Their ability to contest shots made it difficult to get the kind of 3-pointers we'd been getting.
When the argument came as to whether or not we belonged, quite frankly I loved it. I think everybody loves the David and Goliath story. But most of the time, no one cheers for Goliath. No matter who we faced, it was going to be something that we were expected to lose. It was something that it motivated our guys.
(But) with the exposure we've gotten nationally, more people are going to be finding out about George Mason University.
Not many teams shoot 48 percent against us. A lot of the credit I think has to go to Lee Humphrey.
I know what this does for the university not only in the short run, but in the long run.
We'll feel the effects in the immediate future, I think, far greater if we continue to make the NCAA Tournament and have kids believe that we're the Gonzaga of the East or something along those lines.
I think the dome is a factor for a team that's never played in one. Lamar Butler was quoted yesterday saying he'd never even been in a dome. There's a problem developing the proper depth perception.
One question I'm always asked after the recruiting period is what kind of recruiting year do you think you've had And my answer is always the same. Ask me in 10 years when I see what they're doing with their lives.
It was like a professor asking a class and nobody wanted to answer.
The high majors are often the younger teams in the tournament. Even though they may be more talented, they are playing against teams that are not intimidated by them or uncomfortable competing with them on the court.
One of the very good qualities that this team has demonstrated is consistency. You want your kids to be consistent. ... By the end of the game you could see ... we played well.
At halftime, I asked the guys to clear their minds and realize that that game was over. I told them that (the second half) was a new game and to go out and execute as they had all season long.
That's going to be the big question. I'm not sure where we are mentally right now. This is not a a team that is tournament-tested. It's been five years, so none of these guys have had that experience. That's a major factor.
The success that we have enjoyed is because these guys have been able to pool their skills together and develop into a great basketball team.
What we stand for is far greater than whether we win or lose on a basketball floor. We are all educators. Our responsibility is to teach these youngsters, whether they're basketball players or any other student-athlete we're working with, to set the right example.
It has grown from a small commuter school of about 2,000 to 3,000 to now a beautiful school, gorgeous campus, great facilities, fantastic faculty. . . . We're located in Fairfax, in the beautiful rolling hills of Northern Virginia, two miles from Washington, D.C., the capital of our nation.
When I said that I'm not exactly sure what I meant. Boy, it's sure been true. It's been an absolutely fantastic magic carpet ride.
It has brought us all together as a campus. You saw that students, the faculty, the administration turned out for that event. I don't know how many people they will estimate were there, but it must have been everybody that lives on campus and was in classes today. It's just a thrill.
Familiarity is always important. One of the key elements to our great game in the NCAA first round in 2001 when we faced a very strong Maryland team was that our players had faced those guys during the summer - and so there was not a fear factor. We are hoping that will hold true this time.
The upset formula is basically this. Everybody knows on any given night, the saying goes, that anybody can beat anybody. That's not actually true, because if there's a huge discrepancy in talent, if the game is played on the stronger team's home court with a lot of other factors in their favor, then the odds of the underdog winning are minimal. ... In this game, obviously, Connecticut has so much talent at so many different positions on the floor, we're going to have to really analyze what we do so that our players know, this is our focus, this is our strength.
From the day I spoke to Lamar on the telephone, I wanted to coach him. He's got the most lovable personality. He loves meeting and greeting people.
The whole idea is to stay upbeat, positive, totally committed to what we want to do and what we want to accomplish, but just to do it in a relaxed atmosphere. It's not to feel like Oh my goodness, we're here now at the Final Four.
These kids are human. They've played as consistently and as well as they're capable for an extremely long time.
Everybody expected us to win the national championship. I could observe the amount of pressure that we all felt trying to get to the Final Four.
I'll leave that up to the people who make the selections. But I like my team and the way we're playing.
It's unbelievable how the exposure has created interest in who the man was.
Will turned to me and signaled for us to go back to the four-out, one-in offense with him in the low post and spread the offense out and give him the ball. And that's exactly what we did.
I feel so honored to now take my team after 20 years of trying.
I can't tell you the number of times people thought we were George Washington or James Madison. A lot of people (say) James Mason or George Madison. It cracks me up. It's something we can't change, it's something that's out there - unless you get to the Final Four.
We're having a hell of a good time. Having that kind of support is tremendous. The whole D.C. metro area has adopted us. We're all just loving it.
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