Hopkins on UW’s decisive, late-game flurry: ‘We were down 1 with seven minutes to go in the game and Matisse Thybulle decided to be Deion Sanders.’
Washington men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins breaks down the Huskies’ 86-73 win over Omaha on Sunday.
(Opening statement) “This team has played an incredible schedule. Omaha has played the likes of Louisville. There’s no fear factor. These guys came in and they moved the ball and they executed exceptionally well. I thought for moment, especially the first 15 minutes we got back to 1-on-1 basketball. We got back to no movement and it showed with our offensive numbers. There were periods in the second half where we moved it, where there was more flow and we got some opportunities, which was really good. We just kept letting the three-point shooters shoot. We’ve had this same talk seven times? What’s our record? Eight times. Teams can shoot. You can’t hope that they miss. You got to force them to miss. We were down 1 with seven minutes to go in the game and Matisse Thybulle decided to be Deion Sanders. You saw the effect that he has on the game. And then everybody, the urgency to find the shooters. Then we were getting the rebounds and those 50-50 balls that we weren’t getting for 32 minutes or 33 minutes of the game. That’s the difference. We’re at our best when we are playing defense and rebounding the ball and flying around. Sam Timmins in the first half would get it and bobble it. But in the second half, he’d get it and do what? Dunk. And that’s how we have to play. For the coaching staff, we’ve just really have tried to institute a mindset of it’s got to be that sense of urgency the whole time. I thought the first half they played us a little bit like Seattle (University). They put the big guy in the back and they weren’t guarding Sam. We weren’t effective. We put Hamier (Wright) in the game and he hit a couple of big shots for us. He spaced it out a little bit. He made a little drive to the basket. But they fought. Those kids fought. Omaha is really well coached. And they shoot it really well. But that last seven minutes, that’s what hopefully we can do over time and that’s what it looks like. It’s hard to show a team when they can’t see it, but we saw what it looks like. And we’ve seen it. We just need it for longer periods of time.”
(How are you able to be aggressive in…