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Nov. 12, 2013

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Fresno State at Pitt, Petersen Events Center, November 12, 2013

Pitt 75, Fresno State 54


Quoting Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“This was a good win for our guys tonight. I thought Fresno State played really well, despite some match-up disadvantages. I am looking forward to watching them progress as well as watching our own team progress. We hope to be tough team this season and Fresno State should be a strong team as well. They did do some things really well, but we were able to exploit the things that they didn’t do so well. Obviously Jamel (Artis) and Michael (Young) played tremendously well for us down low tonight.”

On playing zone defense tonight:

“It is something that we would like to be better at. We have big bodies, some height and pretty good athleticism, which makes us pretty good both playing it defensively and beating it offensively. We knew we were going to play some 2-1-2 (appearance of players in the half-court) zone, which ended up benefitting us and didn’t hurt us because of their lack of size. Offensive rebounding was a key as it allowed us to extend our zone and not worry about giving up second chance opportunities. We got up big and didn’t play as well in the second half. That will happen, we just have to make sure that once we get a lead like that, we continue to push through and not give up.”

On Cam Wright’s success in the early season:

“First off, he is older and he has gone through a lot over the course of his career. He’s shooting a lot better, which seems to help most players get into a better rhythm. Yeah, maybe I should have played him more than I did last year (laughs). He feels more comfortable than last year and doesn’t let the little things get to him as much as he used to.”

On the aggressive rebounding:

“One thing is Jamel (Artis) has gotten a lot scrappier, whereas I think Mike (Young) has always been that way. Jamel is a talented player and I don’t think rebounding was big on his agenda when he got here. It is something I have reminded him of (laughs). Jamel has had a great two weeks. Derrick Randall is a better rebounder that I think we anticipated and he is only going to keep improving as he continues to learn our schemes. Obviously having Talib (Zanna) back for this one made a big difference down low. Talib is a dynamic player who can make things happen on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.”


Quoting Pitt junior guard Cameron Wright

On what changed about him as a player from last season:

“My confidence level has gone up a lot. My teammates set me up on offense.  A few times I knocked down some shots. I am also in better shape and that’s the biggest thing that Coach [Jaime Dixon] emphasizes. He said I have improved.”

On having more confidence to bring the ball up the floor:

“In high school I played point guard. I really prefer playing guard but we have great point guards in James Robinson and Josh Newkirk but I don’t mind bringing the ball up.”

On what Pitt did to shut down Fresno State’s offense:

“In the beginning of the game they came out very strong. They hit a lot of shots and we weren’t getting stops.  We have a great coaching staff and they adjusted. The 2-3 zone worked for us in our favor and we stuck with it.”


Quoting Pitt senior forward Talib Zanna

On the size advantage Pitt had:

“Coach [Jaime] Dixon emphasizes rebounding in practice every day. I thought we would come out and out-rebound them.  I thought that Mike [Young], Derrick [Randall] and I did a good job rebounding today. It’s a good start.”

On how he is building chemistry with the new forwards:

“We just come to practice every day.  With the experience I have, I try to tell them what they need to do so we can be on the same page.”

Quoting Fresno State Head Coach Rodney Terry

Opening remarks:

“Great opportunity for us to come across the country and play a very well-coached team, a team that in the program really has hung its hat over the years on its defense and rebounding. When you’re going in, those were going to be two big keys to the ball game, and they were really big tonight for us. We got off to a great start, and they did something that we really hadn’t expected or seen a whole lot of. They played a little zone defense tonight. Over the years they’ve been a really good man-to-man team, but [they] did a great job with their zone tonight and really affected us and kind of took us out of rhythm with what we were doing early."

On the learning experience:

“I think you play this kind of games to play against quality opponents to help prepare us for conference play. We like coming here. Very tough environment to play in. We’re going to have a number of different venues in our league. They’re going to be tough places to play. For a lot of my young guys, they haven’t had a chance to experience that. To have a chance to experience that against a very well-coached team, a team that plays extremely hard and is going to be a physical team much like what we’re going to see throughout our conference play really helps prepare us for future opponents.”


Quoting Fresno State forward Paul Watson

On playing an ACC team:

“I learned a lot. The ACC, I can already tell, is a very physical conference. I learned that you have to bring that same intensity every single night. If you don’t, this thing won’t work out. I just learned that you have to be a very physical player. You have to come to bring it every time.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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