were just communicating and that we need to pick up the intensity as soon as we walked into the locker room. We knew we needed to pick up the intensity and come out in the second half and compete with those guys.

On his role in helping the top seven develop as well as the rest of the bench...
I just need to try to lead this team in practice and help everyone learn the plays right along with me, so I can help them out when it comes time to play in games.

On four double-figures scorers...
It helps a lot, but as far as the guys coming off the bench, subbing in for me or Greg, we want them to be confident with the plays.

Georgetown Forward Greg Whittington...

On if he was surprised by Mount St. Mary's intensity...
No. Coach said they were going to come in here and work hard and we knew that out of the gate. We just needed to come back and pick up our energy.

On what changed in the second half...
We picked up our defense, we started communicating with each other and having each other's backs and from then on we knew we were going to take the lead.

On the difference between the last two games with UCLA and Indiana compared to today...
They're a D1 school so they're going to come and play as hard as any other school would and we knew we had to play them. It took us a while, but we picked up our energy and came out in the second half ready to get on our horses.

On committing 17 turnovers...
We need to take care of the ball better. Against any team, they're going to take advantage of that. Once we limit our turnovers everything will come.

Mount St. Mary's Head Coach Jamion Christian

On team's performance...
Really excited about how well our team played for about 32 minutes. I think the biggest step for us right now for us is that we've got to continue to build. We're a program that everyone who watches us play week in and week out knows that we're getting better every game. And that's where we need to be at right now. Getting better each game is our focus. Really excited about our guys, they played really hard. I think any time you're playing a team like Georgetown or Pittsburgh, or any of the teams that are BIG EAST or ACC teams, you've got to really just try to make it a muddy game and you've got to make it as ugly as possible. Our guys took pride in it today and they did a great job of that. Tons of steals and deflections in the first half, and I can't tell you how proud I am of them for their effort. Now, we've got to fine tune some things within our program so that the score doesn't end up at 22 like it has been. But I felt like we missed a dunk down six and had a chance to be right in it down four, so again, really excited about guys. Tremendous energy and effort and I think this is the start of something really special for our group.

On expectations playing against a major program such as Georgetown...
I've been very fortunate to be around some great mid-major coaches who won games like this. It does start though with playing well and I think it's all about keeping it in perspective. You want to play well first. You're not going to just all of a sudden beat a great team like Georgetown unless you play well in a few games before that. So that's why I said this is a huge game for us, because we really played well for a majority of the game. I don't think you ever step out onto the floor with the thought that you're going to lose the game. It's all about competing, it's all about coming out with the win at the end of the day.

On making the game ugly by picking up full court on defense...
We call it man. That's our style of play. We're committed to it. I've got a great group of guys that love to do it. When you come on the floor with us, we don't want to give you an inch. For 40 minutes we're going to pick you up on the end line, we're going to guard you all the way to the basket, and that's how we're going to play. That's how we've played every game this year. I think we've only played zone on one possession this year, and they got a dunk on it today, so it'll probably be the last time we play a possession of zone.

On Georgetown's halftime adjustments...
When you go up against Coach Thompson, he's one of the best coaches in college basketball, so you know they're going to make some adjustments. They really did a great job of flying out at our shooters, making us put the ball on the floor, making us have to create. We have more than capable guys who can shot fake and take it to the front of the rim and create, but we just didn't do it in that second half. Tremendous credit for them and a ton of respect to them for making that change at halftime, and really making us have to make plays off the bounce.

On catching himself in awe of John Thompson III and Georgetown, in only his fourth game as head coach...
It's funny, right before it I was texting a friend of mine talking about that. You know, it seems like just yesterday I was at this little school called Emory & Henry just trying to find my way. I remember one time I came up to D.C. to recruit and coach Thompson was in the gym. I remember being just enamored with his presence. Since then he's been nothing but kind to me. He's always very polite, and you don't always get that from big-name head coaches like him, so I've always had a ton of respect for him. But, I think once the balls jumps up you lose all that. It's about winning, and I think he would say the same thing on his end. I don't think he looked down and said 'aw man, that's one of the youngest coaches in the country right there'. So I looked down there and just said 'hey, we've got a chance right now to beat some of the best, and I just looked at it like a tremendous challenge.

On junior forward Raven Barber...
Raven is a guy we really rely on a lot. He's going to continue to make huge strides for us. I think he's still trying to find his way. You're looking at a guy who's played for Milan for a year, played two seasons under coach Burke and ran the Princeton style, and we play a physical post-up style even though our numbers don't always show it. So that's a little bit of a transition for him. I'm really looking forward to his future with us the rest of the season, because he's improving every day in practice with his face-up game. He can really score the ball. I'm just not sure right now if he's playing confidently enough to do it. It's not from our coaching staff, because we're telling him 'hey, go to work'. That's a term that we use for him because he's tremendously talented. I think by the end of the year all of college basketball will have an opportunity to see how talented he really is.

Junior guard Rashad Whack

On familiarity with Georgetown players as a George Mason transfer, and feelings about team's chances entering the game...
Yes, I definitely believe we can compete with them. The only thing different is they're longer, but we play hard, we share the ball well, and go after it every day so definitely going in to the game I thought we could compete with them and actually win the game.

On where the team fell short today...
Like coach said, when we were down six we have to continue to execute, and I felt like we were rushing a lot. And defensively we've got to defend a little better but we played hard, gave it our all, and just fell short.

On his team's improvement...
I definitely feel like the team is getting better. After sitting out last year and watching, and after the workouts over the summer and preseason, I definitely see an adjustment and improvement throughout the team.

On his over-aggressiveness at times...
In the midst of being aggressive I probably could have dished the ball off or hot-stepped, but in the midst of being aggressive I probably lost focus at times. I've got to learn to just do better than that.

On his improved ball-handling skills...
I never wanted to be recognized as just a shooter, so I have to work out. You know, head fake one dribble, or create for others. I never look at myself as a selfish player, so if I can get someone else open I'll do that.

 

 

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