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Nov. 14, 2008

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Fairleigh Dickinson at Pitt, November 14, 2008


Quoting Pitt’s Head Coach Jamie Dixon:


Opening Statement:

“I thought it was a really good start to the season. We did some things really well tonight, especially considering it was our first game, and, as always, there are some things we can improve on. We have five returning players and five new guys and with numbers like that you’re going to have some growing pains. However, you can’t let that become an excuse. You just have to keep working hard and doing what you can to get better.”


On Levance Fields getting the start:

“I had a pretty good idea yesterday that he was going to be able to start. He’s had no to limited activity for 11 months, which when you really think about it is a staggering amount of time. I have to keep in mind how impressive it is that Levance can play at this level considering how long he’s been off. I thought it was obvious tonight though what a difference there is in his offense when he’s out there.”


On the crowd:

“The crowd was unbelievable tonight. I think the University is doing all that it can to make it easier for students to get into games, and I thought their enthusiasm really showed tonight. But it’s not just the student section either. We’re lucky to play in front of a sellout crowd every night, which is something that might be easy to take for granted after a while. We don’t do that, though. You can’t beat crowds like this.”


On Jermaine Dixon’s defense:

“Jermaine did some really good things tonight.  We’re still sorting through who looks good in practice and who can guard when the lights come on. Jermaine was very strong on defense tonight, but to Fairleigh Dickinson’s credit they made some tough shots.”


On the status of Gilbert Brown:

“His foot is coming along slowly. He was slowed in the summer by injury too, which is too bad because we really need him to step it up and play if we’re going to be the team we want to be. I thought he was one of our best players if not our best player in the exhibition game against Seton Hill, so we know he can be very special.”


Quoting Pitt’s Levance Fields:


On his injury:

“I started practicing about three or four weeks ago, and I started practicing with contact about two weeks ago, so I had a feeling I’d be ready. I’ve been taking it easy, with a couple days off now and then, but there isn’t a lot of soreness right now. The main thing is just my conditioning.”


On the play of DeJuan Blair:

“DeJuan dominated like he always does. Even when the play isn’t drawn up for him, he crashes the boards so well that he’s able to get involved in the offense and affect the play. Some of the moves he has are so athletic for any player, not just a center, so you know there are going to be a lot of mismatches all year long.”


Quoting Pitt’s DeJuan Blair:


On the play of Pitt’s freshmen:

“All of us returning guys try to push the freshmen to match our intensity. When I was here last year, I had the mindset that I wasn’t a freshmen and that inexperience wasn’t an excuse for the way I played. We want these guys to have that same mentality and so far they’re doing a really good job.”


Quoting Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon:


On his play:

“I thought I played pretty well for my first game. The only downside is that I missed some open shots. Levance did a great job of getting me the ball and I just have to make sure I knock those down. You know I’ll be putting in some extra time in the gym this week. Other than that, I was pretty happy with how everything went.”


Quoting Fairleigh Dickinson Head Coach Tom Green


On Pitt:

“I’ve been coaching here for 25 years, I’ve been to three NCAA tournaments, and I’ve never seen a man-to man defense like this. This is the best defense I’ve ever coached against. Jamie (Dixon) runs a tough system.  The played the ball, they blitzed, it was incredible.  We couldn’t execute anything. We even tried new plays, stuff they’ve never seen, and we still couldn’t execute.  I’ve got a vote in the AP coaches’ poll, and I voted Pitt to be No. 2 and from what I’ve seen, I will keep voting them No. 2.”


On what in particular impressed him about Pitt:

“They played physical, they execute plays well. They passed the ball, they shared it well. They looked for the open man.  This team looks like they’re in mid-season form. “


On Levance Fields:

“We were expecting him.  Probable means you’ll see him, doubtful means he’ll play a few minutes, and if he’s dead, you’ll see him off the bench.  He’s a tough nut.  He’s quick. He looks like he should be playing linebacker for someone, but he looks very sharp.”

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