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March 4, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Marquette at Pitt, March 4, 2004, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt’s Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Comments:


“It was a great atmosphere, a great night and a great win over a great team.  Buzz [Williams] has done a great job with this group. Marquette really battled hard all night and executed their game plan very well. We got down a little bit in the second half, but I felt like we were still playing pretty well. The key for us was not to panic. We stayed calm and were able to come out on top.”


On Pitt’s defense:


“We were concerned about our ability to drive, so we set up our defense to cut that off. Marquette was able to overcome that by hitting some threes early, and making us adjust a little bit. I thought our switches on defense were good and crisp, and that after we fell behind it was just a matter of sticking with our stuff, just playing a little tighter.”


On the play of Gilbert Brown:


“Gil was really a key tonight. He’s the kind of player that can give us so much at both ends of the floor, things well beyond just his athleticism. As he grows as a player, he’s beginning to understand what he can bring to the team and how he can make his teammates better.  I thought he played a very smart game and that you saw some of that tonight.”


On Pitt making the extra pass:


“I think it’s the kind of thing that’s contagious in a program.  We always try to recruit guys that are good passers and see the value in setting up a teammate. I thought DeJuan Blair did an exception job with his passing tonight, for example. We knew going in that their smaller guard would collapse in on him in the post, and he did a great job of recognizing that and passing out of it.”


On retiring Brandin Knight’s jersey:


“I think everyone did a good job keeping it secret, so it was a nice surprise. Honestly, with his contributions to this program, it’s been a long time coming. It’s just been a matter of finding the appropriate time to do it. I think if you tuned in your television to the game tonight, the atmosphere, the quality of play would make you take notice. It’s a great thing for the city and it’s a great thing for the university, and Brandin was the player that really started it all. What I love is that I know he’s going to continue to do great things for this school. He’s a great coach who’s had opportunities to go elsewhere, but Pitt is where he wants to be. I think that says it all.”


Quoting Pitt’s DeJuan Blair


On facing UConn:


“Of course it’s good to clinch the double bye in the Big East Tournament, but more importantly for us we needed to get a good win to head into the game against UConn with some confidence. Just like last time, it’s going to be number one against number four, and I expect it to be an all-out war again, just like it was last time.”


On facing Hasheem Thabeet:


“With the type of competitor he is, I hope he’s looking for revenge. When you’re a great player, you take pride in the way you play, and when a team beats you once you want to come back that much harder at them the next time. I hope we see him at his best on Saturday, because challenges like that are what make this game fun.”


On playing on senior day:


“Senior day makes Saturday’s game extra special. These are my seniors that are playing their last game at home, so you know you want to send them out on the right note. It’s especially meaningful because last time UConn came in here on a senior day, they got one on us, and I know I can’t let that happen again.”


On getting fouled:


“It’s part of the game. We knew that we had a bit of a height advantage coming into the game, and that I was going to get a lot of touches down low early. When I got fouled, I just wanted to concentrate on hitting my shots, which fortunately I was able to do tonight. I love a game that’s physical.”


On potentially being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament:


“Getting a No. 1 seed would be big. There are so many great college teams out there, especially this year where it feels like everyone’s been ranked No. 1 at some point.  We hope we get to play for the Big East Championship against UConn, but if it doesn’t work out that way we know we have no one to blame but ourselves. We let one slip past us and we can’t let it happen again.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On his play:


“It felt really good out there tonight, especially getting some extended minutes. I was able to really get in the flow of the game, and make some contributions on both ends of the floor.”


On defending Marquette’s guards:


“Jerel McNeal and Wes Matthews are both great players. Into the early part of the second half, we were kind of daring them to shoot. They kept knocking down shots over us though, so we had to play them tighter and just help on the drives. I think bringing that pressure out to the perimeter really helped us make a run.”


Quoting Pitt’s Coach Brandin Knight


On having his jersey retired:


“I actually didn’t know about what was going to happen until I walked out onto the court and saw my family standing at center court.  There were a lot of people asking about what the special presentation before the game was going to be, and nobody knew.  I will say that there were a few that did slip up and congratulate me, but I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I just thanked them.  When I made that remark about crying to Levance Fields, I was joking, but to see the look on the guys’ faces was emotional.  It was really special for everyone, the fans, the players, the media and everyone who is involved in the University of Pittsburgh.”


On being his important role in Pitt basketball:


“I was just a piece of the puzzle.  There were a lot of players that were key components to our great team.  We all got it started.  There were 12 or 13 others that helped Pitt go to war, and help me become a better player every day.  It continued with tremendous coaches and the athletic department, keeping this team alive.  This program is heading in the right direction, especially with the coaching and the guys we have on the floor now.”


On coaching at Pitt:


“It’s hard to imagine myself anywhere else. When we take recruits on campus and we’re going into the classrooms, I can actually say that I’ve sat in these rooms and learned from these teachers.  I’ve been around this campus and I know it.  This is home for me.”


Quoting Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams


Opening Statement:


“The first eight minutes we weren’t good at all and it’s not how we wanted to start.  The first seven minutes of the second half is how we wanted to play.”


On how Marquette opened the second half:


“The first seven minutes of the second half was right where we needed to be.”


On Pitt:


“They’re the best team I’ve ever coached against in the middle of the clock and the middle of the paint.”


On Marquette’s offense:


“We took good shots in the second half, we just didn’t make them.”


On fouling DeJuan Blair:


“When you give them one points it’s better than giving them two…we were getting consecutive stops so we could play down hill…the last 10 minutes I don’t think we even got one consecutive stop.”


On his players getting worn down:


“Over the last 10 minute stretch they were physically dominant.  Our mindset was fine; our guys knew where we were at. In regards to our guards, I’ll take these guys playing tired as opposed to subbing because they give us our best chance of winning.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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