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Feb. 8, 2010

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Robert Morris at Pitt, February 8, 2010, Petersen Events Center\

No. 25 Pitt 77, Robert Morris 53


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“It’s clear by watching Robert Morris’ film that they’re a NCAA caliber team. They’re leading their league and I expect them to be back in the NCAA tournament again this year. Mike Rice has done a great job with their program and I’m glad to see they are doing well. They had a great first half, they came out and made shots and I think that we were surprised with the quickness of their guards and with their ability to shoot. Being a Big East team, we typically don’t see too many small guards, but we got better as the game went on. We moved the ball better and played better defensively in the second half. We held them to 25 percent shooting.”


On Robert Morris Head Coach Mike Rice:


“He’s always intense. He lives and loves the game. He’s a hard worker and he has a great family. Mike is just an all-around great person. It’s unique for both teams to play a game like this.”


On Jermaine Dixon’s shooting:


“He’s been making shots at practice. The difference with Jermaine is that he is able to practice now. Over the stretch of two weeks, he wasn’t able to practice every day due to injury. We’ve been faced with situations before where we had players that were unable to practice play in games, and it just wasn’t a good scenario. When Jermaine practices, not only is he a better player, but he makes others better and we’re a better team overall. He makes a difference.”


On Gary McGhee:


“We had a few plays designed with Gary as an option inside. Our guys did a great job of delivering the ball to him. We’ve been passing the ball a lot better the past few days. We emphasized that to our guys this week and they responded. I am happy with what they’re doing.”


Quoting Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon:


On Pitt picking up the intensity in the second half:


“In the first half we were switching and not closing out, which allowed them to drive. In the second half we definitely picked up our intensity. It worked out well; they only shot about 25 percent.”


On his shooting:


“It felt good. I think that I was taking some bad shots in the beginning of the year. This game I was getting more open three point looks. The shots that I missed tonight were also bad shots.”


On how shooting well from the perimeter could be the key to the team’s success:


“When our team is knocking down three point shots the opposing team’s defense has to extend out more. That allows us to dump it down to Gary McGhee or Dante Taylor. As a team, we like to slash and get to the basket. Knocking down shots makes us drive more.  By hitting from the perimeter, it helps to keep other teams honest. It could be a big part of our success.”


On Friday’s game against West Virginia:


“We’ve already put last week behind us. We are trying to get better from that game. We are working hard in practice. We are anxious because it’s our next game, not because it’s West Virginia. I think that we have been a new team since that game.”


On if he sometimes shy’s away from taking perimeter shots:


“I don’t think that I shy away from them. I think that when someone closes out on me that I can beat them to the basket. Taking three’s helps to keep defenders honest. It felt good for me tonight. I was hitting shots in practice, and I carried it over into the game.”


Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs


On his three point shooting:


“It felt good. It’s something that I’ve been working on consistently. I knew that they would fall sooner or later. I take advantage of what the defense is giving me. My teammates did a good job of finding me in open spots.”


On Pitt’s offensive game plan:


“We take what the defense gives us. We’ve been working on moving with the ball, and working on moving without the ball. We did a good job of both tonight, which allowed us to get some easy baskets.”


On Friday’s game against West Virginia:


“It all starts with our defense. We have to not give them easy baskets. Rebounding is also big. They outrebounded us last game. We need to come out from the beginning with great intensity.”


On playing a non-conference game during the Big East schedule:


“It can only help us. We treat it like any other game, and it is like any other game. Robert Morris is a good team. They came out hard. We prepared hard in practice and we tried to carry that over to the game.” 


Quoting Robert Morris Head Coach Mike Rice


Opening Statement:

“I think Pitt should get a lot of credit. We were able to play young guys, and they kept putting pressure on us.  It didn’t help that in the first six and a half minutes we had so many players with fouls. We didn’t have a flow to us. There would be times where we looked like a good ball club and times where we needed to improve.”


On having freshmen as top scorers:


“We were pretty good. We were competition for them, but we physically weren’t able to stick with them the whole 40 minutes. Our team is tough though. We have to score points in the paint, and they did a good job of containing us. We had trouble shooting in the paint.”


On playing three games in five days:


“I like it and I hate it.  I like when we can see on film when we broke down because I can go back and show the team. There are some good teaching aspects.”


On what he learned about his team tonight:


“I was pleased with the first 18 minutes of the game. I’ve learned that our formula works. We can be successful when we get on our own way.”


On the play of Pitt’s Gary McGee:


“I was a little worried because Gary posts so close to the basket. He’s a brick wall.”


On coaching against Jamie Dixon:


“I respect the program.  I helped recruit some of those players. Other than tonight, I’m one of Pitt’s biggest fans. We wanted to make Pitt hit from the perimeter. We probably played our best basketball of the season in the first half.”


Quoting Robert Morris’ Karon Abraham:


On the game:


“We can play if we get disciplined. We’re more confident knowing that we can play with them.”


On being guarded by Jermaine Dixon:


“He was on me the whole second half. I have to learn to get open.”


Quoting Robert Morris' Velton Jones:


On the game:


“We can compete but we have to play the whole forty minutes. In the NEC, we can get away sometimes playing like that, but we have to go the whole forty minutes.”

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