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March 30, 2012

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Washington State at Pitt, CBI Championship Game Three, March 30, 2012, Petersen Events Center

Pitt 71 WSU 65

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“We got great performances from a lot of guys. I thought our offense was really good. I thought as the tournament went on our offense got a lot better and that was something we wanted to accomplish. Our ball movement the last couple of games was improved so that was great to see. It’s great to finish out winning five games. Obviously it’s not the tournament we’re used to being into but we battled and the kids wanted to do more this year. They didn’t feel like they had done what they set out to do but they competed and battled and we got a lot of good minutes for a lot of guys. I think Lamar (Patterson) was tremendous in this tournament; Lamar and Talib (Zanna) specifically. I think Cameron (Wright), Malcolm (Gilbert), Dante (Taylor), all got additional minutes, John Johnson and it was very good for Tray (Woodall) too. It’s an interesting time. It’s good to come out with the win. We have to recognize that there were good things to come out of this but congratulations to Washington State too. They were a team that got better as the year went on too and I know they got a lot out of this as well. I am very happy for our guys and I’m real happy for them sticking together, fighting through and coming out together playing their best basketball as the year progressed. We had a tough stretch, that’s something you can’t recover from but we did our best, we tried our best and kept working. I’m proud of them for that.”

On Pitt’s 2012 senior class:

“No two seniors have been through more injuries in their senior year. Nasir (Robinson) may have another tear in the meniscus, on the other knee. Those are injuries that guys recover from, and they do, but he just battled, he kept playing and never complained. They just try. They did everything they could and they kept playing and kept thinking they were healthy. There were times where we should have kept Ashton (Gibbs) out more but he still wanted to practice and work out. It was just one of those years. For those two guys, they kept battling, they kept trying. The fact of the matter was that neither of them were healthy any time during the season. I thought the start of this tournament, there was an inkling that they were not going to be healthy. There was a time where we thought we had to drain Nas’ knee and we didn’t have to which got me excited. They won a lot of games over their career; they will be remembered for winning a lot of games. Two No. 1 seeded teams, they have won a lot of games and they are good kids who will graduate as well."

On an “unusual” year:

“Some new things, obviously the record stands out most. The lineup I envisioned was never the lineup we had. We couldn’t practice with it, let alone play with it. Those were the things we battled all year long. I felt we were the healthiest we were in March. That is kind of why we continued to play. These guys were excited to play. They thought they were progressing, I think our record indicated that. They were not happy with their season but they wanted to do more. They kept fighting and battling. They should be commended for that and they followed up and did it. We were able to beat some good teams. They did some good things and I think it will be something to go forward with."

Quoting Pitt’s Lamar Patterson:

On if the team grew during the CBI:

“Oh yeah definitely.  I feel like coach trusted me much more and depended on me a lot more. I feel like its great going into next year. ”

On winning the MVP:

“It was nice to win but a lot of guys stepped up. Tray had a great tournament, Talib played great, J.J played great so it could’ve gone to any one of us.”

Quoting Tray Woodall:

On how Lamar played during the tournament:

“Like he said, just how much he grew.  He became real confident and one of those guys who you can keep the ball in his hands and like a Brad Wanamaker type, instill confidence in the rest of us. He’ll make the right plays and hit guys when they’re open. He showed confidence in coach Dixon as someone who we can go to at the end of the game, call sets for him on numerous occasions, and know that he’s going to make the right play every time. ”

On having Nick (Rivers) in the game:

“He works hard every day in practice. He’s one of those guys who never complain about anything. He goes out with the rest of the guys just like if he was one of the starters. He pushes us every day so it was great for him to go out there because he earned every minute of it. It’s going to be tough losing a guy like him but we know he’s going to be around still, in our heads. It’s definitely great to have a guy like that out there to keep pushing us and when his number was called he was ready to do, whether it was the first game he ever played or the last game.

On the ups and downs of the season:

“We’ve went through a lot of ups and downs during our season and we just wanted to end on a high note and get ready for next season. This is our preparation for next season and we just have to be ready next year. We need to avoid the mistakes we made this year but we’ve got a lot more experience now with a lot of guys getting in games. We just have to be ready for next year and this was great preparation for next season.”

On getting up emotionally for this tournament:

“I’m going to be completely honest. When I first heard about this tournament I looked at it as a lose-lose situation because we’re Pitt and we’re not supposed to be in this tournament. We wanted to keep getting better. We have a lot of guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time last year and this season wasn’t a great season. We just wanted to finish on a high note and get those guys playing experience and just keep working, because that’s what we have to do for next year. We all wanted to play more games and end our season on a high note and letting our seniors go home knowing they gave it all they got.”

Quoting Pitt’s Nick Rivers:

On getting playing time and contributing tonight:

“It meant a lot. All the work I’ve put into it. I’ve never gave up and have been given a lot of opportunities to play this year, especially coach made sure that he knew that he believed in me and it feels good to show these guys that I can contribute. ”

On the ups and downs of the season:

“Any time you end a year with a championship it’s a good thing. It shows that you keep fighting to the end and have the opportunity to keep playing. A lot of teams who had the same success as us this year are sitting at home and we had a chance to play and grow together as a team. I know it will carry over into next year.”

Quoting Head Coach Ken Bone

On how key Talib Zanna was in Pitt’s big run:

“Talib (Zanna) was key and Tray Woodall did a nice job getting him open along with the rest of the team. Talib was good tonight and the other night.  I thought he was very good and efficient the last couple of games.”

On getting extra practice time and developing by playing in this tournament:

“I think it was really good for kids in our program that are coming back. I also feel like for our team, three seniors, it gave them a chance to keep playing ball games and enjoy the rest of their senior season. It worked out well for all of the guys in our program.”

On getting to the foul line in the second half:

“Well they (referees) were calling quite a few fouls. I think the officiating was good but the bottom line is they were calling fouls, so it was a way we could manufacture points by driving. Reggie Moore had great success the other night, so we tried to put it in his hands. Pitt did a really good job of guarding our sets. We used off-ball-screens a lot to set up guys, and they did a great job of guarding that stuff.”

On Pitt only having three turnovers:

“Pitt did a great job of taking care of the ball and it was one of those games where we sat back and tried to protect the paint, so we weren’t’ out really pressuring. Pitt did a great job of taking care of the ball.”

Post Game Quotesheet

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