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Jan. 14, 2009

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South Florida at Pitt, January 14, 2009, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“I thought this was a great offensive performance by us tonight. You look at Levance Fields getting 13 assists. That just speaks to how fluidly our offense was running and how in rhythm we were on that end. When you have 20 assists as a team against just eight turnovers, those are the kinds of numbers that any coach in the country will take in a heartbeat. Give South Florida a lot of credit. I thought they battled very well and were incredibly patient in their offense. It was just a very well played game by both teams.”


On the play of Tyrell Biggs:


“I thought he played a great game tonight. We had some foul trouble so our rotation was a little bit off and I thought he really carried us at points. He knocked down some big shots, finished well around the rim and really attacked the glass well. He’s really developed into a true forward which is what we need him for on this team. His defense has come a long way too, and it was obvious we missed him out there tonight for some stretches.”


On Pitt’s shooting:


“I’ve said all along that we’re a good shooting team, and it was just a matter of time before we got going.  We have guys that are capable of getting going from the perimeter, but you don’t want to start relying on outside shooting. That’s not necessarily going to be there every night, so that’s why we need to rebound and defend.”


On Pitt’s depth:


“We have tremendous balance as a team, and I think that’s really a strength of ours. You look at a game like tonight where we had some foul trouble and both Nasir Robinson and Ashton Gibbs could have played more minutes.  It’s very comforting as a coach to know that there are ten guys you can count on in a given situation to step up and play well for you. That’s a great asset to have in a league like this where every night you’re going up against a very good team.”


Quoting Pitt’s DeJuan Blair


On South Florida’s first half shooting:


“I don’t think it has much to do with us being ranked number one. They just came out very patient and were knocking down some tough shots. Give them credit, but I thought we were a little sluggish on defense, particularly in the first half. We know we need to play way better defense than that.”


On the play of Levance Fields:


“He’s the best point guard in the nation as far as I’m concerned. Playing with him, you can tell how good he is at getting you the ball in the right position, and making sure that our offense is always moving in rhythm.”


Quoting Pitt’s Tyrell Biggs


On his play:


“I got that nice rebound and put-back early and it gave me a lot of confidence. I was able to get some easy buckets along the way, and I just felt really strong finishing around the rim tonight. It’s nice when you’re able to have a game like that where everything clicks.”


Quoting Pitt’s Levance Fields


On other teams giving Pitt their best effort:


“I don’t think it has a whole lot to do with us being ranked number one. This is an ultra competitive league with top players, and every game is important. These are some of the best players in the country and they all have a lot of pride and want to play their best regardless of what their opponent is ranked.”


On South Florida’s defense:


“They were doubling DeJuan Blair and Sam Young in the post every time they touched the ball. We know teams are going to do that to us because it’s such a strength of ours. We just have to make sure we space the floor properly when that happens and knock down some open shots.”


On Pitt’s play:


“It’s a tough conference where you have to earn everything. With the quality of players you go up against you’re not going to win by 20 or 30 points every game. You have to earn everything.”


Quoting South Florida Head Coach Stan Heath


Opening Statement:


“We did a lot of things well.  I thought we played this team well. We came in here and shot 48 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three point line, I’ll take that, but at the same time, we lost by 13.  Pitt’s rebounding ability taught us a lesson on how to get the ball.  DeJuan Blair was just too much for us.  He wore us down.  We would come us with a defensive stop and somehow he got it right back.  Levance Fields is just a general out there.  He runs the floor and he maybe made one mistake all night.  I’m proud of our guys.  This game will help us get better.”


On South Florida loss:


“It was our goal to come in here and try and upset the number one team in the country. We knew we had a long shot at best, but we did have an opportunity and we didn’t come through.  We still did some good things, but it wasn’t enough.”


On Pitt’s shooting:


“We knew they are good on the glass and the inside, so we tried to push them to three point range, but they were good from there.  We usually hold our opponents to 30 percent from three point range, but they came out and shot 55.  Pitt’s a team that knew how to make the extra pass. They’re a nice team.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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