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Feb. 25, 2011

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West Virginia at No. 4 Pitt, Feb. 24, 2011, Petersen Events Center

No. 4 Pitt 71, West Virginia 58


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


"This was a good win for us against a very good NCAA Tournament team. I especially liked how we played in the second half. I felt pretty good about how we played in the first half, we were in trouble and had guys playing in different spots, so we felt good being down by just one. In the second half, we took care of the ball and took good shots. We had low turnovers and shot 65 percent in the second half. Our offense had better spacing and showed good patience. West Virginia made big three-pointers on some tough shots early on, but for the most part we defended pretty well. Our defense in the post was something that we emphasized in the last few days and I thought it was pretty good tonight."


On trailing at halftime:


"There wasn't any panic at the half. We knew we were playing against a really good team, and we had some foul trouble and some other things going against us. We got off to a slow start and we didn't really play well early, but we responded. We didn't make any huge adjustments, it was more about just keeping it simple and getting back to what we've been doing in practice."


On forward Lamar Patterson:


"He played really well. He defended well and didn't force anything. He made some great passes and did a good job of just making the simple play. He's been a big part of what we've been trying to do and he gave us very good minutes. Between him and J.J. Moore, we have two very good wingmen that come off the bench. I'm really excited about their futures."


On guard Ashton Gibbs:


"I thought Ashton played really well. His numbers don't stand out with just nine points which is low for him, but he defended really well, ran the team, had no turnovers and let things come to him."


On forward Gilbert Brown:


"He was great tonight. I talked to him earlier today about shooting the ball because I felt he's been passing up some

shots. In the last couple weeks, I thought he was pump-faking and driving a little too much instead of shooting, so it was great to see him come out and make some shots early. The fouls limited some of the things he could do but he played really well."


On forward Talib Zanna:


"We found out today that we weren't going to have him tonight. He's going to be out at least three weeks, maybe longer. He's going to have surgery tomorrow and then we'll have more information. He's been playing well recently and I know he's disappointed but we'll just see how things go."


On West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli:


"Our post defense was better tonight, but I just thought he made really tough shots the last time we played them. He never really got in his rhythm tonight since he was in foul trouble and didn't get as many minutes. The post defense was something we emphasized coming into tonight."


On West Virginia guard Darryl Bryant:

"We targeted him a little bit because he had a big 24 point game against Notre Dame. He hit four three-pointers against them which really broke that game open, and we wanted to limit his free-throw attempts tonight. He's the guy that can really get it going for them. We did a great job on him defensively, he's a really good player and an explosive scorer."


Quoting Pitt's Brad Wanamaker


On Pitt's second-half offense


"We made adjustments at halftime. We were able to get into our flow offensively. They were playing a little too physical with us and we weren't responding. They were catching us out farther than we usually are. In the second half we settled down and adjusted to their defense."


On Lamar Robinson's play tonight


"We knew it would happen. We always joke with him, telling him he's a practice player, but we're only joking around. We knew he would come around. He works hard every day. We're just happy for him."


On the 19 assists between him, Lamar Patterson, and Travon Woodall


"We played off two feet. Coach always preaches that. The three of us like to pass the ball since we're more or less playmakers on this team. We when are able to get other guys involved [like we did tonight] our team is the best it can be."


Quoting Pitt's Gilbert Brown


On the team's second-half turnaround


"I think we had a valiant effort in the first half, but we just weren't making shots. Ashton missed a couple of shots. We missed a couple of layups here and there. We said that coming in the second half we had to make our adjustments, crash the boards, and lock down our shots. We responded. Lamar [especially] had a great game."


On Lamar Patterson's play tonight


"He puts in a lot of work. He's been having great practices. It's a great feeling to finally see him put it all together out there on the court."


On the team's recent foul trouble


"The calls are more tight. [The referees] are looking for more fouls. It's hard to say in these games because the play is so physical at each end of the court. The refs have to make calls because that's what they're paid to do. We have to just live with it. Whether or not we think it is a good call, we have to just persevere and push forward."


On his ability to have room to dunk after making three-pointers


"It's a lot easier. It's easier just to create room for other teammates or just to get to the basket in general. Tonight I had my shot going, which definitely gave me an opening to get to the basket."


On the difference between the WVU rivalry and other rivalries


"Without a doubt [this rivalry is different.] We're so close to them. We played in the summer league together for a couple of years. The history of the rivalry brings a whole new level to the game. The excitement, the crowd - everything is in place to make a special game, so we always try to play our best."


Quoting Pitt's Nasir Robinson


On limiting West Virginia to two points inside the paint in the second half


"We just tried to not let them get near the post. We beat them outside with our chests. That's what Gary, myself, and the rest of the big men did."


On his ankle injury


"[I was affected] a little bit, but I'm used to it. I twist my ankles all the time. It was nothing big."


On adjusting on the inside in the second half


"We just tried to get good positioning on the inside. Gary did a good job sealing. I was just moving the ball. Brad, Lamar, and the rest of the guys did a good job finding me. We just finished on the inside."


Quoting Pitt's Lamar Patterson


On the flattery from his teammates


"I don't know [if I can handle it.] These guys love me too much.


On getting into a rhythm early


"It felt really good. Like [my teammates] said, I've been practicing and playing pretty well. It felt good to go out on the court and finally put something together. By watching these leaders on the court ahead of me I was able to make the process really smooth."


Quoting West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins


On WVU's shooting...


"Well we gave up a bunch of ones we don't normally give up. They beat us in transition in the second half. Our half court defense wasn't as good. They are good. That's the reason why they are 25-3. They are good. We rebounded better, but we can't keep throwing at two feet and not making the shots. We can't do it. We can't overcome it. We aren't going to beat anybody scoring 58 points."


On Pitt's depth...


"We played with a short bench all year. You can't lose your whole freshmen class, which we did. Basically Deniz Kilicli is a freshman with only playing in 22 games last year. He's just learning how to play and how we play when we are here. He does some positive things, but he doesn't have the same kind of reps. This is a different game. Pitt's pretty good. It's frustrating to have the breakdown we have especially at this point in the season."


On losing to the No. 1 team in the Big East...


"I've said for two weeks we need to win games. I don't care where they are or who it's against. We need to win games."


On comparing past Pitt teams to this year's team...


"Jamie could answer that better than me. I don't see them enough or watch tapes. I don't know. I think with this team he plays more players. With that team he didn't play as many people off the bench. I'm not qualified to answer."


On Pitt changing defense in the second half...


"No they didn't change. We just didn't make any shots. They blocked a few. Brad Wanamaker and Gary McGhee blocked a few. It's not that we just didn't get it in there. We just missed."


On Kevin Jones's shooting...


"Other than that contested three he shot in the second half in front of the bench, I think he had good looks. We wanted to move him into the short corner so Joe Mazzulla could get penetration. Jones generally makes those shots and he didn't. He got good looks at the basket from three-point range and didn't make those. We were trying to figure out a way to score. Casey Mitchell has great strength and he's actually good in the post if I can ever get him in there. You have to be able to move Pitt's bigs away from the basket."

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