George Washington’s four consecutive losses on the road, which included setbacks to Longwood, a team playing just its fifth season in Division I, and Coppin State, a team that had lost 10 in a row before beating the Colonials, have not left the players disheartened, according to GW Coach Karl Hobbs.
“Their confidence level is pretty good,” Hobbs said, speaking on the Atlantic 10 coaches conference call Monday morning. “That hasn’t been the real issue. The real issue for us has just been our youth and just learning how to compete. . . . For us, the biggest thing is that we just have to learn how to compete and that’s the number one challenge we’re dealing with now. That’s the very beginning of rebuilding your program is getting your players to understand how to compete and how hard you have to play every time you step on the court.”
Hobbs said the formula for achieving competitiveness – hard work – is not unfamiliar to him.
“We’ve done this before. This isn’t anything new to us,” he said. “When we first came to GW, it was a rebuilding process at that time, and now we’re right back to where we were when we first arrived. . . . It all begins in practice. They have to learn how to compete every single day, and that’s our whole goal. . . . It’s going to take some time for us to get to that point, but I feel pretty confident that we will get there.”
Hobbs added that one of the players working the hardest is Travis King. The sophomore point guard missed last season with a fractured kneecap and has endured an excruciatingly long recovery. After a slow start to the season, King has come on strong lately. He has scored in double figures in GW’s last three games, including a 14-point, six-assist performance at Longwood.
“He’s really what we are about as a program,” Hobbs said. “He comes in every day [and] works hard, plays with great intensity, and each game he’s starting to play better. He’s getting healthier by the day.”
GW (6-6) returns home this week for its Atlantic 10 opener against Richmond (8-6) on Saturday.
January 5, 2009; 1:02 PM ET
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