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Jan. 15, 2011

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Seton Hall at No. 5 Pitt, Petersen Events Center, January 15, 2011

No. 5 Pitt 74, Seton Hall 53


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement

“I’m excited with how we played. The rebounding really stood out. We wanted to come out and rebound well and we did, having 24. Our offense wasn’t ideal, but we got a lot of good shots. I thought Brad Wanamaker and Gilbert Brown were pretty unselfish tonight. We had a pretty good lead to start. Dante Taylor made some really nice passes. Everyone made unselfish plays and did a really good job. We got some guys some minutes and took care of business, especially on rebounding and defense. That’s what you want to have every night.”


On the team’s performance in tonight’s game:


“I think we had so many different numbers. 20 assists, and then we found guys. We didn’t settle. We got a lot of guys in passing. We did a lot of good things. I think everyone knows we have a pretty balanced team and have a lot of guys available for us. Brad Wanamaker really set the tone. We got a lot of guys in there. It’s a good win against a team that’s played a lot of teams close.”


On defending Seton Hall:


“It was a key for us. We did a good job. I thought Gilbert Brown did a nice job – his numbers aren’t great, but he’s been playing so well. He’s really unselfish and is letting things come to him – he’s doing good things. He was on Jeremy Hazell a lot. I didn’t think he got a lot of good looks. He got a couple of points at the end, and Herb Pope did as well. They had their key guys in there at the end, trying to get some points, and we were still limiting them. We did a good job in containing Jeremy Hazell who was the key.”


On preparing for Syracuse


“We’re going to get ready for them right away. Obviously they’re good, but we pretty much know what we’re going to get from them knowing their returning players and knowing what they’ve done year-after-year. There’s a lot of hype about it, especially after this game. I’m looking forward to it. To get a 15 point lead today and get up right away showed a lot of character from our guys.”


On the crowd despite other Pittsburgh events:


“The crowd really isn’t a big concern of mine. However, it has had a lot to do with our success and wins over the years. It was a different day but we took care of business.”


On overall improvement in the senior class:


“Our seniors have really improved game-to game. We talk about improvement, we stress it so much, and there is no greater example than our seniors and how they are making improvement in the middle of their senior years. Gilbert Brown is a prime example of just that. Brad Wanamaker takes nine shots, has seven assists, seven rebounds and then you have Gary McGee who is defending well. We talked about it yesterday, and reinforced it today – improvement never stops. There’s no better way to see it than in the seniors this year.”


On the underclassmen’s performance:


“It has been good to see them perform the way they have. I talked to J.J. Moore during the week about being ready to go. He’s been practicing well. Everyone else is playing well though too. At the wings we’ve been pretty good and solid. Travon Woodall has been playing solid. Dante Taylor has been performing very well – he had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and no turnovers tonight. These are young kids. Our seniors have improved, but in turn the young guys have gotten better too. It’s not always the case, but it is what you want to have. It seems to be a staple of our program, but that’s not the case everywhere. We need to continue to improve. We have to take a step as not only individuals but as a team as well.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On teammates stepping in for Ashton Gibbs


“It just shows that we had a lot of guys that can step in and contribute to our team. Ashton didn’t have one of his best games tonight, Dante [Taylor] played well, Gary [McGhee] had a double-double. Everybody just contributed in different ways, whether it be rebounding, passing, or playing good defense.”


On overcoming early offensive struggles


“Anytime the shots are not going or force them outside you want to go inside. Our big men were good. Moments down there everyone was getting the shot or making extra passes.  Going through our big men was a plus tonight.”


On limiting Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell


“Any time you go up against a player of his caliber who can shoot the ball really well, you want to check him out early. I think that’s what we did. Gilbert did a good job of checking on him all game and keeping him by his cover zone.


On looking forward to Syracuse


“Once the game was over we went into the locker room, and we knew our next test is against Syracuse. From tonight on we’re just going to focus on them and worry about how we can get open shots against their zone.”


On why they succeed against Syracuse


“We have a great zone offense. I feel as though we pass the ball very well against their defense. We attack them in the paint and we rebound well. We give them different looks.”


Quoting Pitt’s Dante Taylor


On feeling more comfortable offensively


“I’m definitely feeling more comfortable. It comes with going hard in practice just carrying over into the game. Every game I just try to come out more confident.”


Quoting Gary McGhee


On the rebound advantage:


“I think we did a good job of crashing the offensive glass and getting extra shots. We tried to limit them [offensively] so we could get as many shots and extra attempts. 


On recording a double-double against Seton Hall:


“It’s good any time you can get a double-double, especially over a guy like Herb Pope, who is a really good player and a really good rebounder. It just felt good to get the double-double and the win tonight.”


On facing Syracuse next


“We’re really excited. It’s a big game against a highly-ranked team. We’re just getting prepared and looking forward to Monday.”


Quoting Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard


On Pitt’s rebounding:


“Pitt just has great size. They took a lot of long three-pointers, which is what we wanted to make them do, but we just didn’t rebound very well from our guards tonight.”


On Pitt’s play:


“What makes them so dangerous is that McGhee, and their other guys down low, take up a lot of space. That results in us trying to double team them to keep them off the glass, and then other guys get open. They also do a great job in getting long rebounds. There’s a lot of things that make them dangerous though, that’s just one aspect. In my opinion, this is one of the best teams in the country. Everyone on their team knows their roll and does it really well.”


On Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker:


“He goes out there, plays hard and runs the offense. He does everything that they ask him to do and he’s unselfish. He’s also a very good defender and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.”


On Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell:


“I thought he played well. We knew beforehand that we he came back he would have some tough shooting nights. It’s hard to take two months off and still play at a very high level. He had some opportunities but he played hard, and the key is for him to get his legs back on a consistent basis.”


On coming back to Pittsburgh:


“It was nice. I have a lot of great memories playing here. It was great to see Dick Groat and Tony Salesi. Dick is one of those guys that just amazes me, he’s probably going stronger than all of us right now. Tony is probably one of the best trainers in college basketball, and more importantly one of the better people in the game. So to see those two and to see what Chancellor Nordenberg has done with the campus is overly exciting.”


On Pitt’s upcoming game against Syracuse:


“I think it’s going to be a great battle. Both teams have great size and terrific guard play. I thought Syracuse was the most unselfish team until we play here tonight. I’m looking forward to watching them Monday night.”


Quoting Seton Hall Forward Herb Pope


On Pitt’s size:


“They’re big and physical, but this is just like every other Big East game; every team is like this in this conference.”


On coming back to Pittsburgh:


“It was emotional. I got to see my child and family members in the crowd. But when the game started, I had to put that behind me and come out and play.”


Quoting Seton Hall Guard Jeremy Hazell


On his play tonight:


“They are a tough team to play against. They have great guards, great big men and play terrific on the defensive end. They made it tough for me all night. I had shots that I should have hit but they just didn’t go down. My team screened well, but it was just a tough game.”


On his health:


“I feel great and at 100 percent.”

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