Karl Hobbs said Saturday’s 84-72 win over Temple at Smith Center was not a must-win.
The win does accomplish a few things, Hobbs said, but he refused to look too far into the future.
“First and foremost, it makes us 16-8, 7-5 in the league,” he said. “Depending on what the results are today, we’re fourth or fifth or sixth – something in there. It’s a one-game-at-a-time thing, and that’s how we’re approaching it.”
The win keeps GW “in the race,” Hobbs said, for a good seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
But Hobbs said he just wants people to understand what his young team is going through. In what he has characterized as a “rebuilding year,” GW has struggled with rebounding efficiency and now is forced to take the court without sophomore Cheyenne Moore, who will have surgery on a broken foot.
Is Hobbs surprised his team is going through a rough patch? He said no.
“GW is not immune to having to deal with adversity,” Hobbs told a gaggle of reporters during his post-game press conference Saturday evening. “I know some of you guys are shocked that we’re dealing with some adversity a little bit. And basically, when you look at our schedule and you look at the games that we’ve played, we’ve played some very good basketball teams and we’ve played some teams on the road. And every team, at some point in the season, has to deal with a little bit of adversity.”
Flanked by freshman Damian Hollis, sophomore Rob Diggs and senior Carl Elliott, Hobbs spoke about three other guys who were in a similar position four years ago. Mike Hall, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Omar Williams had those seats speaking about the same difficulties in the midst of a 12-game season during their first season in Foggy Bottom.
“This is a process we’re going through but we’re still developing, we’re still coming around, we’re still getting better,” Hobbs said. “I like the fact that we have 16 wins and my feeling is for George Washington University to be having a rebuilding year and to be 16-8 and still in the hunt, that’s pretty good. And we still have a lot more basketball to play.”
Hobbs and Elliott both said GW’s recent rut was due to the team’s inability to rebound. Against Temple, the Colonials were able to pull down 11 more rebounds than its opponent after a sluggish first half on the glass. Hobbs said it has taken four games for his team to crash the boards. But Hobbs does not think the rebounding disparity is due to a lack of want.
“It’s not ‘they finally get the message,'” Hobbs said. “I’d love to tell you things are supposed to happen like this but it’s a process and we’re still learning how to become a good basketball team. We’re the least physical team in the league.”
On Wednesday, the Colonials will face Richmond for the second time this season. Hobbs likened a match up with the Spiders to having a wisdom tooth extracted.
“It’s like sitting in that dentist’s chair. I’m telling you, it’s like getting that root canal done. That’s what it’s like playing Richmond. They spread you out, they are like (6-foot-6, 6-foot-5) they’re all tall. All the guys can post, they all shoot threes, they run very good offense. They’re young but yet they’re getting better.”
Elliott records triple-double
Senior Carl Elliott recorded the first triple-double in program history Saturday. Elliott dropped 17 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Owls in 36 minutes. It marked Elliott’s return to the starting lineup after being benched Feb. 14 against Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia for breaking unspecified team rules.