Post Game Quotes

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Dec. 7, 2013

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Georgetown 61, Colgate 55
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Verizon Center
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coach John Thompson III

On planning for Colgate's offensive attack...
"You know they have a terrific coach, and it's hard for a Princeton guy to say that about a Penn guy, but Matt does a good job with them. Obviously they are coming into the game the best three-point shooting team in the country - literally - in terms of the percentage that they make and the amount that they make, and so they put a lot of pressure on you just because you have to guard the three point line, you have to try to make the put it down but then once they go to put it down you have to guard them, so, if that's the 8th place team in the Patriot League, the Patriot League is a damn good league this year - I'll tell you that. But they do a good job, they have good offensive players and they're a confident group."

On what Colgate did to challenge the Georgetown players...
"To be honest - and I don't want to say this as if I'm taking anything away from them - I think we did it to ourselves today. I don't think they did anything. Our group has to play a lot smarter, we have to make good decisions, if we want to win. They played a soft man-to-man which we picked apart. We did a very poor job of executing today."

On whether or not he scheduled this game to prepare the team for the NCAA tournament...
"At the end of the day hopefully a lot of these games will prepare us for the NCAA tournament. I said at the beginning of the year that this is the toughest schedule that we've put together since I've been a coach here, and I say that not thinking about the quote-on-quote "big" more key games that the casual fan looks at, it's because of a lot of these other games that are against very good teams, that are against experienced teams, that are against well-coached teams, teams that are going to be in the tournament or have a pretty good chance of being in the tournament, so our schedule is full of those teams so it's easy to pick up the schedule and look and start talking about the Oregon and everyone that was in Puerto Rico, VCU, Michigan who we could possibly play, down the road we have Michigan State and Kansas - it's easy to look at those games, but it's all these other games that are all against very good teams, and hopefully that will get us ready for the tournament."

On whether or not he told Markel Starks to take the ball to the rim with three or four minutes left to play...
"Well we knew, both teams, we were in the one-on-one, so we didn't just want to settle for jump shots right there, but even then we made some poor decisions I thought."

On the play of Mikael Hopkins...
"He has done that for several games now, he comes in and gives us a boost. He ended up with 9 and 8. He's been doing a good job at rebounding, and he's been allergic to rebounds up until now, up until this year, but he's pursing the ball he's getting rebounds out of his area, he's getting ones in his area, so I think he's been giving us a pretty big lift off the bench in general."

On whether or not he thinks his big guys were able to make plays inside today...
"I'm not sure I would agree with that, because we missed some bunnies that we have to make, you know we get the ball in deep position we have to put the ball in the basket. At the end of the day today did they make baskets yes but we had some point blank shots right from the beginning - Markel has two breakaway layups that didn't go in, Josh misses a dunk, Josh misses a layup. Nate Lubick, I thought, played very well, I thought Nate was good tonight. We come out, we execute, we get the ball two feet from the basket and it doesn't go in, so those things - they have to go in.

On whether or not he is looking for a guy to come off the bench and bring energy...
"I'm looking for 13 people to be that consistent energy guy, to be honest, but AB (Aaron Bowen) comes in, he was smart today, the other game he came in he had some bad turnovers that hurt us, that hurt himself, but he was focused today, he was attentive on defense. Like I said, he can get out there and cover their shooters and then cover the penetration also."

On taking advantage of the10 minutes that passed in the first half before Colgate scored...
"Yeah I wanted it to be one hundred-to-nothing."

On the performance...
No and I don't think we played without energy today. We didn't play smart, we didn't execute, we didn't make the plays necessary to win when it counts, but I don't think it was a lack of energy by any stretch of the imagination. That being said, our fans have been terrific through the years and they're going to be terrific this year. I know our students are going through exams or they will be going through exams, so that might speak to that, but the energy in the building has nothing to do with a perceived poor performance. The energy when there are fans in the building is definitely tangible. It's worth points on offense and stops on defense.

On if playing two games in 36 hours affects the team...
It would be easy to sit here and say, "We played 36 hours ago and in that time everybody had two papers to turn in and an exam," that's easy. But once you cross those lines all that has got to go out the window for the two hours, or the way the officials are calling it this year, two-and-a-half to three hours that you're on the court, all that has got to go out the window and you have to be focused. Now we're going to get back on the bus and you can start worrying about that econ test you have, that sociology paper you have and that physics final that you have, but once you come in here you can't worry about that. Everyone has stuff going on. You have exams, you're mad at your roommate, you broke up with your girlfriend, your dog ran away, everyone has stuff going on.

On Nate Lubick's play...
We did a better job of getting (Nate Lubick) the ball. We have to get him the ball down there, because he scores at an efficient rate down there...I thought he did a good job of getting key rebounds when we needed them.

On the gap between the next game... When putting the schedule together I intentionally take this week off because of school. Perfect world, can you keep playing? Yeah, but they have a lot of work to do. You can still work, you can still improve.

Colgate Head Coach Matt Langel

Opening Statement
It's important for me personally, and for our program, as we try and build a team that can compete for a championship, to be able to play these games. I was lucky enough as a student-athlete to play for a guy, in Fran Dunphy at Penn, who took our program to great heights and great success, but also coached the experience of the student-athlete. So for us to have a chance to come and play in an NBA venue against, in my opinion, top-ten level program. Does that mean that this Georgetown team is going to be one of the ten best teams in the country this year? That remains to be seen. But with the history and the tradition and the players and the culture around the environment, it is important for us to take our kids into this environment. We do it with Syracuse and we've had those opportunities. So we are super appreciative of Coach Thompson, everything he stands for, everything their program stands for, how they go about treating you when you are in this environment. That's most important to us.

On the game against Georgetown...
Obviously the game was tough. I've been lucky enough to coach in a lot of these games against "Coach Thompson" teams, whether it was Princeton vs. Penn, Temple or Georgetown and you hope that they can be of this environment. Probably not the best for Fox Sports 1 and entertainment value, but to me they are great basketball games where the kids have got to figure out the speed of the game and the flow of the game and every possession is going to be hard fought. I am proud of our guys for doing that. We obviously got off to a cold shooting start. We don't have the luxury of being able to pound the ball inside and pound the glass and I credit Georgetown for doing that in the second half. Really making it hard for us to protect the basket, but we've got, just the way our team is built and the players we have, we've got to be able to make jump shots. In our four game win stretch we were able to do that, but not so much tonight especially early in the game.

On if Colgate thinks about its 0-11 start ...
Yeah you do. And I think the players probably do. I know I did as a player, say `Man, I had three open looks, if I had just made one of them to not get us off to such a sluggish start.' But it's the course of a game. I mean, they weren't that much better in the first half, offensively and they've got some really good players who missed some shots that they normally make. [Joshua] Smith has a follow-up dunk that he probably makes 95% of the time and he missed it. [Markel] Starks makes a steal and it fumbles off his leg. So, it's kind of the flow of the game and you have got to trust the players. We have tried to work with them not to panic when you get down in a seven or eight or nine point deficit. You are going to make your shots if we are going to be in there and those runs are going to come over the course of a game. As coaches, we try not to look back and say `Man, we just let it go in the beginning' but I think always you can't get off to such a poor start against a team of this caliber.

Regarding teaching the perimeter-based offense...
It's just trying to teach them to take what the defense gives you. If Josh Smith had called us up and said `Coach, I'm transferring from UCLA and want to come to Colgate', we wouldn't run a three-point specific offense. We'd be pounding it down into him to get close to the basket. The guy shoots 70% from the field. Murphy Burnatowski, in a lot of systems, would be a perimeter player. For us he's a four man. A lot of the time, the matchup allows him to take his guy to the perimeter. We've got some guys that are able to get by, not Georgetown defenders, but some of the other teams we play and drive and kick shots that become available. We believe to try and coach to what the abilities of our players are, as opposed to try to get players to fit our system.

Regarding defending Georgetown's offense, particularly Smith-Rivera and Starks...
Yeah they are really good. Then you throw in Smith on the inside and I think, early in the season, their offense has gone as how those three guys have gone. We played the numbers a little bit and took a couple of chances and really tried to load up on not letting those guys get going and feel great. That being said, I think Starks missed a couple of shots that, over the course of the season, he is going to find a way to make. It was just trying to control tempo of the game and not let them go and get easy layups and wide-open three-point shots. If you can be there down the stretch, a guy like [Jabril] Trawick and Nate Lubrick, those guys are battle-tested, they've been around, so they are not going to go fire shots either. So the flow of the game, if you can make it one of those grind-it-out games, can help you down the stretch.

Regarding play man-to-man defense rather than zone...
They are a really good passing team even though their assists numbers don't necessarily shot it. Lubrick is a terrific passer. Trawick is a good passer. Smith in the post is a good passer. If you just sit back in zone and try to clog it up, they make you pay with their passing and their spacing. And the other thing is we don't play a lot of zone, so you don't want to try and do something that you never practice, especially early in the season when you are trying to get better as a team. We mixed it up. We tried to show zone early in the possession so that they wouldn't get into their elbow action and a lot of their Princeton offense. So that they would try to run some of their zone offense and then we could match up later in the possession. Again, not that we practiced that that much but just trying to control the tempo of the game and break the rhythm at times.

Regarding mood of players at half...
I think I've been on this side of table long enough now in coaching that you know sometimes, especially in these games, again I've been in them - Penn, Princeton, Temple, Georgetown - that sometimes you can be really struggling and only down nine or ten points. Sometimes that's a really hard deficit, as you saw tonight, to come all the way back from. I think the guys in the locker room at halftime are doing what most players do, saying `Man, if I just step up and make two, we're only down six, we're still there.' Obviously it's a much better feeling then being down 15 or 16.

Regarding mentality of Georgetown's struggle against smaller teams...
No. Obviously I am in the coaching industry, but I think that that is a bunch of hogwash, to be honest with you. I learned from and coached with Fran Dunphy and he gets criticized all the time for being the losing-est coach in the NCAA Tournament history. I think Georgetown is a phenomenal program that plays a great brand of basketball and they are going to get the Final Four and make deep runs. They don't press and turn people over which allows a smaller-level team or guys that aren't as athletic to be in the game but that is not something that we talked about at all.

 

 

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