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March 13, 2019

Maurice Joseph

Maceo Jack

Terry Nolan, Jr.

Washington, D.C.

George Washington 68, UMASS 64

COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: I want to give credit to UMASS first. I thought they did a great job. They came out extremely prepared. We came out in our 2-3 zone which was very successful for us in the first game, and they made some tremendous adjustments, so credit to them for that.

They shot us out of our zone really quickly. Clergeot came out, played really, really well for them but our guys were gritty, when went down double-digits we didn't waver, and continued to guard and we did a great job just weathering the storm.

We talked about every four minutes, just chop away at it, chop away at it, chop away at it, and our guys did that, and so I am really, really proud of them. It's a monster win for us.

I told our guys, we've got to go 1-0, whatever's next. So UMASS was our Super Bowl. Now we get a chance to compete against Mason again, and we're excited about that opportunity,.

So we're going to get back. We're going to prepare, try to get healthy, get some food in us and get right back to the grind. Really proud of our guys.

Q. Terry, you haven't played in the last couple games. How does it feel for you to come out tonight after having the last games off and you put up 20 points and scored some key points for you guys, so you were able to move forward?
TERRY NOLAN, JR.: It felt great. I was battling a foot injury which I still am today. I couldn't miss this game and let me team down. I'm just happy that we got the win today.

Q. It was mentioned they did come out 22-11 lead at one point. What was kind of going right for them just in terms of having the shots fall and what adjustments did you make, especially on the defensive end to hold them to eight points in those last ten minutes of play or so?
MACEO JACK: We switched to a man defense, and I was able to push them off three-point line and we did a really good job locking in on that and pushing them off that line; and therefore their shots weren't falling as well as they were in the beginning of the game.

So once we switched out of that zone, it was really successful for us and we were able to go on a run.

Q. It wasn't the crispest shooting for you guys. How much of today's win can be, I guess, credited to your guys' defense and your ability to make stops and get them off-balance?
TERRY NOLAN, JR.: The entire game. We predicate winning on defense. Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.

Q. Even though you didn't make the shot attempt at the half, how instrumental was it to gain the momentum going into the locker room and coming out second half of the game?
MACEO JACK: It definitely gave us some energy going into the halftime. We've struggled coming out in the start of the second half, so that definitely gave us a push in order to come out aggressive and come out strong and come out with some force, and that was able to propel us to go on the runs that we did and to play as hard on defense as well as we did. So it was definitely instrumental.

Q. You mentioned that UMASS shot you out of the zone differently. What did they do differently to start the game for them to take advantage of some of the holes in your zone?
COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: They did a great job screening our top guys and then on the overloads we didn't do a great job of Corralling ball screens and getting out to shooters.

You know, they ran some of the same plays. They tweaked some, but it was mainly the ball screens on the inside top guy of our two-three zone and our inability to navigate those ball screens.

So we tried to get under them a couple times, but when you have Holloway setting those screens, it's a tall task to get over them, get under him. He's a big guy down there.

So we transitioned out of it and went to the man and that's when we got on our run. I think they scored eight points in the last 14 minutes or something like that. So we did a great job kind of weathering the Storm after they came out really hot.

Q. You know, it was a little bit of a slow shooting night for you guys. How much of that was Massachusetts having a really strong defense, and how much of that was just unlucky shots not going or shot selection or things like that?
COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: I always think it's a little bit of both. I thought we got some really good looks. I know Just got a wide-open one. He's not one of our knock-down guys, but he got a wide-open look. We ran that play for Maceo to get a wide-open look and he got that look. That's a shot that we've seen him hit a bunch and just rimmed out.

You know, Mel got a couple. D.J. got a couple. It was a little bit of both. We got some good looks. We didn't force too many, I didn't think. A couple we did but for the most part, I thought we executed and got good looks. We just didn't shoot the ball terribly well; first time in this arena, getting on the floor an hour before the game, you don't get shootaround time.

So getting used to the background and balls and rims and all that kind of stuff; you can make all the excuses in the world. Maybe that had a little bit to do with it, but I'm just happy our guys defended.

We can't control when the ball goes in the hole or not, but we can control our attention to detail to the scouting report, our effort defensively, our grit, our toughness, our enthusiasm with getting stops, all those things are in our control and I thought we controlled those things after we got out of the zone.

Q. Obviously going off of what you just said, everybody obviously wants byes in these kind of tournaments, but can you stress the importance of getting out there, becoming a little bit more comfortable and most importantly getting a win on this court?
COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: This time of year as you guys know, you have to go 1-0 and whatever's next. You can't worry about byes or seeds. You play the regular season for that and at the end of the regular season, you evaluate everything and attack with everything you have, and that's what we've been able to do in these last three days of preparation leading up to this game.

So we're just excited that we had an opportunity to come out here and I think playing gives us an upper hand a little bit. You think about fatigue and all that, but now that we have one under us, we're going to go and prepare for the next one and try to go 1-0 again but the byes and the seeds and all that kind of stuff, obviously you don't want to be playing on Wednesday.

Nobody wants to be playing on Wednesday, let's be honest but that's where we were. We had to attack where we were and attack that obstacle and we did that. Really proud of our guys for winning on the defensive end and winning with grit and winning with toughness because those are things we've been preaching from day one.

Obviously didn't shoot the ball well. We shot 31 percent but we limited them to 35 percent shooting and we outrebounded them by five. You know, they had more turnovers than we did, so we did a lot of really good things out of -- obviously we didn't shoot the ball well. But just proud of our guys, their effort.

Q. You talked about rebounding. What did you guys do so well to be able to out-rebound them and to be able to get those offensive rebounds?
COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: You know, going into this game, we watched the Richmond game where Holloway had 28 points and 12 offensive rebounds and he was just -- we -- we played that for our guys and said, hey, we need five guys to rebound. It can't be Marcus didn't there. It can't be just Javi down there. We need multiple guys. We got to gang rebound. We got to have that mentality, every time the shot goes up we can't let Holloway just play volleyball around the rim because he's a load down there.

It was a collective effort. When you look down the line, Mazzulla didn't shoot the ball great but nine rebounds.

Javi, tough task to guard Holloway, 11 rebounds.

You've got D.J. six. Mac, five. Jus, eight. So we had multiple guys come in and impact the glass, and that's what we needed. We needed a collective effort on the glass, and we did that, because Lord knows you can't try to keep Holloway off the glass by yourself. He's still a load and he's got 12 rebounds. We were scratching and clawing and hanging off his jerseys and doing everything we could and he still got 12, so I credit that kid.

I seen him transition with his body and become a really good player from when he was a freshman. So you know, I'm glad our guys really got the message about gang rebounding because we certainly needed it.

Q. You guys start tomorrow facing George Mason again. Third time this year you'll see them. How much is that familiarity of being able to see them in action and having those games under your belt help prepare you for tomorrow?
COACH MAURICE JOSEPH: I think it helps a lot. Obviously they are going to be a little fresher in terms of rest time from our last game, but the great thing about tournaments and one-day preps and having played guys, teams in the A-10 season is you have familiarity. You understand their personnel, and we've played these guys so recently that for preparation purposes, it's not going to be a major adjustment. Like we just played them. So that's a silver lining for us in this scenario.

Obviously they beat us twice. I thought in their gym we played well in the first half and we came out in the second half and had nine turnovers in nine minutes in their gym, so we obviously didn't handle the ball well, but it was still a close game. I thought we guarded really, really well and missed some close shots.

In our gym the other day, it came down to the glass and guarding the basketball. We didn't do a good job there of keeping Livingston and Kier out of the paint, so we're going to have to make some adjustments there.

But now, the familiarity because of how recently we played them is a good thing for us because now we can go back, get some food; hey, we just played these guys last week, jump right into the prep and adjustments we need to make, let's get some rest, recover and let's go attack tomorrow with everything we have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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