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Jan. 24, 2011

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No. 15 Notre Dame 56, No. 2 Pitt 51, January 24, 2011, at Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement


“Well this is obviously disappointing for us. I have to give credit to Notre Dame; they played really well and they’re a good team. Two good teams getting out there, and they deserved the win. They made the plays down the stretch. I’m Disappointed with how we executed both offensively and defensively. I have to give Notre Dame credit with how they came out and played. We have a lot to learn from this loss. Every game we need to get better. We didn’t make the 40 minutes of execution that we needed to do offensively and defensively. It’s one loss, I know a lot will be made of it – we’re used to that. We need to get back to what we do and get better at sustaining it. We’ll learn from it and be better because of it – we have to be.”


On the play of Ben Hansbrough:


“We got exactly what we thought we would get tonight. We knew they would hold the ball, and we were prepared for that. We had one day to get ready. We thought that they would exactly what they did. We just couldn’t contain him (Hansbrough) off the dribble. I was surprised with how he was able to beat us – he played well. He’s an older kid, but he’s been around for a long time. He played really well – you have to give him credit. He made shots, but at the same time he distributed the ball well. You have to give him credit; he’s a good player. He’s hurt a lot of teams and it’s why they’re at where they’re at.”


On not getting a big, 10-plus lead:


“If we had gotten that type of lead, I think they would have continued to hold the ball, so I don’t think that was the issue. We had a six-point lead with a couple opportunities but the two three’s in a row hurt us and got them (Notre Dame) back where they needed to be. We weren’t good enough offensively or defensively in a low possession game when you need to be. The quick shots and turnovers get magnified when there’s far less possessions in a game – that’s the way they want it to be. I thought there were times where we rushed some shots and that kept us from getting where we wanted to be. They’re a good, experienced team. We lost to a very good team, and obviously we don’t lose here often so a lot will be made of it. It will hurt our guys, but we’ll bounce back and get ready this week as we prepare for Rutgers.”


On not using the last timeout at the end of the game:


“We had one timeout left and a play call, so we wanted to run with that. We felt that if we had transition opportunities, we wanted to attack on that. I think all game long we kind of rushed some things and played in traffic a little more than we normally do – that stood out. We didn’t make the plays down at the end that we need to make in a game like this.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On Notre Dame’s defense:


“They played good defense but it was their ability to make some tough shots and drive to the basket on offense that got us. We just need to learn from this and improve for Saturday.”


On why Pitt lost:


“I think it was the way we played. We didn’t pass the ball and we felt as if we were rushed a little bit. We came down the floor and we’d take a quick shot and we can’t play like that. It’s not us. We need to be more patient.”


On what the loss teaches the team for the rest of the season:


“It’s still early in the season. We don’t need to hit the panic button, we still have a lot of opportunities to get better.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On Notre Dame’s defense:


“It’s not so much about how they played defense, we just didn’t play fully together. We didn’t do what we do, being relying on passing and finding on each other. We failed to do that and that’s why we lost.”


On Notre Dame’s style of play:


“I saw it coming on their first possession of the game. That’s their formula and it worked on us. They’re a team that slows things down and we’re a team that grinds it out. We didn’t adjust. We tended to be a little impatient at times and they have great shooters, so they’re able to make some tough shots at the end of a shot clock. That’s how they were effective.”


On if they could have extended their lead in the game:


“If we could have extended our lead to about ten or 12, I think they would have changed the way they played. But we weren’t able to and they kept making a bucket in order to keep it close.”


Quoting Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey


Opening Statement:


“I’m very proud of our group. We haven’t been very good on the road to date. We tried to meet the home team’s competitive energy and I thought we did that. We certainly executed our game plan of burning clock and executing at the end of a clock. I think what won the game for us, though, was that we defended and rebounded defensively in the last five minutes to escape. Pitt is really good. They are hard to guard and hard to keep off the board. I’m proud of our group to learn the process of winning on the road and this was the ultimate road challenge for us.”


On what made the offense work so well:


“Our focus was a little bit better because we knew if we didn’t concentrate at the end of the clock we would lose by 15 here tonight like a lot of people do. We simplified it. We used maybe two or three sets instead of thinking about seven sets at the end of a clock, which helped our guys. I thought Ben Hansbrough played fabulous—finding people, dragging the ball screen, understanding the mismatch, and finding our shooters. For him to do what he did physically Saturday night, and turn around and do this tonight and guard Ashton Gibbs, we are going to give him tomorrow off.”


On how difficult it is to execute a game like this:


“We always work on it a little at practice and I think with this nucleus of guys, the four of them, certainly rode it to an NCAA tournament bid last year. We remember what it feels like and smells like. With the addition of Scott Martin because of his basketball IQ and his feel gives us a fifth guy in there that really understands how to flow with it. Eric Atkins and Jack Cooley gave us really great minutes of the bench. Jack was part of it last year and Eric is a really heady guard. We play around with it every day in practice. I told them after Saturday’s game to heat the stove up for Monday night because we’re burning all night. We haven’t burned a whole game yet, but it’s still something we can come back to periodically throughout the year.”


On how much easier the road is having Carleton back in the lineup:


“There is no question about it. I just love looking at layup lines with Carleton in them. He’s a big part of our team. It’s not just the basketball element but his voice and leadership. When he came back to practice a week ago he uplifted the whole building. We played him a little against Cincinnati and he gave us a great psychological lift. I thought he was great in the second half against Marquette. I told him I was going to rest him Sunday, but let it all hang out on Monday. What he could use now is a week of practice because he’s missed that. Our four captains have to be out there for us to be as good as we can be.”

Quoting Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough


On finding the energy to play Pitt after Saturday’s game:


“I think my body was definitely fatigued, but the fire on this team wasn’t. Coach Brey did a great job of giving us a day’s rest and getting our energy back up. This is the first time we have committed to an all-out burn. We beat Pitt two times doing it last year. I think this is one of the toughest places to play in the country and to come in here and get a win really says something—not only of Coach Brey strategizing, but of our unit. Another big thing is the way Carleton Scott played tonight. He was 5-6 from the three point line and had 16 points and nine rebounds. I couldn’t be happier for the guys. This is probably the best win I’ve had ever.”


On Pitt switching to the high screen:


“I wasn’t really surprised. I think we were really hurting them when we had that shooter. I would drag that guy and they knew that other guy was coming back. I would take the focus on the weak side defender. I wasn’t really surprised especially because of the way I was dragging them. I think they wanted to take that away.”


On having confidence on the road:


“I think you have to put the past behind you. We can’t change anything in the past. We can only worry about today and right now. We had one captain back, who is a senior and improved his game a lot.”


On making it a point to win tonight:


“I told the guys that I don’t care what happens tonight just promise me we are going to leave it on the court. It’s really hard to win on the road especially in the Big East, especially against No. 2 Pittsburgh. To do that takes a lot of heart and toughness and I think we showed that tonight. We stepped up and made plays like we needed to and came out with a victory.”


On Carleton’s four point play:


“I think that was a huge play. We won by five. That was a four point play. All of a sudden things get really interesting if that doesn’t happen.”


Quoting Notre Dame’s Carleton Scott


On getting back in the flow:


“I’m feeling really good. I’m thrown back into the rotation and we are picking up where we left off. It’s a good feeling to have the trust there still and they got me great looks tonight.”


On his four point play:


“It was as big as any play that we had. It was a great opportunity to jet out there. I’m just happy I could knock them down.” 

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