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Feb. 28, 2010

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No. 12 Pitt at St. John’s, Madison Square Garden, February 27, 2010

No. 12 Pitt 71, St. John’s 64


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


On today’s game:


“I am real happy how we played, how we responded. ..I am really happy how we played today. I think our offense was as good as it’s been. We moved the ball really well and took good shots. I really feel like our offense is getting better and that was good to see. We defended pretty well I thought and the only thing that really stood out was the 17 offensive rebounds that they got. We forced them to take a lot of tough shots, they are going to miss some shots and we just have to do a better job in that area. (rebounding). But all in all we got a great performance from all our guys—we had nine guys score for us and a number of guys get assists. I really thought it was a good team effort.  We had some foul trouble in the first half and our minutes were down for some guys but we had guys step up. Chase (Adams) got in there and hit a big shot. I thought Dante (Taylor) gave us some good minutes and all the way through it was good to see.  Gilbert (Brown) knocked down some shots and made plays for other guys with his penetration.”


On bench play:


“Chase hit the big shot. It was a set play we ran actually, it was one of our last options coming off it, but he can really shoot the ball. Travon (Woodall) has been playing better and better. I thought he was really good for us, he steadied us once he got in there and obviously Gilbert is not really a reserve, he has been playing starter’s minutes for us as we know. Dante was productive again. I think our rotation has been pretty solid with the eight guys and we have JJ too to give us some minutes. I think it is a strength of ours, our bench, and it is a developing bench. I hate to call it bench because they have been playing pretty consistent minutes and often times long minutes. They are a young group and they are getting better and that is encouraging, even at this point of the year.”


On Nasir Robinson’s play:


“He is knocking down his free throws. He is getting more and more comfortable as the year has gone on. He just needs to play within himself. He did a very good job of being on the receiving end of nice passes, penetration and then he got some offensive rebounds. So, the scoring was there, he defended well and he just gave us some good minutes. I was real happy with the balance that we had out there today.”


On bouncing back after loss to Notre Dame:


“I thought this game was a great statement, a great response to the last game. Like I said, I think Notre Dame would have beaten anyone in the country the way they were shooting the ball. We responded, we didn’t panic, we just practiced hard the next day and that was critical.”


On getting a double-bye into the BIG EAST tournament:


“You would think on paper it would be a good thing. Last year though, it didn’t turn out to be as good a thing for teams in the tournament and it is something that is being talked about as far as possibly changing the tournament. It is still a long ways away from that. On paper you would think...But not everything is done on paper. We weren’t picked to be very good. I know what things look like on paper, you would think, but there are some emotions, there are some other things that come into play. You would think that it would be a better situation to have a double-bye.”


Quoting St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts


On St. John’s performance:


“I thought it was a hard fought game, we just didn’t make any shots at all.  They are a very good team, they execute at the end of the shot clock. We played good defense, but in the last 7 or 8 seconds they would make a shot and we would get caught on a screen so give them credit. I thought we played extremely hard…We gave away too many easy bunnies at the beginning of the game, and you can’t do that. If you give them a lead, they are a very tough team to come back on because of how they play.”


On Pittsburgh’s offense:


“I think we were guarding them, but they do a lot of screening.  They are one of the best motion offensive teams and we tried to pressure them out of it, but they also got some offensive rebounds. I thought when we scrambled we got beat a couple of times and they got some easy buckets with (Nasir) Robinson.  I thought he played really well and gave them good minutes.  But off the staggers we got caught on some screens and all they need is a second.”


On Jamie Dixon:


“He has done a great job.  What people tend to forget about the youngest team is that they played against Sam Young and the others every day.  They played against them every day, which prepared them to step up and play the way they are playing this year…That makes you a better player, but Jamie has done a great job.  He is a terrific coach, one of the best in the country.”


On Pittsburgh’s shooting:


“They made some big shots.  The kid (Chase) Adams comes in and makes a long three.  Some guys made some big shots for them.  Gilbert Brown is really a starter. They got things from everybody.  Just like we do from our team at times.  They executed better though.”


On Hardy taking more shots:


“It does not matter to me who shoots the most shots…We want to share the ball, which we tried to do, but I just thought if he is open, I wanted him to shoot... I thought he was trying to be aggressive.  Obviously picking up some slack for DJ (Kennedy) being out.  I thought he was trying to be a little more aggressive.”


On playing hard:


“We didn’t lay down. We played hard. We stayed focus.  What we tell them is that this is the Big East, we’re not playing cupcake teams.  This is the Big East, so you have to battle through it. Obviously we were defending good enough to keep the score down, but the bottom line is you have to make shots…Pitt is one of the toughest teams in America to come back on because they grind out every possession, so when you get down on them, it makes it a lot tougher to come back.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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