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March 8, 2018

Matt McCall

Luwane Pipkins

Washington, D.C.

George Mason 80, UMASS 75

MATT McCALL: I told our team after the game, that the the first piece to winning in March is caring. Our guys in in a locker room, they care. They are hurting, that this chapter has come to an end. But the encouraging piece as a coach is you can see care.

I see a group that's been through an enormous amount from a year ago to now. It's grown up and the adversity will make these guys stronger, and even a guy like C.J. that's moving on, prepared for what's ever next.

As far as the basketball piece of it, I thought offensively, we had some great movement. I thought our pick-and-roll continuity was really, really good. We were moving the floor. Shot an extremely high percentage. When you look down at the stats sheet, you saw we shot 53 percent and 56 percent from the three point line. You would think they were in good shape. But completely the difference in the game, was the offensive rebounding. They shot 64 field goals to our 47 and that's just the glass. They had 26 second-chance points, and 20 offensive rebounds.

So it's hard to win when you're giving up that many. You know, late in the game there, we just couldn't get the stop that we needed to, and even if we had a good defensive possession, we still didn't come down with the rebound.

So from a basketball piece, that's what you're looking at there, but you know, for this group and this program and where we've been, and where we're headed, that first piece of care, I can see it in their eyes. You know, it's unfortunate.

Q. Did this season feel like the start of something?
LUWANE PIPKINS: Call it what you want to call it. Even though we had our struggles this year, players going down, we still was a sneak team to beat. But next year we've got to regroup, stay healthy and just come back.

Q. How frustrating was that, the last play tonight, to not get a shot off?
LUWANE PIPKINS: It is what it is. It wasn't frustrating at all. The ref made the call. The game's over.

Q. What did you guys say C.J. as you walked off?
LUWANE PIPKINS: He's going to be fine. Even though his season's over here UMASS, he's still going to go somewhere and play ball and make some money and still be successful.

Q. Did you feel like the fact that you didn't get the same kind of foul trouble you did yesterday allowed you to establish yourself a little bit more going to the basket tonight?
LUWANE PIPKINS: I'm going to be aggressive regardless, foul trouble or no foul trouble but it definitely helped me be a lot more aggressive because I wasn't in foul trouble, so yeah.

Q. Did you feel coming in, you had 31 points. Did you feel coming in if this team was going to have a chance, you were going to have to have a performance like that?
LUWANE PIPKINS: I didn't have 31 points yesterday and we still had a chance. Regardless of if I'm scoring or not, I think my team got a chance against anybody.

Q. The year that Luwane had, if this program becomes what you want it to be, how much do you feel like sort of the example that he set and the way he played was a factor in building that foundation?
MATT McCALL: We've talked about this a lot since the season began and since I've been here. The change and the growth that he's experienced this last year, is astronomical. It's never been about as competitiveness and it's never been about his love for the game, but you've seen him really grow up with how he works, how he approaches practice, how he approaches the classroom, how he approaches his teammates. I couldn't be prouder of him, you know.

For him to be doing what he's doing, and every night, opponents honing in on scouting report and trying to take him out and trying to be physical with him, and in two years, he's scored over a thousand points; I think the other guy, there's two players in school history that have done that and one of them's name is Julius Erving. Only one of four points in the history of the program to average 20 points in a season. Another guy in that group is Marcus Camby; so putting himself in that category.

But the numbers, the points, he wants to win, more than anything. I think if we came into this game, you know, he scored zero points and he won, he would be one of the guys in the locker room celebrating more than anybody, and that's growth and that's care.

I'm really, really excited about this program and obviously him and going forward.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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