Hopkins says UW three-point specialist Green is "one of the best shooters in the country."
To hear Mike Hopkins say it, he expected Dominic Green to nail a game-winning three-pointer from 22 feet away to beat No. 9 Arizona 78-75 as time expired last Saturday.
Green is a good perimeter shooter, who Hopkins noted is ranked 52nd in the nation in three-point shooting percentage.
What impressed the defensive-minded Washington men’s basketball coach, was Green’s effort on the defensive end against Arizona’s front line that includes two 7-footers.
“He’s got an unbelievable skill,” Hopkins said about Green’s game-winner. “He’s got an unbelievable work ethic. It doesn’t just happen because he’s a shooter. He practices it and practices it. The thing that I was most proud about him in the game was his defense.
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“When you’re battling those guys, they’re not normal. They’re big and they’re good and physical. Some of Dom’s communication part and some of his responsibilities – he did it at a really high level. That’s what, those are the plays that coaches notice. You get an open shot, he’s good shooter and he’s going to make it. Him battling, talking and communicating on defense, adapting well and just his energy was infectious. It was great.”
Here’s the video and transcript of Hopkins’ weekly press conference.
(On the past 48 hours) “It’s been exciting. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s awesome. But a lot more games to play and tough teams. You’ve got to have a short-term memory. You’ve got to focus and it’s hard. We talk about eliminating interference. That will be the message: on to the next game, prepare, get better. Winning just doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by doing certain things and to keep that as the focus of why. They’ve been doing a heck of a job but we still have to have that chip on our shoulder. We never talk about it but that’s the most important thing.”
(On if it’s harder to manage success) “I think sometimes it’s harder to handle success than failure, but at the end of the day we’re all learning – we’re all learning together. The game is constantly evolving. You can be a big guy and you’re scoring every time and you went from averaging five to averaging 17 and the next thing you know they’re double-teaming you. I’ve never been double-teamed before! It’s one of those things. Those are some of the learning curves. We hadn’t been able to back up back-to-back games earlier in the year and we really weren’t playing great at home. It was one of those learning curves. We were able to come back and then go back-to-back with good performances and find ways. That’s part of the learning and growing part of it. We just can’t caught up in the hype, because that’s all it is is hype. It doesn’t affect wins and losses. It’s how you play and how tough you are and how smart you play and how together you play.”
(On how UW got back-to-back wins against ranked teams) “We had 20 assists against Arizona State, we had 10 in the first half against Arizona. Guys making plays, and when you’re doing that…it’s the execution. You’re getting those extra plays, but it’s thinking the one more. We’ve been talking about rebounding and multiple effort mentality and seeing five guys going to the paint, seeing 6-7, 6-3 and 6-6 out-battling two 7-footers for a rebound. Those are the things that it takes. That’s what needs to be the focus, that extra pass. It doesn’t mean you’re going to make all your shot, but it’s that togetherness that I thought we’d been executing a lot better. We’ve been fighting a lot harder on the rebounding side. We’ve been playing really good defense. It’s the consistency of that stuff. We’d been doing it, and then all of a sudden where did it go? One of the stuff where we’ve been giving them the brain tattoo is, this is the consistency over time equals credibility. It’s not one game – wow. It’s over time.”
(On how many times he’s seen Dominic Green’s game-winner) “I watched the game yesterday and cut it up. I watched it, it was pretty spectacular, it was awesome. You don’t watch it for the shot, you watch it for the expressions of the people. Like gosh I look like an idiot right now. I looked like I was doing whatever that’s called with the bamboo stick (limbo), trying to will it in. It was great but people forget, the shot before was bigger. But it was David’s surveying and finding him off an offensive rebound. Game-winning play. Sam Timmins first half goes hard to the glass, which we’ve been preaching. Gets a rebound, finds Dom – makes it. Those are the difference-makers.”
(On Green) “I think he’s one of the best shooters in the country. I just went on KenPom and he’s like 64th. He’s got an unbelievable skill. He’s got an unbelievable work ethic. It doesn’t just happen because he’s a shooter. He practices it and practices it. The thing that I was most proud about him in the game was his defense. When you’re battling those guys, they’re not normal. They’re big and they’re good and physical. Some of Dom’s communication part and some of his responsibilities – he did it at a really high level. That’s what, those are the plays that coaches notice. You get an open shot, he’s good shooter and he’s going to make it. Him battling, talking and communicating on defense, adapting well and just his energy was infectious. It was great.”
(On UW’s zone being an equalizer) “I think any good defense poses challenges. What are we going to take away. What are we going to … people are calling me saying ‘Geez you let the ball get into the high post a lot. Well, the next game we might take it away. That’s the art of trying to figure out how to beat a team and what you’re going to give up. Because you’re going to give up something. What are you willing to give up? But being a really good defensive team is a great equalizer. Look at Virginia. They play a pack line. It’s a different defense, but it’s like a – someone had mentioned – it was like a boa constrictor. It was just this hold, and holding teams. And it’s just like, they’re done. And that’s what good defenses can do. We’ve got great coaches in our league and they study and they watch. We’ll have different attacks, but hopefully we can make the adjustments and get better at it. And that can be something that we can hang our hat on – being a really good defensive team.”
(On adjusting the zone) “Nothing major. The thing that’s great about is that it’s not just okay, this is what we do. If we want to take this away, this is what we can do. If we want to take this guy out, we can take him out this way. Sometimes it’s cut and paste or its trying to hide or disguise. That’s kind of our secret in terms of what we do game planning. People are trying to figure it out, great. The great things that our guys are doing a really good job of is we’re calling a timeout, make an adjustment, they’re able to do it and pose another problem for them. Then they have to figure that out. The guys are really good at getting good at adapting and figuring out how guys are attacking it and then some of it they’re putting their own spin on it. That was the greatest thing when I learned from coach (Jim) Boeheim is the zone always evolved based on how people were attacking it. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t just sit here because now they’re going to hit 20 corner threes. You don’t just play the same way. You start adapting. It evolves, it gets better. You take teams out of what they do. Once you can do that or take players out, it’s like football. If Randy Moss is a great receiver, we have to do whatever we can. Is that going to be blitzing, is that going to be double teaming him? That’s what is so much fun about coaching. It’s constantly changing, constantly evolving. You’re playing chess. They’re constantly coming. They have great coaches in our league and that’s going to be the challenge. It’s been a lot of fun seeing our guys learn it as well as they have and adapt as well as they have.”
(On limiting 3-pointers) “The three point shot is the most dangerous shot in college basketball. Talk about the great equalizer. The three is the great equalizer. It’s hard to do. You saw earlier in the year Virginia Tech made fifteen threes against us. We’ve gotten better at our coverages, understanding of them. That’s what I’m most proud of, they just keep getting better. With that being said, you can do that, but if you don’t defensive rebound it’s just a missed shot. That’s where our evolution has come and that’s where at the end of the game I think we got nine out of the last 11 rebounds against Arizona. It’s like being in a timeout and saying ‘I don’t know to tell you to box out. That thing is gold. If you want gold, go get it. Do that thing you do. That two handed thing. Whatever it may be.’ The guys get it. They wanted to win, they fought.”
(On Oregon) “We’ve played so many of those games. We played Providence after a loss. We’ve played Virginia Tech after a loss. We’ve played a lot of those teams. We played Gonzaga after a loss and we saw what happened there. Great coach, coach Altman, proud tradition, rivalry game. The one thing that you have to do is you have to match the toughness and intensity. You have to. When you play on the road you have to do that. We’ve got to keep it simple to what has made us successful, like great defense, execute our game plan. If it’s take away the three, take away the high post, if it’s take away the post player, finish with rebounding. Offensively, we’ve given them the schematic. Now it’s playing unselfish, making the extra pass. When we do that, our percentages have gone up. At the end of the day, the game is about scoring. You have to make shots. When we’ve done that, we’ve been pretty successful. It’s a really easy recipe for us. We’re going to be who we are. We’re going to play Husky basketball. You go out there and that’s why you come to a place like this. We got to play the Arizonas, we’ve been to LA, we’ve played some of the best teams in the country. They’re all great challenges, they all pose different problems. The good thing is the guys know and believe that if we can do this, we can put ourselves in position to win. We might lose, but we learn from it, get better and move forward. That’s been our motto, that’s been our focus. We just have to keep it there. We have to keep it at 72 degrees.”