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Feb. 5, 2011

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No. 4 Pitt 71, Cincinnati 59, February 5, 2011 at Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“I really am happy with a good win over a good team – a team with 18 wins. It speaks volumes of how good and deep they are. I really like how we came out and played. We focused on a couple of things offensively this week and really saw it early. We took great shots, got great shots and really put ourselves in a position offensively with our movement and execution – that was great to see and help get us out to that great lead. It was a great sign of what we’ve been trying to work on all week. I’m really happy with how we played. Defensively, we’re only holding 33% - we really wanted to shut them down in a lot of ways. We wanted to make them take contested shots, and handle their ball screens. I really thought we had good preparation for them and getting ready. We really defended well for 40 minutes- 33% speaks volumes. Cincinnati is a very good team. There are not very few teams in the country that have 18 wins – especially being one from our conference. They’re good and I’m very happy with how we played and I’m really excited with performances we got from a lot of guys. I thought Ashton Gibbs played very good defense besides the points, and I thought we got good performances from J.J. Richardson, J.J. Moore and Talib Zanna We had good performances from a lot of our guys. I’m really happy with where we are. Dante Taylor was hurt, and I didn’t think he was ready to go today. We’ve taken care of everything, and we’ll move on and get ready for our next one against West Virginia.”


On Dante Taylor’s condition:


“He will be a game time decision on Monday; we’ll see how it is. He was pretty sore today, and didn’t feel good at all. There was no decision to be made. It was pretty cut and dry.”


On Ashton Gibbs’ performance:


“It was really good execution on the sets and I really thought our ball movement and motion was very good tonight – that’s what we’ve really been working on this past week. We have tried to emphasize ball movement, because we just didn’t think our offense was as good this past couple of games. It’s interesting because we felt very good about it in practice, and hadn’t seen that change. We got back to what we do, and it carried over into the game – it was great to see. There were a lot of great looks that he got – he let things come to him and they found him. That is what we do - good screens, penetrations and kick-outs. I really liked Nasir Robinson’s penetration in the second half that got him that fifth one to start the second – he was able to find the open guy. That can make us a lot better team – plays like that. I’m happy with how we played against a very good team. This is the first game that he scored some points. I think everyone knows the way that he is. We ran some sets, I think we got good penetration and we got some pretty good balance offensively. You can’t focus on one guy – it’s a lot easier said than done. I think a lot of teams have been trying to contain him. I really thought our ball movement was good, especially earlier on. That was what really got us going. He was really good – it’s not the first time that he’s made some shots.”


On Cincinnati without Yancy Gates:


“It was interesting. I wondered how it would affect them once we heard that he wasn’t going to be playing. In a lot of ways I thought that they would be a little bit different. I thought they would be quicker, it would affect more of their defense and that they would be more aggressive with traps and what not. We turned it over too many times, especially at the end of the game, but you’d like to be in a position when you’re up 23 at the end of the game and turning it over rather than a close game when you turn it over. That’s stuff we can live with, learn from and deal with. I think the strength of their team is their depth with their inside guys, so we knew that there wouldn’t be a big change of what they did with him not being out there. I thought they would be a little quicker in transitions and a little more active defensively, especially with the full-court pressure.”


On Cincinnati grabbing 23 offensive rebounds:


“It’s disappointing, but when you’re holding a 33% there’s going to be a lot of attempts and probably a few more rebounds to get, but they had far too many with that number at 23. We talked about them and what they did – we looked at their numbers and I was surprised that their rebound numbers have been a little bit down in offensive rebounds because they do a good job. Their guards rebound offensively and their big guys fly in from the outside. I think that was something that was a cause of it. We have to do a better job in that area, I don’t think that we have never given up that many rebounds. With us having a big lead, they continued to play and that’s not surprising because they are a good team and I’ve seen them do that. They’ve played very hard every game that they’ve played in – that’s a very good team. You have to point to their size and athleticism as far as the offensive rebounding. I also thought that without Gates they would become a little bit better of an offensive rebounding team.”


On keeping Dion Dixon contained:


“Ashton played well and he got some points, but I thought he played really good defense today. I thought he really defended well, and it had a lot to do with what they were doing writing Dixon - I have to give him a lot of credit.  I didn’t focus on the points, but I thought he played really good defense. That was great to see. We did some real good things.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On last year’s game at West Virginia:


“It wasn’t good last year when we went down there. We got outplayed all around. We just want to go down there and finish out our senior year against them strong. We have the whole team behind us wanting to get the win as well.”


On if West Virginia will play the same type of offense that Notre Dame did against Pitt:


“I don’t know if we’ll see that. Slowing the pace of the game down worked for Norte Dame and I don’t think there is any team that can do it better than they do, so I doubt we’ll see that.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On the first half play:


“Our offense worked well together and it was a result of this week’s practice. We sat down and were able to adjust and worked on what could make us better. I think in that first half, we established what we practiced this week. As you could see we had a lot of open looks and uncontested shots, we were moving the ball, screening and playing together as a team.”


On the second half:


“We had more turnovers and that was credit to Cincinnati playing more aggressive and grabbing the offensive rebounds, thus keeping their drive alive.”


On West Virginia:


“Last year when we went down there we got outplayed. Several of us were shut out. It’s going to be a battle, but we want to go down there and finish out strong, especially for us seniors. We know what type of team they’re great off the boards and we’re going to have to step up. It’s going to be crazy.”


On free throws:


“If you look at the game against Rutgers, we sealed the game at the foul line. Today, we could have made it just out of reach, but we couldn’t convert and we wasted that opportunity to do so. Those are easy points that we need to make and they could determine the outcome of the game.”


Quoting Gary McGhee


On being outrebounded:


“I didn’t think we gave as solid of an effort on the boards as we normally do. We weren’t able to grab those long rebounds and loose balls. {Gilbert Brown: “We missed having Dante in there too.”}”


Quoting Ashton Gibbs


On making his shots:


“Things are clicking more for me. I have to give credit to my teammates on getting me the open shot by moving and screening. I just took what the defense gave me and I was able to knock down some shots.”


On preparing for Cincinnati during the week:


“We executed our plan well. Coach Dixon prepared us for a tough team and that they rebound well. There wasn’t anything new for us, we just treated it like another game. Their offense is versatile. They’ve got great guards in Cashmere Wright and Dion Dixon and they could rebound. We weren’t sure if Yancy Gates was going to play, but we knew that we needed to come out and play defense and be able to jump right to offense.”


Quoting Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin


Opening Statement


“Well obviously Pitt has a great team and they played excellent basketball in the first half. We were unable to take care of the basketball and that put us way to far behind. We put ourselves in too deep of a hole with our turnovers in the first half. That being said we missed a lot of layups and we missed some wide open shots. We lost by 12 to a great team on the road and it’s going to be tough to watch the film and the missed layups. Good shooters like Larry Davis he took one tough one and I thought he had five or six wide open threes. Sean Kilpatrick took a tough one. He had a wide open one, but it was really missed layups that hurt us. You are never going to beat a great team in their own gym where they never lose if you are missing layups. I thought we lost our composure but I was really proud of my guys in the second half. We became a much better team. We learned about ourselves and our character and then we cut the lead to eight. I was really proud of our guy’s effort and the way that they didn’t give up.”  


On Cincinnati’s offensive rebounds


“Our guys played hard and I was really proud of our effort. The problem with our 23 offensive rebounds is that we only scored 15 second-chance points. We did a good job passing out of traffic and not trying to go too much in traffic. We missed 10-footers and 12-footers. You have to convert. You are not going to beat Pitt if you don’t convert. You have to put the ball in the basket. We didn’t do it.”


On what Cincinnati takes away from tonight

“What we hopefully learned tonight is that we let missed layups, missed shots and Pitt’s tough shots affect us. That’s when we turned the ball over at the end of the first half. We were frustrated. Cashmere Wright and some of our other guys were frustrated with our lack of scoring. We didn’t force it early and when we tried to force it we turned the ball over.”


On not having Yancy Gates in the lineup

 “No. Our ball movement and our execution is a lot better with him out of the lineup because we don’t throw the ball to him in the low post. Without him posting, we have better spacing. We get a lot more player movement and our screening is better. I think it showed.” 


On Ashton Gibbs


“Ashton Gibbs is one of the best players in the country. When you can shoot the ball the way that he can shoot the ball with people guarding you, that’s tough.”


On defending Ashton Gibbs


“We lost him a couple of times. I know two shots he made when we were on him and it didn’t matter. He’s a great player. He’s got the mental game. That’s the thing that a lot of young players don’t have. He knows what he’s good at. He takes what you give him. He doesn’t dance with the ball, but when he dribbles it’s effective. He has the most valuable thing a player can have: he knows what he’s good at and maximizes that. He’s turned himself into a great player by doing what he is good at. More kids should have his attitude. If every kid had his mental game they would all be better players there would be no doubt about that.”


On Yancy Gates’ status


“No, I am not concerned with him. I’m worried about the guys that are here. We don’t have a lot of team rules, which are play hard, have a great attitude and be a good guy. It’s not that hard to be a Bearcat. You either do it that way or you don’t play for us. It doesn’t matter who you are.”

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