Daniel Gibson: Man it feels great! Every year we got to the second round of the playoffs we could never get past it. Maybe now that we did, it could put us over the hump and we can go a lot further.
IT: Through the first three quarters, you appeared to have some trouble finding your game offensively, although it appeared to be through no fault of your own. Quite frankly, you weren't getting the ball...
DG: Yeah, they (Channelview) were sagging defensively... denying me the ball, so what I tried to do when I got the ball was drive, draw (the defense) and kick (the ball to wide-open teammates).
IT: Still, you guys weren't going to pull out the win without getting you more involved and there was definitely a concerted effort on the part of your teammates to run the offense through you, particularly in the fourth quarter.
DG: I had to fight through a lot of double-teams tonight and that was part of it. But one of our assistant coaches said we weren't going to win it unless I stepped up and I think I did that.
IT: During one crucial stretch of the fourth quarter you missed both of your free throw shots...
DG: Yeah, and I knew they were kind of big... we needed those points, but I didn't get down on myself. I knew I had to stay focused.
IT: Of course, after missing both of your foul shots, you then hit 8 consecutive free throw attempts keeping Angleton at bay.
DG: I just kept my composure. I knew we needed them to win the game, so I had to step up and make them.
IT: Overall, how would you rank your game tonight.
DG: It wasn't one of my better shooting nights, but I did a lot of the little things. I had a few steals, some rebounds, hit some big-time free throws. And we won the game.
BTW, the rule of thumb in a lot of sports, if not all sports, is that you don't make an issue about a sick or injured player who is trying to play through that, especially when you lose. But it is something I find to be even more data to weigh when trying to get the whole story.
To Houston Jones head coach Jessie Shelton and Gibson's credit, neither one offered up any details pertaining to the Bayou city star battling a cold, but during our interview I noticed a stopped-up and nasal-sounding Gibson. After talking about the game, I asked him about that. And "cold" segues nicely into some of his recent visits...
"When I went to Kansas it was a lot colder than I expected it to be," Gibson told IT. "And I didn't take any heavy jackets or anything and I think that's why I got sick."
As for how the trip to Lawrence went, the nation's 3rd-ranked ('04-class) point guard said, "I had a good time out there. They showed me a lot of love... coaches and players did. And Roy Williams is a great person, great coach and just a nice all-around person."
Gibson said Keith Langford (from Ft. Worth,Texas) was his host and that he showed him a good time.
"They had us go to a 105-year anniversary event (honoring fromer Jayhawk players) where a lot of players told stories about the past and that was kind of fun, but I turned it in early that night," the state's top point guard told IT. "Also saw the Kansas-Iowa State game which Kansas won by twenty points."
"Had a good time," Gibson said. "Went to the NBA slam-dunk/skills competition when I was there and it was pretty neat. B.J. Elder was my host and we toured the campus, but dind't spend a lot of time doing that, just wasn't much time."
Attending the NBA All-Star activities and the Georgia Tech-Maryland game (a game that Ga. Tech won) took up most of Gibson's visit.
Gibson also noted that Paul Hewit (Ga. Tech head coach) was a cool dude and down-to-earth.
"He was up in the stands tonight to see me play," the 5-star bluechipper said.
On the immediate agenda, Gibson said he was heading out to Norman today (Saturday) for his last official visit before decision-time which is expected to be the 27th of February.
"Kind of looking forward to it," he said. "Never been to Oklahoma before."
Stay tuned as IT looks to bring you even more news on one of Dave Telep's (TheInsidershoops.com) top ten national prospects, regardless of position, for the 2004 class.