Hopkins on beating Seattle U: ‘The game was won making 19-straight foul shots at the end of the game. These guys found a way against a really tough opponent that gave us everything they’ve got.’
Washington men’s coach Mike Hopkins talks about the Huskies’ 89-84 win over Seattle University.
Here’s everything he had to say during a postgame press conference.
(Opening statement) “Tonight our guys they competed. Seattle gave us everything they had. The second half they got hot from the three-point line. First half we did a great job defending the three-point line, our field goal percentage defense was good. We put them on the foul line with some fouls, some silly fouls. We didn’t rebound the ball. They got 12 second-chance points, that’s where they hurt us. In the second half we adjusted, did a decent job, but they got hot from the three-point line. We have to do a better job of being aware like we were in the first half. Our man-to-man group came in and did a really good job, they didn’t score for four minutes and the game was won making 19-straight foul shots at the end of the game. These guys found a way against a really tough opponent that gave us everything they’ve got.”
(Is there a quality about Jaylen Nowell that you like at the end of games?) “He’s just a winner. He’s got winning DNA. He wants the ball, he performs. It’s like the Belmont game where you could see it in his eyes. As a coach sometimes you’ve just got to walk away and let it go because he’s feeling it. David (Crisp) made some good plays, Matisse (Thybulle) with some foul trouble came in and they tried to steal it and he hit a three. There were some really positive things that came out today. But we still have to get a lot better, and we’re striving to be better every day.”
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(Was there a different kind of emotion from Jaylen and Cameron Dollar today because of their connection and relationship with Seattle U?) “Cam is just such a high-character guy. He’s just loves the people at Seattle, had a great experience and I benefitted from what happened and I’m just blessed to have him. Cam doesn’t get into that, Cam just wants to coach kids and make kids better. Being that it’s a local school it’s a rivalry and they are great competitors, they have a great coach, they move the ball exceptionally well, they adjusted in the second half and made some threes and when you’re playing a team that’s ninth in the country in the effectiveness of what the three-point shot does for them – 52 percent of their shot attempts and points come from that line. You’ve got to defend it, they are telling you what to do. When you’re playing against a team like that you’ve just got to be aware of it. They did a good job of executing and getting some shots and they knocked ’em down. That’s the game.”
(You lost Michael (Carter) and David played 39 minutes. Can he do that every game?) “David’s an iron man. He’s a guy who has heart and soul all over him. Danny Kingma, he was a bright spot for us in the game in New York. He can give us some minutes. Jaylen can get us minutes there. We have enough. We’ve just got to go out there and I told David, if you’re tired I’ll take you out and we’ll get you a sub. But these kids are young kids, they love to compete, but Michael’s a big loss. He was starting to give us minutes and he’s got great size in the zone. Looking forward to getting him back.”
(How pleased with how active the zone was today?) “It was active but it goes back to awareness. The great teams, they are aware the whole time, and that’s what we’re trying to get them to do and they are learning the zones so it goes back to when the team adjusts and makes that play them just reading that. But for the most part down the stretch when we had to get stops – like the most important stops – they did. We’re learning. Sometimes your best offensive team may not be your best defensive team and you’re looking for offense that time. Sometimes we get a little small on the back line. It can be Noah and Jaylen and Carlos, which is 6-3, 6-7. What you would love to see is 6-9 and 7-foot and 6-8. When you’re small like that you’ve got to be gritty. You’ve got to be aggressive, and you’ve got to be able to go in there and rebound. The second half we did a better job at that, we just didn’t cover the three well.”<
(On the switching between man and zone and what the objective was) “When a program like Seattle U and Eastern Washington and Belmont, they are great offensive teams. That’s what they are built on. They are built on threes, movement, penetration and kicks and flow and when they start feeling comfortable in something you can see a really good rhythm and you’ve got to kind of…you’re throwing a 90 mile-an-hour fastball and sometimes you’ve got to go with a slider or changeup just to take them off-kilter. Sometimes you do it out of a time out because they are preparing something special for the zone. Our guys, they adapted well, we just did enough but we’ve got to get a lot better.”