First Round Notes & Quotes: GW vs. Vanderbilt Post-gameÂMarch 15, 2007Â

Notes FINAL SCORE: No. 6 Vanderbilt 77, No. 11 George Washington 44

GAME LEADERS Points: Foster, 18, Vanderbilt
Assists: Byars, 5, Vanderbilt
Rebounds: Akingbade, 9, George Washington

NCAA Tournament Notes: Vanderbilts 33 point victory over George Washington is the biggest winning margin so far in this years tournament&Vanderbilt is the second No. 6 seed to advance to the second round&Of the five SEC teams in the tournament Vanderbilt is the first to play, picking up the first victory for the conference.

No. 6 Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt extends its stay in the NCAA tournament into the second round for the fifth time in school history its last was in 2004 when the Commodores were also a sixth seed (def. Western Michigan, 71-58)&The 33 point victory was not Vanderbilts largest winning margin this season, they defeated UPR-Mayaguez by 43 points on Dec. 19&Junior Shan Foster is five points away for the 500 mark during his junior season.

No. 11 George Washington: This was the lowest game output of the season for the Colonials (44 points)&The loss today snapped GWs eight game winning streak&George Washington falls to 3-7 in the first round of the NCAA tournament the Colonials last lost in the first round in the 2005 tournament to George Tech (80-68, 3/18/05)...In most of its games over the course of the year the Colonials had the edge in points in turnover, not the case today as the Vanderbilt scored 18 points to GWs eight.

George Washington Head Coach Karl Hobbs

Opening comments& First and foremost, the Vanderbilt team is a terrific basketball team. We knew going into the game that they were very good when you look at their record and some of the teams they had beaten. They shot the ball extremely well. We fell behind very quickly and that put us on our heels for the rest of the game. With all that said, give a lot of credit to our team for the type of year that they had.

On Vanderbilts early success& They got off to such a great start. As soon as the ball went up they were ready to play and Im not so sure we were ready to play at the very start of the game. I thought they played the perfect kind of strategy against the way we like to play. Before we could trap, the ball was out of their hands and they did a good job of spreading us out.

On the offensive end, we couldnt put any pressure on them because we didnt move the ball and get it to the right spots.

On the difference of playing in the tournament as opposed to a regular season game& Coming in the kids felt a little pressure. I attribute some of that to our youth and the fact that some of them have never felt that (type of pressure) before. We didnt react well. They came at us extremely quick and got us off balance and we could never recover. That is what good basketball teams do. Good teams in this situation dont make mistakes.

On the physicality of the game& Tonights game was on a different level physically. You could tell the difference in the level. Hopefully, by the time our young guys are juniors and seniors they will physically look like the Vanderbilt guys.

On Carl Elliott& I cant say enough about Carl. When you look at all his success he has had at GW, I think he only lost three games in a row once, hes the all-time winningest player, he has been to three straight NCAA Tournaments, won two (Atlantic 10) conference tournament champions and has been a regular season champion. He has grown a tremendous amount since coming to GW. We are going to miss him a tremendous amount.


Carl Elliott

On Vanderbilts quick start& I think we came out and had a slow start. Vanderbilt shot the ball pretty well. They knocked down all their shots and moved the ball well and that put us behind.

On Vanderbilts ability to slow down the George Washington offense& They defended us well and our shots werent going. They are a good basketball club and did well tonight.

Dokin Akingbade

On sitting out last year and making the tournament this season& It was very special this year. Last year, I traveled with the team and gathered all the information I needed to play this year. This year was a wonderful experience. It was tough going out like this, but Im happy to be able to help my team get back to the tournament

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Our team did a pretty good job of taking care of the basketball today. We had heard all week long about how difficult it might be for us to deal with their pressure and I thought that we were able to do that pretty well. We had guys step up and make shots, particularly in the first half, and got ourselves a pretty comfortable lead. I liked how we defended today. We generated a lot of energy and confidence from our defense and our execution on offense was pretty good. We obviously didnt anticipate the margin being as it turned out, but were pleased with how we played and certainly look forward to advancing.

On getting the shots they wanted if they took care of the ball& We were optimistic. The test today was if they could turn us over more than we could break them down and get the ball where it needed to be for us. I think our players heard a lot this week about how we had never seen pressure like that, and we would be shocked, and there would be lots of turnovers. I didnt think it was that disrespectful to us, but disrespectful to the league. We felt like if we could get the ball out of the trap and get it moving, that we would be able to get some pretty good shots.

On Coach Stallings early thoughts of Washington State& I have a great amount of respect for the Bennett family. When I was first a head coach, one of the first things I did was go Green Bay, Wisconsin to visit with them and talk about how to be a head coach. Their defense is, not surprisingly, but unusually good. When I say unusually, its good every night.

On the key to playing great defense& We worked awfully hard the past two weeks defensively and it paid dividends today. We were very sharp, especially in the first half.

On the perimeter shooting by George Drake& My overall emotion was one of pleasure for George. Derrick was zero for five to start the game, so George came in for Derrick and hit some and got us going. Ted Skuchas really played a good game all throughout. What it takes in an NCAA tournament is to have guys come in and really give you great production.

On David Rodriguez& I believe thats the 2nd time hes been in a game. I felt bad, we shouldnt be driving the ball at the basket with a thirty-point lead and twelve seconds to go. He joined our team mid-season as a walk on. I felt bad and tried to apologize to Karl (Hobbs) after the game. No one else on our team would have taken the ball down there like that and tried to score. I dont blame David, hes never been in that situation before. But I was glad to see him make that free throw.

Student-Athlete Shan Foster On staying focused& One of the things the coach talks about all the time is being able to put together forty minutes of basketball. That was what our focus was - to go out there, stay focused, and play good basketball. We felt if we were able to play our basketball, wed be fine.

On how important it was to get off to a good start after the Arkansas game& I was able to get a few open looks and able to knock down some. We knew wed get a lot of open looks today and it was important that we were able to knock down shots in order to take care of business today.

On getting open looks early in the game against their defensive approach& We realized if we took care of the ball, that we would get any shot we wanted. That was the key of us offensively to go out and execute our offensive game plan. We have a lot of unselfish guys that make plays and have a lot of great shooters.

Student-Athlete Derrick Byars On George Washingtons defense versus Vanderbilts offense& The key to the game was defense on our part. We shot the ball incredibly well. We had fifteen field goals off fifteen assists at halftime. That just speaks to the unselfishness of our guys and we pride ourselves on that.

On shutting down Maureece Rice& I have to give a lot of props to Alex Gordon, he was guarding Maureece Rice - Shan Foster did as well. Hes a great player.

On Derrick Byars making the most of the tournament& Were not content with just being here. Our goal is to advance as far as we can. Amazing win tonight, it was collective effort everyone who got into the game contributed.

On the lift George Drake gave the team off the bench early on& Incredible. George Drake did an awesome job coming in today. Hes been playing tremendously well in practice. I always say what you do in practice is indicative of how youll play in a game.