Dec. 16, 2015
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Monmouth 83, Georgetown 68
Washington, D.C. - Verizon Center
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Georgetown University Head Coach John Thompson III
On Monmouth's defense... I thought that they defended well. I don't think that that was our issue; I think that our issue was our defense. You're going to have days when the ball is not going in the basket. We pressed a little bit at the end, but particularly in the first half we were getting looks for guys that we wanted to get the looks and the ball wasn't going in. That's going to happen. Not that this group relies on our 3-point shooting, but Isaac was 1-for-5, Marcus is 1-for-3, D'Vauntes is 2-for-10, Reggie is 1-for-5, then we have to get stops. That is a very good offensive team. I told our guys the last couple of days; it's the best offensive team we've played this year. We have to get to where we can rely on our defense in getting stops and we needed to do that today we didn't. That coincided with us having a bad day offensively. I'm not trying to discredit them, they worked hard, they were attentive, they contested shots, but at the end of the day it was at the other end of the court and not the offensive end.
On if Georgetown's focus was there with finals going on... That's irrelevant. Once you cross those lines out there, everything else that's going on in the world, you have to be able to shut down and forget about it. Every player, every team has something going on at some point. Whether its finals, you're breaking up with your girlfriend, you're mad with your siblings, you're fighting with your roommate; that happens. Good players and good teams can shut that out for the small two or three hour window that you walk in here. I don't think it was that, I think they just played well and we did not play well.
On Monmouth getting momentum early and never relinquishing it... If you look at them they haven't been shut off this year. As I said, this is the best offensive team we've played. It's all relative, but (Justin) Robinson doesn't have one of his better games, but then you look and you have three or four other people in double figures. You can't let everyone else be an option. Tonight everyone was an option for them.
On Monmouth's offense getting to the free-throw line often... We got to the line 33 times. I'm not sure if you're asking about the officiating. Sometimes I sit here and think the officiating is lopsided, but that wasn't the case tonight. I thought the officials officiated a good game, I thought both of us did a good job of making sure we got to the line.
On Monmouth's defense vs. Georgetown's transition offense... They did a good job of getting back. They had seven fast break points, which is probably a season -low for them. Now that's seven more than we had looking at the numbers, but so much of their offense is in transition. I'm surprised that number is only seven.
On Monmouth's defense vs. Bradley Hayes... I don't think it was anything particular that they did. They know that he can score now. That's something that Bradley and I have talked about, the scouting report is out. People didn't have too much footage on him until now, I don't want to say he's a marked man, the guy with an X on his back - that's him (pointing to D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera) - but people now know that he can score, they're going to be more attentive to him. I think B.J. just had one of those days, I'm not sure it was something that they did to take him out of the game, I just think it was one of those days for us all around offensively.
On any comparisons between tonight and Georgetown's loss to Radford... Not having digested it, I don't think so. You're going to make comparisons because of the name across the front of the jersey and the outcome of the game, which is understandable, but I don't think the flow of this game is similar to the flow of that game. Like I said, (Monmouth) is really good - not to imply that Radford is not really good - but that's a good team. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I think Robinson is the best guard we've played against all year and they have other pieces that can score.
Senior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera
On Georgetown's defensive breakdowns... I think that they were just getting into the paint too easily. A lot of drive and kicks and they were finishing at the rim. They were getting a full head of steam at the basket. I'm not sure if they got a lot of offensive rebounds, but it seemed at one point that they were getting a lot of second chance buckets.
Monmouth Head Coach King Rice
Opening Statement ... I'm going to start off by thanking Coach Thompson (III) for playing us today. When we get to do these games, it means a lot to our program financially and for every other reason. So thank you to him and the program. I grew up watching Georgetown a lot. I have so much respect, that I can't even believe that I got to see Coach Thompson (Jr.) just outside the door just to pay my respects to him. I got to see him at Coach (Dean) Smith's funeral this year and just a great, great man. I have so much respect for the history of Georgetown basketball and what it's meant to everybody across the country.
With that being said, I am so proud of my kids because my kids, they keep, not surprising, they keep believing in everything that I'm telling them. I thought we'd have a chance today. I thought there were some things that we'd be able to do. I wasn't sure we could get away from them, but the way these young men played defense today, if we continue to do that, special things are happening with our program and with a defense like that, we will really do some big things.
On switching between zone and man defense in the second half ... I can't wait to go back and watch it. We do play zone some. I'm a man-to-man guy and sometimes my pride gets in the way and I won't use the zone enough. After what they did when they played Syracuse, we tried to copy Syracuse and the way they played against them I was like 'maybe I shouldn't play zone at all.' But our kids were really guarding the ball today, and then when we went to the zone, it caught them off a little bit. I think it got them standing and that evened the playing field a little bit. Their guys just started standing some.
On taking out Bradley Hayes ... We don't think we took anybody out. We played Monmouth basketball, okay. And we do how we do. We don't have to go over a lot of plays. We played pack-minded Monmouth basketball defense. We try to keep the guys in front of us. When you are about to shoot the ball, we want to get a hand in your face and contest on every shot. That was something we were not doing early in the year. But if you watched us last year, our defense was really, really good and we have everybody back and we added some pieces that are bigger, stronger guys. And our whole team stayed the whole summer and worked so I've been kind of disappointed in our defense until the last three games. And each day it's getting better and my team keeps coming every single day with the mindset of getting a little better every day and we improved over the last week and now our defense is something that you have to deal with.
On four wins in a month over high major teams ... I had one of my assistants tell the team yesterday 'hey guys, when we started playing these games, Coach Rice kind of had to talk me into thinking that we could win.' And now we are just at a place where our team is older. We have older kids in the program. And we have a lot of good guards and I've been saying it the whole time. And what happens is, when we are fresh, Justin (Robinson) is hard to guard, Micah (Seaborn) is hard to guard and Je'lon (Hornbeak) is hard to guard. And then we come with Austin (Tilghman) and we come with Collin (Stewart) and Josh (James) and what they do is they really get after you defensively so now your guys get a little bit tired and I come back with my main guys and at some point we can have a breakthrough. I'm just proud that these guys are with me. We are going to keep our heads low and continue to work. Beating four high major programs, you can't walk into a season and think that is going to happen, but each individual game we think we have a chance and we've been very fortunate. We won in overtime at UCLA. Notre Dame had the ball down one under a minute, didn't score. So these games have been very, very good games. Today, I think we caught Georgetown. They are probably in finals, or going to finals. That usually messes with kids. So good night for us, tough night for the Hoyas.
On whether the other guys and the defense compensated for Monmouth tonight ... I believe so and I haven't had a chance to really look at it. We made our free throws. That's just been a great deal for us. Man, we had that many turnovers, but they were probably late when they were making their run. I remembered when I played against Georgetown, they would pick you up in full-court and there was a lot of body bumping and a lot of stuff. In the new way college is played, that probably takes some things away from them. But we just want to keep playing Monmouth basketball, stay humble. We were very fortunate tonight. We're very happy, we think we have a good team, but we were very fortunate tonight to catch them how we did.
On making a basket when Georgetown was making a run ... I knew it was a big shot, but I knew we had to keep playing and keep getting stops. Because with Georgetown, Smith-Rivera is a guy who can get points quick so we knew we had to keep playing. It was definitely a big shot to hit though, with the shot clock running out. We knew we had to keep playing and keep getting stops.
No. 12 Justin Robinson
On his emotion while playing these high major games ... I go into every game thinking we have the opportunity to win. And the fact that we have got them done just feels good because my team works hard and I know that I have a great coaching staff and a great band of brothers behind me, supporting me, as well.