Nov. 1, 2013
Slippery Rock at Pitt, Exhibition Game Two, Petersen Events Center, November 1, 2013
Pitt 96, Slippery Rock 60
Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon:
"Well, the focus of the last week was improvement. I think we obviously accomplished that, for a couple reasons. I think we had a lineup that we were practicing with most of the week. We improved on defense with our patience, specifically. Every other coach would be telling you how young we are and giving you all the stories, but we haven't done that. There was a lot of room for improvement this week and we showed that. Slippery Rock kept playing, and playing hard. We knew they were going to play hard and we knew this was an important game for them, and they kept playing all the way through. I thought we played well and with a purpose, and we got some very good performances from a lot of guys. Our young freshman played better and I think they will get better next time out.
On the importance of having multiple point guards that can start:
"He (Cameron Wright) is our third point guard too. Lamar (Patterson) can play point guard also, and we like to have a couple of guys that can play that position. Cameron (Wright) is a bigger so he fits the prototypical two, but his decision-making is much improved and he can play some point, he played a lot of it in practice. If we felt like we needed to get him on the floor, we could do it but I feel like James (Robinson) and Josh (Newkirk) needs to be out there and right now, Josh has done a great job with the second unit. I think that is what you saw this week, Josh is growing more confident.
Quoting junior guard Cameron Wright:
On his ability to hit his shots tonight:
"I credit my teammates, they put me in the right situations and I got open a few times and was able to knock down a few shots. The coaching staff drew up some plays, I was able to free myself up and when I get open I take the shot."
On what he brings to the team as a traditional two guard:
"Everything starts on defense. I just try to bring the tenacity we need on defense and let that propel us forward."
Quoting sophomore forward Durand Johnson:
On the opportunity to be the sixth man this season:
"I think I have a big opportunity in front me. To come off the bench and bring that energy, bring that spark. I see myself as the guy to pick everybody up, bring energy along with Cam (Wright) or Talib (Zanna). Bring energy, stay positive out there and be ready when your name is called."
Quoting senior forward/center Talib Zanna:
On being the elder statesman of the team:
"Being a leader, I just want to pick everybody up and contribute something to this team. I think everybody came out ready today and there was a lot of energy; Durand (Johnson) really showed what he could do tonight and that he is ready for the season. We just want to come out and show what we can do in a new conference. Everybody is on the same page right now."
On what Mike Young brings to this team:
"Mike (Young) is really tough, he's a tough guy. Mike brings a lot of energy to practice and games. He makes me better and I make him better. I like his game, he is really focused and ready to go."
Quoting Slippery Rock Head Coach Kevin Reynolds
On Pitt's physicality:
"They played hard. I thought they were really physical. The one thing that was really evident was [that] we got knocked down a lot. It wasn't anything flagrant; it was part of the game. They just knocked us down a whole bunch and had us on our heels. They just played a more physical game than we're used to seeing. At the same time, we need to get more resistance."
On Pitt's depth:
"They're an ACC team. Obviously you have one of the best coaches in the country over the last, what, fifteen years. Coach Dixon and his staff are second to none. I think you put their coaching staff and him up against any of the big time coaches in college basketball, and they do a good job with that. They shuttle the guys in and out. They keep them fresh. The one thing that I was particularly impressed with was the builds of their guys. They had a lot of new players and young players. Those guys were built. They look like Pittsburgh Steelers to some extent. Some of them are that big."