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Jan. 4, 2010

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Pitt vs. Cincinnati, Fifth Third Arena, January 4, 2010

No. 23 Pitt 74, Cincinnati 71


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement


“One thing I’ll tell you is that no one lost this game. It was a well played game. Teams had to make plays and both did throughout. The numbers indicate it. Both teams rebounded well and there were few turnovers. They are a good team and we are turning into a good team. You can tell the job that Mick has done. I remember playing him four years ago. This program has improved every year and it is the biggest sign of a good job of building a program.”


On Gilbert Brown’s play in the second half:


“We ran some sets for him, and we want to use him similar to Sam (Young). He finished strong and made some plays. There were some good passes from Travon and Ashton, too. It was pretty good execution throughout. This is a very good team that we played tonight. Who they have beat and played shows that. We had to make plays. Gilbert has gotten better on the defensive end and he’s gotten comfortable.”


On Difference in Offense


“I think it is just getting better. We have challenged these guys to improve, and they have taken the responsibility. I think they are enjoying it. Some guys don’t enjoy change, but there is a real understanding about our mentality. We needed to improve as a team and individually.”


On Lance Stephenson Scoring


“He made some tough jump shots. If you make tough shots, we can live with that, but we don’t believe guys can make tough shots for 40 minutes. He is a great player.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On his breakout game:


“It was big to come back and gel with the team, especially being able to be cohesive and together on offense and defense. It started from practice and into the games. We all took a lot of strides to do that. I still feel we have a lot to do. Coach pushes us every day. We don’t settle, and that is the biggest part of it. With him pushing us, we play hard and we push.”


Quoting Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin


Opening Statement


“Well obviously it was a high-level basketball game and we came out on the wrong side. I thought Gilbert Brown getting five offensive rebounds really broke our backs.  We played well enough to win on offense, but not well enough on defense. We only had three guys get an offensive rebound and we won’t win a lot of games when that happens.”


On Defensive Breakdowns


“We had 40 points in the paint and they had 30. Gilbert Brown hit some tough shots. We had some times where we had breakdowns. Our biggest problem for our team, when we are in a high level game, is that you aren’t going to score every time and you have to go get some stops. When we trade and then we miss and they score, we can’t compound the problem and go down and take a tough shot. We have too many two minute stretches where we let our offense affect our defense. We have to mature in our offense. We get behind and we have to have Lance, Deonta, and Yancy play too many minutes, which makes us not fresh on defense.”


On Gates Performance:


“He is playing well. He played well on offense, but he isn’t in the physical condition. But he had 16 (points) and 14 (rebounds). He probably needs to play 29 (minutes a night). He needed four to five minutes of rest. That is where we need to get more production out of other guys. Those three guys (Stephenson, Gates, and Vaughn) playing those minutes hurt us defensively.”


On Shooting Well Against Their Defense:


“All losses are hard to take. You have to be analytical. We have to make adjustments. We won’t go undefeated. People say you have to go undefeated at home, but it won’t go that way. It never goes as planned, and it won’t happen this year in this league. Now we have to steal a win back somewhere. You would have probably thought tonight if we had shot 49% that we would win. Watching film, we knew. Pitt had Syracuse down 15, a team that has dismantled everyone they have played. This is a team that you have to throw out their early losses because they didn’t have Gilbert Brown or Jermaine Dixon. To be the team we want to be defensively, we need to be able to play our bench. I think our breakdowns were more due to fatigue. We haven’t played those guys that many minutes, but they aren’t an easy team to defend.”


Quoting Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates


On his first half play


“I wasn’t getting in the starting line-up. It was in our pregame. Coach went on how evenly our guards would play tonight. He said the difference may come down to how the “bigs” play, and that was motivation to get the job done.”


On Not Getting Second Touches


“They adjusted the defense a little bit. When that happens, you try to get rebounds or do something else that you weren’t doing the first time around.”


On Pitt Making Runs


“They are a really poised team. When we would make a run or tie, they would come down patiently and get through their offense. They did a good job tonight of getting to the line. They outshot us at the line, which isn’t good when you are at home. You can’t let the visiting team shoot more than you when you are in your own gym.”


On Comparison to Last Year


“Playing in this league last year was a little tougher playing with the Blair’s and the Thabeet’s. It teaches you that every night you have to come in and play physical. You can’t come in lackadaisical.”


On Making Statement but Losing at Home


“This would have been a great win. Any loss hurts. Now that the game is over, we have more games just like this in the BIG EAST. We have to get focused, put the game behind us, but not forget about it.”


Quoting Cincinnati’s Lance Stephenson


On the difference in the second half:


“I just was forcing some of the shots I was taking. They played me harder, and it was tough for me to score. I just tried to keep the game close. I didn’t want them to pull away, but in the end they did that.”


On Big East Conference

“The competition is great. Every team comes out tough and they play defense. It is a little bit harder for me to adjust. I just try harder to get easier shots for me and my teammates.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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