March 3, 2013 - During Friday's pre-game presser, Georgetown freshman guard answered candidly, saying "Oh yeah, of course. I know if I took a loss like that, I would". The question centered around Rutgers being motivated, given the Hoyas' 69-63, February 9th win in New Jersey. It makes sense, as RU (13-3 overall, 4-11 in the BIG EAST) is on a three game losing streak, while dropping nine of the last 10. The chance for league rival redemption beckons this evening, at 9p.
But the Scarlet Knights are not the same team G'Town (22-4, positioned first place at 12-3 in conference) faced early last month, as their then leading scorer Eli Carter is out for the season. Changes have obviously occurred in Jersey, and despite the continued losing, seemingly for the better.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, along with head coach John Thompson III and teammates Markel Starks, Mikael Hopkins, Nate Lubick and Otto Porter all discussed their thoughts on Rutgers; those in the program believe the Scarlet Knights have revenge on their minds. See our Premium Court message board for quotes, several of them not delivered to any other outlet.
Our real time, in-game chat will be in full effect tomorrow night, and is available to subscribers. Sports Talk 570 AM has Rich Chvotkin's radio call, while ESPNU.
Following are odds and ends quotes pertaining to the Hoyas' stunning, 79-78, double overtime, come from behind win at UConn on Wednesday:
Lubick on if the Hoyas wavered regarding victory in UConn: "There wasn't a point in the game we didn't think we weren't going to come back. We did a great job playing with poise".
Was the comeback due to self realization or JT3's prodding? "A little bit of both. (Shabazz) Napier started going off a little bit in overtime, really creating his own shot; we really knew that was going to be one of the keys, the penetration of him and (Ryan]Boatright".
"We just had to really get our hands up and stop them from making individual moves and getting shots up. And I think…we did a pretty good job of that".
Starks, asked if it was the team's best performance to date (these comments were only picked up by HoyaReport.com): "I don't know. Obviously…(free throws he missed at the end of regulation troubling?) Yeah…I always beat myself up about that one….gotta let it go. Gotta learn from it. Gotta get better".
On the game in sum: "Overall I think we let it slip away. Obviously the closer we get to tournament time, you can't do that. Even against Rutgers. Even against future opponents…we can't allow games like that to slip away from us, we have to be mentally tough.
"I think we did an excellent job of that in the two overtimes…had some good looks, just didn't put them in . But moving forward, we have to keep defending and doing the things that got us here".