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Feb. 9, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


West Virginia at Pitt, February 9, 2009, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt’s Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“This is a West Virginia team that came in here tonight with an RPI of 16. They’re a very good team with losses only to very good people. To sweep them this season is a great accomplishment for us. I was really proud of the way we were able to grind out the game tonight. Obviously in the first half, we had to go long stretches without DeJuan Blair and Levance Fields on the court, and I was really proud of how we handled that. We got great contributions from our bench; I thought Brad Wanamaker and Nasir Robinson really gave us some good minutes.”


On putting Levance Fields back in the game in the first half with two fouls:


“It was purely a gut feeling at that point that it was time to bring him back. It’s a tough call, but it worked out well for us. I thought we kind of slowly built the lead up from that point on with him on the floor. Looking back, that was probably the key stretch in the game. It’s also a testament to the way Levance is playing right now that you look at the stat sheet and think he ‘only got seven assists.’”


On playing at a slower pace:


“I think teams have to be good at a lot of things, and we certainly have the capability to be good at any pace. Coming into this game, we really challenged ourselves to hold them under 40%. We came pretty close to doing that, which is a good sign. I thought they got some easy baskets at the end when we had a big lead and were trying not to foul, which happens. We’re going to need to keep working and getting better in that area, though.”


On DeJuan Blair picking up four fouls:


“It was a different kind of game for DeJuan, with what he had to do defensively and I think it kind of got away from him a little bit. Foul trouble really hurt Da’Sean Butler as well tonight and he’s a big player for them. These things are going to happen, and fortunately we’ve found a way to persevere through a lot of it. In this league, you just have to find ways to win.”


On the play of Ashton Gibbs:


“If he has enough attempts, then right now he’s leading the league in three-point shooting. I think right now, he’s really adapting and getting much more comfortable at playing off the ball with Levance. Ashton is really a testament to how hard work pays off. Even on our off days, he’s in there shooting and putting in his reps and it’s paying off.”


Quoting Pitt’s Levance Fields


On playing without DeJuan Blair:


“That was a big accomplishment. We expect a lot from DeJuan Blair and DeJuan expects a lot from himself. Sam Young really picked up his scoring and we all picked up our intensity on defense. It was big for us to outrebound this team by 16. That’s a key stat for us.”


On playing with two fouls:


“You have to play it very carefully. You want to be as aggressive as possible without fouling. West Virginia has a different kind of offense and didn’t come right after me. A team like Marquette might have attacked me more and tried to get me back on my heels. Still, it can be difficult at times because you do want to play tight.”


On Pitt’s defense:


“It was nice to see that we had this kind of performance in us. We were talking after the DePaul game, and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t getting away as a team from Pitt basketball. West Virginia still shot over 40 percent so there’s some work to be done, but tonight was really a good start.”


Quoting Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon


On guarding Alex Ruoff:


“Alex Ruoff is a very good player and a good shooter, so you just want to make sure you always have a hand in his face. He knocked down some open looks as well as some tough shots tonight, and really made me work on defense. My job got a lot easier when he was out of the game.”


On his three-point shooting:


“Levance [Fields] is doing a great job right now setting us up with open looks. I’m also putting in a lot of extra work on my shooting stroke and it’s paying off.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On Pitt’s strategy defensively:


“We felt we were the quicker team coming in and we wanted to use that to our advantage. Our goal was to chase down every loose ball, and when we were able to make a steal to try to run and turn that into points in transition.”


Quoting West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins


On the game:


“DeJuan Blair didn’t play much the first half, but neither did (Alex) Ruoff or (Da’Sean) Butler. We were still down five. We just can’t get outrebounded by 16. We have got to be sure we are in the same ball park. Every possession is so important and we struggled to score. We have got to score the ball better. Pitt is good. They play seniors and juniors, and we play kids.”


On the officiating:


“I don’t care how they call the game; it just has to be consistent.  They can call the game tight or close. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s consistent so we know how to play the game.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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