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Post Game Quotesheet




March 3, 2013

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POST GAME QUOTESHEET
Villanova at No. 23 Pitt, March 3, 2013, Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
No. 23 Pitt 73, Villanova 64 OT

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement:

“I wouldn’t call that a typical nine point win. Our guys responded in so many ways and without Steve being available to go and everyone in foul trouble. We had different guys step up and make plays. The first thing I’ll remember about this day is our seniors. I’ve talked the past couple weeks about the steps they’ve taken. They have brought this team along and have made that commitment all year. Our defense, no question, has improved because of them and that’s why we’re getting better. To have them play so well, for Tray (Woodall) to hit Dante (Taylor) at the end for a dunk, and to have a chance to take them out with 0.3 seconds left at the end with a win, I don’t know how it could have been any better, I’m just really proud of those guys.”

On the overall careers of Tray Woodall and Dante Taylor:

“Like I said out on the floor pregame, they are the most unselfish kids we’ve ever had. Tray, as a point guard, you think of as unselfish with the assists, he’s one of the all-time leading assists guys here. Dante though is the most unselfish player and the best teammate. We’ve never had a better teammate than Dante Taylor. He is team first, a great person and he has done everything we’ve asked and more and I just can’t say enough about him as a person.  I’m so glad his mom was here and he got the ovation he deserved.”

On the key contributions from the whole team attributing to the win:

“We were shorthanded, and then with all the fouls, I’m looking at the list and we had six guys with three and one with four. We had to play small, had to play different lineups and found a way.  We had to play a different way, guarded some ball screens differently and played a bit more zone and just had to throw everything we had at them to find a way and we finally did. So many different guys gave us the minutes we needed and it says a lot. Just how we responded, being down eight with about 18 minutes left and I called a time-out. I told the guys that this was going to be just like the last time at Villanova, we were down eight in the second half, and I said we’re going to win this game just like we did at their place and that’s what we did. We just made plays and played basketball. Had to use some penetration to get some other guys shots and making that extra pass got us going in the second half. ”

On Talib Zanna’s overtime performance:

“I think he got his confidence going with making some free throws and the rebounding was good. He played a little more of the five position today and that’s something that helps him at times. He often has a slower guy on him, not as agile and that benefits him. You can’t play great every game and he had some great games earlier in the year and today as well. We have a lot of guys to step up for us and today he was the guy. His numbers haven’t been as good but he hasn’t stopped working and that’s what we expect from Talib. His hard work, physicality, toughness and relentlessness came out today in numbers.”

On James Robinson making big shots late in the game:

“We’ve seen him do that earlier in the year, whether it be free throws, a layup or a steal. I joked with him afterwards, because he passed up a three-pointer earlier that possession, and I said he just wanted to make sure there was a little more drama on the one he took. The kid has won all of his life, he’s unselfish and that at times may hold him back a bit, but we’ll work on that as he’s only a freshman. I think everybody in the gym that has watched him play this year and hit big shots thought that three was going to go in, just like I think everybody knew those two free-throws were going to go in. That’s a good feeling to have and I’m glad he’s on our side.

On Steven Adams’ injury:

“I don’t think it’s going to be a long one, I anticipate him being ready for next week, it’s an ankle for him.  We’ll monitor it though and I should let him speak for that, it’s not really my job to do that. I know he’s hungry and anxious to get out there and he was great on the bench and another great teammate, another guy who you want to be a part of your team and university, just like those two seniors we have.”

Quoting Pitt guard James Robinson

On seeing the emotions on Senior Night:

“It means a lot to me to see the emotions that these two guys have. It just goes to show you how hard they’ve worked in their careers here. I just really thank them for everything that they’ve taught me so far this year. I just want to continue learning from these guys and keep building the legacy that they’ve left for the rest of the team.”

On his last three before overtime:

“With the game clock running down, I pretty much had to take the shot. Like I said, Dante and Tray have trusted me all year. It really showed how much trust we have in each other for them to be able to trust me enough to pass the ball to me in the corner. I just knocked it down for them. I just really wanted them to win on their Senior Night.”

Quoting Pitt forward Dante Taylor

On channeling his emotions:

“For me, it was definitely hard in the beginning standing there with my mom. She was crying. To have a game like this, your last one, James (Robinson) stepped in really big and hit two big threes. Talib (Zanna), he played really hard and had nineteen rebounds. When you have teammates like that that play like that for you, it speaks a lot.”

On his last dunk:

“It was definitely the best way to end it. I just knew once I was ahead of the defense and Tray saw me, I knew he was going to pass it to me. I just tried to make sure that I made it. To go out like that, it’s just great.”

Quoting Pitt guard Tray Woodall

On channeling his emotions:

“For myself, it was tough in the beginning seeing my mom’s smile and seeing her face and seeing my niece’s [face] happy and just excited for me to be here. It was hard at first, but once the game got going, it was just about our team, and our team played for us. They did a great job.”

On his last play, a pass to Dante Taylor for a dunk:

“Once I’d seen this guy streaking ahead, it was the perfect way to close the chapter on a great home career. I was glad to see him get out for a breakaway and get excited to play. For him to get the crowd involved and to do all the things that he’s been doing since he’s been here, it was a great feeling.”

Quoting Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright­­­

Opening Statement:

“That was a great college basketball game. It was fun to be a part of but didn’t particularly like the ending.  I give Pitt a lot of credit.  They gutted it out down the stretch.  We had the ball last passion of the game.  We held it down and don’t get a shot off.  We get a baseline out of bounds and don’t get a shot off.  Right there you don’t deserve to win.  I was proud of our guy’s effort in here.  When playing a Big East game, that’s what it’s going to come down to.  You have to get a stop at one end.  We didn’t get a stop at the other end, we gave up a three to (James) Robinson, which was not our intention.  We were helping off him but we didn’t want to give up an open shot.  That was poor execution and we don’t get a shot off.  You are not going to get many better opportunities than that.  You got a stop to win and then you had a chance to score.  I give them a lot of credit. (James) Robinson hit two great shots and Talib Zanna was a beast.  They were offensive rebounding foul shots on us.  He was a beast.  You have to give them credit.  That is why they are 11-6 and nationally ranked.”

On if he is surprised to see freshman James Robinson playing so well:

“Not him.  We recruited him out of DeMatha.  He’s a great kid, has a great family, great character and has a high basketball IQ.  It’s not a surprise at all.  Like I said earlier, we wanted to help off of him but we did not want to give him an open shot.  We did the same thing again.  It’s execution on our part.  We have to do a better job.  If I’m correct, (Tray) Woodall found him both times.  You have to give him credit.  You have a senior who is a scorer, see’s an open freshman and gives it to him.  I give credit to Jamie and I give credit to (Tray) Woodall.  That’s what good teams do.”

On whether he lets the ramifications of the after season into his head:

“No not at all.  I know that we will have to deal with it but we don’t talk about it, we don’t think about it.  We just think about the next game. At the end of the season we sit down and look back.  What did we do?  What were our accomplishments during the season or our failures? We just want to stay in the mode of next game and getting better.  That’s just the way we do it.  It might work other ways but that’s just the way we do it.”

On the rivalry between Villanova and Pitt:

“We have had some great games over the years.  We have great respect for this program.  I have great respect for Jamie.  I have always felt that because of the way they play, their toughness and physical play, we could always get a judge of where we are as a program when they play them.  I have always said that.  I like how they play.  It’s similar to how we play.  It’s not a coincidence that the year we went to the final four we beat Pitt twice.  I don’t think there are any other years that we beat them twice and we never won here (Petersen Events Center).  That’s how good you have to be to beat them twice.  You have to be a final four team.  That’s why we have so much respect for them.  We can really tell where we are when we play them and we love it.  We love playing them.  We love coming here. Even though we haven’t won here, it’s a great atmosphere, great games.”

Quoting Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono

On Villanova finishing games strong:


“With Seton Hall we were up by four. We’re learning and we’re going to keep getting better. I really think we can get Georgetown on Wednesday.”

On losing to Pitt, a nationally ranked team:


“Losing in general is tough when you know you’re up by four with under a minute left. Like I said, after the Seton Hall game we didn’t play our style of basketball, but today we did. Our coach said we played a solid 39 minutes and at the end we let it slip. We’re almost there so we’re just going to keep working.”

On getting close to winning and falling short:

“It’s tough. We’re going to have to come back, practice tomorrow and watch film on this to see the mistakes we made and see what we can correct for Georgetown.”

On Villanova’s next opponent Georgetown:

“Our team mentality is good chemistry. We feed off one another. If one person is positive, everyone’s positive. We keep sticking together. We’re going to win together and lose together. I think we can get a win against Georgetown.”

On struggling to penetrate in overtime:

“We got a couple of good looks at the basket at the start of overtime. We missed and they came down and scored. We started to rush things a little bit. We had a chance at the end. (James) Robinson hit a three when we were down by two. He’s a tough kid and I know him from playing AAU.”

Quoting Villanova forward Mouphtaou Yarou

On his last play of the game:

“I should’ve gone to get the ball. I can’t do anything about it. I have to focus on the Georgetown game.”

On preparing for Georgetown after coming up short again:

“The Georgetown game is a big game for us. It’s our next game and our focus. It’s the biggest game for us. After the Seton Hall game, we focused on Pitt. Now we have to focus on Georgetown. That is all we’re thinking about.”

On how his team is handling the past two tough losses:

“They are all positive. The young guys are doing a good job. They all have the best attitude and right now all we’re thinking about is Georgetown. Tomorrow we’ll watch the film of the game, practice and get better.”