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Jan. 19, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Syracuse at Pitt, January 19, 2009, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt’s Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“I didn’t realize until I started watching tape how good Syracuse was on offense. They’re a very dangerous team in that regard. That said, I’m very proud of our defensive effort against them.  I thought we really buckled down and had a commitment to excelling on that end of the floor. It was also good for us to get back to rebounding. The team was challenged in that regard after the Louisville game and responded very well to that. This is just a great win for us against a very good team.”


On the play of Nasir Robinson:


“He’s very good against the zone. He’s active on the floor and just has a talent for finding soft spots where he can get open looks and make things happen. I thought we didn’t use him enough against Louisville’s zone, so we wanted to make sure we got him some minutes tonight, and he responded.”


On Pitt’s rebounding:


“Part of the improvement in that regard is having guys not in foul trouble. Not only was DeJuan Blair forced to sit for long stretches against Louisville, but we had a lot of starters pick up two fouls in the first half. That can really take away some of your aggression when it comes to attacking the glass. Other than that we tried not to leak out as much and just made a group effort to go up for the ball. We’ve set the standard pretty high this season and it’s difficult to keep up with our numbers, but I’m very proud of that effort tonight.”


On the play of Sam Young:


“I thought we worked on some things before Louisville and he played well in that game aside from an eight minute stretch at the end. For him, offensive rebounds are key, and he did a really good job tonight of going after the ball and then finding ways to get in a good position to score. He also found a way to get to the line, which helps your scoring numbers as well. They’re going to be games where you don’t shoot as well and you just have to make sure you keep fighting.”


On Pitt’s bench:


“I thought everyone played really well. Ashton Gibbs hit a big shot for us and Brad Wanamaker hit a really big three as well. I thought Gilbert Brown really gave us some good minutes on defense, too. With these bench guys as well, they weren’t in foul trouble like last game so they could really be aggressive and play to their strengths.”


Quoting Pitt’s DeJuan Blair


On bouncing back after a loss:


“I thought we played very well in Saturday’s game. There are going to be games in this league where you give it your best effort and just come up short. Unfortunately, everyone’s going to lose in the Big East. You can’t take the game you lose with you to the next one. I thought we did a good job with that. Everyone really stepped up tonight.”


On his play in the second half:


“Syracuse has some horses. They kept me down a little bit in the first half, holding me to five boards. If you know my game at all, that’s not like me. I got hungry at halftime and really challenged myself to make sure I got after every loose ball in the second half.”


On Syracuse’s play:


“There were definitely stretches where they could have gotten frustrated against us. Some of their scorers weren’t scoring all that much which I know can be hard for a player. Andy Rautins had a great game for them though. I thought his shooting really kept them in the game for a long time.”


Quoting Pitt’s Levance Fields


On facing Syracuse’s zone:


“I think we have a very good offense to match-up with the zone. With Louisville, after breaking the press, we might have gotten a little impatient and rushed things. We just tried to slow it down a little tonight and make sure we got some of our post players more touches. It worked out well.”


On facing Jonny Flynn:


“It’s fun to play against him. He’s a very talented guard, very quick. Jermaine Dixon was matched up on him most of the night and I thought he did a great job defending him. It’s going to be very hard for Syracuse to win on nights when [Flynn] goes 3-for-14.”


On the play of Sam Young:


“We knew a game like this would happen for him. He broke out a little bit against Louisville and that gave his confidence a big boost. He’s a natural scorer and it’s very hard to keep guys like that down for too long.”


On Pitt’s second half offense:


“It all started with getting stops. That led to some easy transition baskets and really got our momentum going. I thought maybe we were a little jittery in the first half too. We weren’t running our offense the way we’re capable of and it was resulting in some tough shots. Once we calmed down, we started getting much better looks.”


Quoting Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim


Opening Statement:


“I thought we had a chance early in the first 25 minutes.  We had a good opportunity to go ahead, but it just didn’t happen.  Pitt is a tremendous team.  Going down the stretch, we couldn’t make the shots. We didn’t capitalize and Pitt did.”


On Syracuse:


“We’re young.  Not having a senior on the floor hurt us last year, but we’re a little more experienced, even without a senior.  I thought our guys were in the game, but they were still frustrated and they shouldn’t have been.”


On Syracuse’s last three games:


“We’ve been going down a stretch of three tough games and we’ve been giving tremendous effort.  We gave a very good effort against Notre Dame.  It’s something we have to do every night and we have to quickly put every game behind us. Bad games are going to come, especially when you’re playing at this level. Thankfully, we have a little bit of time before our next game. ”


On tonight’s game:


“Pitt is a good defensive team and we knew it was going to be hard to score points. Offensively, we didn’t play well. I thought didn’t get going right away and we didn’t take advantage of that. We needed to play better. We got frustrated.  In this league, you can’t play well and expect to win games. Tonight, we were in a little bit of foul trouble.  If we stay out of foul trouble, make the free throw shots and rebound the ball, then we should be in good shape. If those things don’t happen, you’re not going to get a good result. Fortunately, for us, we been playing well enough to win, I even think we’ve played better on the road than at home. We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight. We had some good stops and easy transitions, but then we threw up an air ball. We can’t do that.”


On Pitt:


“They are a good team.  They’ve got veterans: Sam Young, Levance Fields, and DeJuan Blair are all great players.  Blair is as good at his position as anyone I’ve seen in this league in awhile. He’s an excellent rebounder. I thought he wore us down at that position. We didn’t do a good job of defending him. Pitt’s a good rebounding team, that’s why they’re ranked number four in the nation.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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