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Post-Game Quotesheet




March 6, 2010

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POST-GAME QUOTESHEET

Rutgers at No. 17 Pitt, March 6, 2010, Petersen Events Center

No. 17 Pitt 83, Rutgers 54

 

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

 

Opening Statement:

 

“It was a great win for our seniors. They all come from different areas and situations and they’ve done a tremendous for us all year, especially with their leadership. We played really good defense and we rebounded well. That was the emphasis over the last 48 hours. This team has improved more than anyone in the country and it goes to show the type of character these guys have by finishing second in the Big East. I’m very proud of them.”

 

On their next opponent:

 

“Our guys want to play. Obviously, we have to wait and see who we play but we’ll be ready. Usually, I’m thinking about our next opponent, but I’m not going to do that. In the Big East tournament, every round you play a great team. It’s different in Madison Square Garden.”

 

On Pitt’s time off:

 

“We’re going to go back to practice and continue to improve. We’ve been doing that all year and we’re certainly not going to stop now. We’ll take care of our bodies and get back to work.”

 

Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown:

 

On clinching the number two seed in the Big East tournament:

 

“We knew about the situation but it wasn’t our primary focus for tonight. Our emphasis was to come out and play a good game together and to focus on our defense. In the Providence game, we had some let downs on defense and we needed to take a stride on that and it showed tonight.”

 

On Pitt going into the post season:

 

“We’re coming together and at this point in the season our play just shows everyone that we’re a unit. Recently, we’ve been moving the ball well and proof of that is in our assist to field goal ratio. It’s gone up. We’ve come a long way from the start of the season and it’s a credit to our hard work. Nobody picked us to finish second and we’re proud of that.”

 

Quoting Pitt’s Dante Taylor:

 

On scoring in double figures:

 

“It felt good. I did what I do every game and I went in there and played as hard as I could. Tonight was a confidence boost for me. My confidence was down in the beginning of the season when I wasn’t contributing, but it started to come back for me at Marquette when I had three dunks.”

 

On grabbing rebounds:

 

“When I first go into the game, it was easier for me to box out and get low, so I was more aggressive and I was able to rebound.”

 

Quoting Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon:

 

On senior day:

“I knew I couldn’t cry, but it was an emotional night. Only being here two years, everyone took me in. I’ve enjoyed playing at the Petersen Events Center and with my teammate. It’s like we’re a family. It’s great that we could come out here and get the win.”

 

Quoting Rutgers Head Coach Fred Hill

 

Opening Statement:

 

”I had a feeling that a game like today was going to happen. A lot of our guys had been playing upwards of 38 minutes a game and I think we tired a little today. We had a short turn around and we got outplayed today. My worst nightmare came true. We were a little worn down and we need to just throw this game out and move on. I give Pitt credit, they came out on senior night and jumped out to a quick start. They got the crowd into it and controlled their emotions. I also give our guys credit because they gave it their best efforts especially in the second half. Our guys never gave up. If you can find a bright spot, I think it’s that we were able to get Austin Johnson some good time at his natural position – playing in the post.”

 

On playing Big East games on the road:

 

“It’s what separates the top teams in this league from the bottom. The good teams find ways to work hard and pull out road wins and the bottom teams really struggle away from home. As a team, we just have to continue to build and get better.”

 

On the fatigue factor:

 

“It showed tonight that we were tired. As a result, we weren’t good on the glass and that really hurt our transition offense. It’s no secret that half way through the season we had to make some changes because of injury and we knew we’d be challenged with rebounding.”

 

On what the message was in the locker room after the game:

 

“We just throw this game out. We have to. We come to practice tomorrow and prepare for the Big East Tournament.”

 

On Pitt and Head Coach Jamie Dixon:

 

“They’ve had an incredible season. Jamie (Dixon) has done a phenomenal job. They were picked to finish ninth or tenth in the Big East and here they are going into the tournament as the number two team. Some people keep things inside and don’t let the public know, but I’m not one of them and I’ll tell you outright that I voted Jamie for Coach of the Year.”

 

On the Big East:

 

“It’s the best conference in the country. It’s a shame that some teams in this league are going to get rejected or left out by the NCAA tournament because of the simple fact that there’s such strong depth in this league and teams simply knock each other out. I hope the NCAA takes into account the strength of this conference.”

 

On the approach for the Big East Tournament:

 

“We’re going to the Garden with excitement. Everyone re-energizes and goes in with the hopes of winning the tournament. It’s the best venue in the world and it’s an honor to play there. Our guy’s belief they are playing for something. If you look at us, we started out 0-8 in the conference and then won five so I know our guys believe in themselves.”

 

On the possibility of playing either Seton Hall or Cincinnati:

 

“I think we look at both of those teams as a good opportunity against a good opponent. With Cincinnati, we played them early in the season and I believe we were up six with about four minutes to go. With Seton Hall, I think it was a one-point game with about nine minutes to go at our place and they got on a little roll and that was it.”