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Jan. 26, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  AP Photos 


DePaul at Pitt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, Petersen Events Center

Pitt 93, DePaul 55

Quoting Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement:

“Obviously we’re happy with our guys and how we kept coming at them. Our strength is our 10 guys and we just kept coming at them with unselfishness. I think 23 assists really stands out. We were balanced and got good performance from a lot of different guys, and that’s what we’ve been doing all along. Today was (Trey) Zeigler, (Lamar) Patterson and (J.J.) Moore, and a bunch of other guys were in double figures. Again, I think I think I told you guys afterwards, I should have played Cameron (Wright) last game and made sure he was in there early. I think he makes us a better team when he’s out there and I thought that was something that held us back in the Providence win. Granted it was a win, but we needed what he brings to the table. We got better play from those two guys in Zeigler and Cameron, and I think of (Cameron) as a new guy because of all he’s had to go through. I just feel like he’s playing with a lot of energy. Between everybody, I’m really happy with the unselfishness. 23 assists, we kept passing all the way through, but the real thing I was excited about was we took a lot of threes early. I felt that kind of slowed us down when we had opportunities to get maybe better shots, lay-ups, and as the game went on we only took two threes in the second half. Our defense was good and the rebounding is back to where we need to have it. We got a good team effort from our guys.”

On today’s win carrying over to next week’s slate of games against Louisville and Syracuse:

“I would hope that it carries over but it’s a new day. Tomorrow we’ve got to have preparation and obviously we’ll be ready for Monday. But in this league you’re going to play good people and you rarely think you’re going to have a game like this in this conference. It just doesn’t happen, and for whatever reason, it did. I think our unselfishness was a big part of it. Once we got ahead we didn’t look for our own, we looked for each other, and that was key to sustaining it. You just want to get wins. You don’t expect a game like this in this conference. There are so many great teams.”

On the productivity of the Panthers’ bench:

“I think it’s a strength of ours and I think it’s something that we’ve been using all year long. What’s happening is guys have gotten better, and usually it’s the guys that are newer guys—the obvious four being the four new players and then as I say, Cameron (Wright). (Trey) Zeigler’s a better player than he was in November and so is Cameron. That’s something that I’ve hoped and envisioned and thought was going to occur because of their newness to the program and the adjustments that they would make. It allows us a lot more versatility. We got it from a number of guys today, whether it be Steve (Adams) or Dante (Taylor). We put them in there together and they were productive in that regard too.”

On observations of what the Panthers can improve on moving forward:

“If we’re going to point to something we should’ve done better, it would be turnovers. We’re obviously coming in as one of the lowest turnover teams in the country. We’re not the lowest and I don’t know where we’re at exactly today, but we still had too many. You’re going to have more against the way DePaul plays and you have to take advantage of some opportunities to get some lay-ups. We had a few too many turnovers and that’s something that we’ve got to be prepared for. We’ve got to be able to play through the press, attack on the back side, and we did a good job, but too many (turnovers) and some were unforced I thought. We’ve got to recognize that. There are things we can do better.”

On the progression of freshman center Steven Adams:

“(Steve and Dante Taylor) have both played good in certain games, but (Steve’s) working hard and we’re continuing to get the ball inside to him more. He’s going to the basket, he’s making free-throws, and I think all that stuff kind of compounds and just builds upon one another. He’s a new guy, he’s a freshman, and probably no guy is having more of an adjustment going from where he came from to playing in the Big East. There’s no other way to look at it. There’s no guy making as big a transition as him. But again, envisioning and hoping that he is going to show signs of improvement, and I think he has. Mainly I think defensive transitions are where he’s improved a lot. Early on he was struggling in that area and now he’s done a much better job.”

Quoting Pitt guard Trey Zeigler:

On the bench production:

“We have a lot of good players, and any night anyone can lead us in scoring. When you have ten guys that all can bring something to the table, we’re going to have nights like this.”

On if he is finally settled in to his role at Pitt:

“Definitely, the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself in the offense and I’m doing what Coach (Dixon) wants me to do. It’s helped me play more. Being out there, I’ve been able to find my groove and just be myself a little bit more.”

Quoting Pitt guard Tray Woodall:

On playing against the press:

“They wanted to speed us up, which they did. Throughout the whole game, we had 18 turnovers which is obviously uncharacteristic for us. It took time to get used to it, but we wanted to get lay-ups. Most teams that press give up lay-ups on the backside and want us to take jump shots. We took what they gave us and we took the open shots, which were lay-ups.”

On if they were looking ahead to the game against Louisville after they were ahead at halftime:

“We think about the task at hand. We knew this team had been down before in some of their games, but they don’t stop fighting and Coach (Dixon) made sure he emphasized that to us. We don’t look ahead. We all look at the next 20 minutes or the time ahead. Nothing is guaranteed, so we just went out and played hard like we did in the first half, if not harder.”

On if the Louisville game is a big game in their eyes:

“We feel like every game is a big game. We don’t take any game lightly. We know Louisville is an extremely well-coached team and they’re an aggressive team. We just want to make sure we go out and play our game and we’ve been playing pretty well. We just want to make sure we keep playing aggressive and active and come out with intensity. This team just helped prepare us with their press and we know Louisville presses also. We just want to make sure we’re prepared.”

Quoting Pitt guard Cameron Wright:

On the play of the bench:

“Every game we play 10 guys and the coaching staff has faith in every one. As players, as teammates and as brothers, we all have faith in each other. Coming off the bench, you just try to bring a lot of energy to the table.”

On what that depth means to the team:

“It just makes us a lot better in general. It creates better unity as a team and it displays that we’re a great 13 in practice.”

On if he’s becoming more of an offensive threat:

“All of our guards and all of our bigs, we can all score the ball. It’s not like we go out and all look for ourselves. We still have more assists than turnovers today, so we’re always a pass-first team.”

Quoting DePaul Head Coach Oliver Purnell

Opening Statement:

“This is one that we would like to flush away and burn the tape.  I thought Pittsburgh was ready and they did what makes them a good team.  They got to the offensive glass and they were sticky in the lane.  I thought we missed some easy ones but they contested and did a good job of forcing us to taking some bad shots inside.  I thought they were really good on the offensive glass. They were making shots and made it tough on us.  I told our guys that Pitt was pretty good and that we were awful.  Clearly they had something to do with us not playing well.  I was unhappy with a lot of things we did.”

On DePaul’s pressure early in the game:

“It was our offense.  We had a good plan coming in with soft pressure and zone.  They made a couple substitutes to get a shooter in the game.  But when you turn it over so that they shoot a layup and you can’t defend it, you’re soft pressure and zone don’t help it.  It was our bad offense that got them going.  Once they got going, they were pretty good. We just got worse and worse in terms of missing easy layups.  We opened up the second trying to get back into the game and missed two layups.  Between the pick sixes, forced shots and missed opportunities, we weren’t very good.  It was bad offense that got them going.”

On Pitt’s scoring in the paint compared to DePaul’s:

“Pitt dominated our five guys.  I haven’t looked at the second half stats yet but our five guys didn’t have defensive rebounds in the first half.  When they got going, they literally shot until they missed or when they made it.  When you get outrebounded that badly, you don’t have much of a chance.”

Post Game Quotesheet

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