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Jan. 11, 2012

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Rutgers at Pitt, January 11, 2012, Petersen Events Center, Rutgers 62, Pitt 39

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon:

Opening Statement:

"There is not a lot we can say. The kids are extremely disappointed, we are disappointed as a staff and we know our fans are disappointed. We are very sorry for how we played. We have to get better and that is what we are going to do. That is what we are going to do at practice tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do. It starts with the shooting. To start the game. we had good looks. We had layups and we just didn't make them. It is catching up to us. The rhythm is just not there. Give Rutgers credit, they played hard. We have a lot of work to do and we are going to get after it tomorrow to get ready for Saturday. We realize that we are not playing anywhere close to where we should be playing. Our guys are extremely disappointed. The locker room was silent after the game. We will do a better job going forward."

On the play of Ashton Gibbs:

"He is playing hard and he still is doing a lot of things for us. I know there is disappointment, but I know he will come hard and ready to work tomorrow. He has been banged up but he is fighting through it. He won't sit out in practice. He competes every day. I still have a lot of confidence in him."

On having trouble getting dribble penetration:

"We have to be able to get in the lane and get other guys shots. I thought we got in the lane a couple of times and just couldn't make the play, especially against the zone. There times where we were just where we wanted to be and didn't make the play. That is something we can and will improve on."

Quoting Pitt's Nasir Robinson

On Pitt's struggles in the half-court offense:

"We have to execute better. The last couple of practices we've been doing better, but we need to make it translate to the game."

On Pitt being outrebounded by 16:

"It was the most disappointing thing about the game because that is our main focus. We have to do a better job boxing out and we can't let them out-hustle us."

Quoting Pitt's Ashton Gibbs

On Rutgers' defense:

"Honestly it seemed like they knew our plays. Coach (Mike) Rice did a good job of scouting us and it led to them making great switches off of screens. We have to do a better job executing our offense."

On if adjustments were made:

"We tried to make adjustments, but they just played good defense. You have to give them a lot of credit."

On his struggles from the field:

"I have to be more patient on the screens and when I find myself open I have to knock down the shot. I have great expectations for myself and I need to step up and make shots."

Quoting Pitt's J.J. Moore

On Pitt's missed layups:

"That's been the focus in practice because it's contributed to all of our losses. When we miss lay-ups we get down on ourselves and we start taking it out on each other. We have to be together."

Quoting Rutgers Coach Mike Rice

Opening statement:

"I thought it was a team performance. We rebounded and defended well against Pitt tonight. It was as good of a 40 minute performance that we have played all year. We are getting better and this young team is starting to figure out how to win basketball games with every possession and rebound. Our players showed a good performance and victory."

On knowing Pitt's plays:

"We run half of what Pitt runs because they are good plays. Our switching defense doesn't allow Ashton Gibbs an open look, any freedom or any open space. It's difficult but we did the same thing with Jeremy Lamb at Connecticut. We have been so bad with our switching in the first month that teams continued to score layups on us. This is a young team but they are figuring out now how to switch off.  When you are able to switch to a player that was just as quick as the last player who was on you, then it is an effective formula defensively. Coach Cox was with me here with Jamie Dixon and we think the world of him, his offense and how he runs things."

On Pitt's overall performance:

"Everybody in college basketball goes through something like Pitt is experiencing. I told someone today that it will work itself out. It always does when you have a great coach and great players. This Pitt team will figure it out. Everybody has problems whether it's injuries, confidence or not buying into the formula and this team will figure it out."

On Rutgers overall performance:

"We had two bad practices before this but it did not carry over in tonight's game. We came out with tremendous energy and passion. When Dane Miller does what he does, he is the best athlete in the Big East. When he plays his best with his passion and energy then we are a much better team."

On the rebound margin:

"This was the No. 1 rebounding team in the country and our guys stepped up to the challenge. Myles Mack had five rebounds tonight. Each individual took it on as a challenge to go and do it against the best rebounding team in the country."

On Rutgers first road win:

"It was huge for us to win tonight. You wonder why this team could not do the same thing at South Florida, but they don't understand and it's a process. There are some growing pains and at times I would like to rip out my hair at some of the loses we had earlier this year but it has to happen. These guys are now embracing the formula, the intensity and energy that you need. For our first road win to be in front of the Oakland Zoo and at the Pete is big. I know how big it is but I am not sure these guys do because they are so young. Maybe that's why they played so hard here and didn't have a fear of it." 

Quoting Rutgers' Dane Miller

On Rutgers' focus:

"We could tell during warm-ups that we were locked in and really focused to win the game.  In the first four minutes we saw that we were out-hustling them the whole time and really wanted to win."

On the difference between this game and the previous game against Florida:

"We seemed more energetic, locked in and more focused than we did in the game against Florida."

Quoting Rutgers' Eli Carter

On what the win means for their program:

"It's a process.  I'm starting to understand a lot more.  He (Coach Mike Rice) installs this in practice every day.  I'm starting to understand a lot more."

On understanding more of the defensive system:

"It's becoming second nature to me. We go over it every day in practice.  If we don't do it right we get yelled at."

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