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Nov. 17, 2012

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Oakland at Pitt, Petersen Events Center, November 17, 2012
Pitt 72, Oakland 62 (OT)

Quoting Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement:

“First off, I wanted to talk about Greg (Kampe) and his team and how well they played, and how well they responded. They caused us to make mistakes and not play our best basketball. I thought they did a great job. They battled and they competed and they were physical.  In the second half we took care of business and did what we needed to do, but in the first half we didn’t. We turned it over too many times, took bad shots, and the thing that really stands out to me is too many threes that we took—24 to 60—but of course, in the second half, there were a lot of wide open ones that we didn’t hit. There were so many good things for us. We battled, and I guess that’s the most important thing. We can focus on the first half, but in the second half we outscored them by 28 from being down 18, so that says a lot of things. We have a lot of work to do; I think our guys understand that. I thought we played well in the first three games, but I didn’t think we played very well in this first half. Give them credit. In the second half, I thought we came out and played well. They hit those two threes and the end of the clock, fumbles, loose balls, in the corner, out front, and just had things going, but we battled. We stayed with it, and I can’t say enough about James (Robinson), Dante (Taylor), how well they played, and how smart J.J. Moore. The bench was terrific—a lot of good things. Obviously, Cameron (Wright) wasn’t here because of the service being today. We got back late last night from Cleveland, but everybody else is pretty healthy. We got good performances I thought, but there are a lot of things we can work on and move on from.”

On freshman guard James Robinson’s mental toughness:

“He’s a tremendous player, there’s a reason why we’ve got him out there starting. He’s got a sense of maturity that’s beyond his years, both physically and mentally. He’s got a strong, physical body; he’s a good athlete, the mental part of it. I go through practice and schemes, jotting down mistakes and watching the film for things we need to improve on for each guy individually, and there’s this little box and every time I look at it there’s James, and it’s empty. It’s just very few mental mistakes. There are just no mental mistakes and that’s so valuable. He understands where to be. He really good obviously with the two free throws and the steal, and I think we needed a little more penetration against that 1-2-2 from him and Tray (Woodall). I think as the game went on, he started to do that some more, and so did Tray.”

On the team’s mindset when trailing by 18 points in the second half:

“I figured we couldn’t be as bad as we were in the first half, and they couldn’t be as good as they were in the first six or seven minutes. You just keep battling, and I think there was about 10 minutes left and we had a timeout, and I said to the guys there’s going to be about 15 possessions each team the rest of the way.  That’s plenty of possessions to get stops, and plenty of shots to work baskets. It’s a lot of time and you have to play well during that period, and we didn’t execute great against that 1-2-2. But we got offensive rebounds and we guarded better in the second half. Give them credit. They lost two games on the road to two pretty good teams that I think they felt they should have won. They were ahead in both of them, and they just responded and came out and said ‘we’re a better team than that.’ They took it to us. They were more physical, they got into us, and we just didn’t handle it as well as I would’ve thought. But we got better in the second half and did what we were supposed to do. I think patience and looking for your own shot was something that was evident.”

On the recent play of senior center Dante Taylor:

“He’s been playing so well, and people will focus on points, but he’s a good scorer. He’s a really good defender, he’s a very good offensive rebounder, he’s a great person, and he’s a great teammate. There are those who focus on what he can’t do, but the people who focus on what he can do realize what a great kid he is, and what a great teammate he is. He is a very good player and he gave us good minutes. Steve (Adams) got into foul trouble; he never quite got in a rhythm. We got some really good production out of those spots considering how we just seemed to be out of rhythm.”

On the impact of the crowd on tonight’s game:

“It was tremendous—the fans were great. They stayed with us. I think they’ve seen a lot of great comebacks here, and I guess this was the biggest comeback ever. I guess you’d rather have a better second half than first half, and that’s what we had. Our fans are good and I think they’re excited about this team. They’re always excited about us and, obviously, we’ve got 11,000 on the waiting list. They’ve been unbelievable over the years. This team’s going to have some growing pains, but I think we remedied a lot of things in the second half.”

Quoting Pitt’s Tray Woodall

On what he said to his teammates at halftime:

“We tell each other we can’t win a game on one play.  We needed to keep cutting their lead down, defending and try to get stops.  We had to try to get easy baskets. Basically we kept saying we can’t make it on one play.”

On his thoughts when Pitt was down 18:

“Those guys fought.  For the most part they only played six guys and we play ten.  We figured eventually it would ware on them but those guys fought so hard.  You have to give them credit.  They came on our floor and executed. They played really well.  Eventually we thought they would break down just by playing six guys.  We had fresh legs.  We just fought and came out with the win.

Quoting Pitt’s J.J. Moore

On the impact of the crowd on Oakland:

“It definitely had an impact.  Our fans are always there with us.  I didn’t see one fan leave.  That showed that they had faith in us.  They had faith in us when we were losing by 18 and they had faith in us when we were losing by 14 at halftime.  They are our sixth man and they bring a spark to us.”

Quoting Pitt’s James Robinson

On whether he was nervous or not:

“I was pretty calm.  We shoot free throws every day in practice.  I just stepped up to the line and made the two free-throws.”

Quoting Pitt’s Dante Taylor

On getting second chance points:

“It means a lot to me and I know it means more to the team to be that guy that can come off the bench and make a big play.  That’s what I try to be every time I step on the court.  I try to be that spark off the bench.  That’s what I try to do from the beginning of the game.  This year my main focus is rebounding.  I was able to do that this game.

Quoting Oakland Head Coach Greg Kampe

Opening Comments:

“It’s very hard moment for us because you come to Pitt and go against a guy who is one of the top coaches in the country, a program that is considered  one of the top programs in the country and a  building they just don’t lose in. We should have won the game and there is no one in this room that could tell me that we shouldn’t have. We collapsed and well coached teams don’t collapse. So, I’ll take all the blame for it.”

On the advantage and collapse of the hook shot against Steven Adams and Dante Taylor:

“He [Corey Petros] is a veteran. He had the ball and as soon as he knew he was in trouble he should have used the timeout and not waited. We had a chance to win a signature victory here.”

On the fifth foul at the end of the game:

“What he [Duke Mondy] didn’t do in that situation, which I hope he learns from is that he caught the ball and he knows he’s going to get fouled with 10 seconds to go in the game.”

On the second half:

“We had an 18 point lead. We lost momentum and they got jacked.  The whole thing that we were trying to do in the second half was keep the game slow. I thought we did a great job until the last two minutes of the game.”

On the Oakland Zoo:

“I think anytime you’re on the road the fans are part of the whole deal. It was there for us to win. This place is a hard place to win in.”

Quoting Oakland’s Corey Petros

On the game plan

“Our game plan was to stick with the inside-out. Our main thing to focus on was defense. We did great in the first 37 minutes, and in the last three minutes we collapsed. That’s what happened.”

On the advantage of his hook shot

“It was nice, but I give all the credit to my guards who set me up in that position.”

On guarding Dante Taylor

“I take the blame for that. He got a couple offensive rebounds that I should have gotten. That’s what I’m really upset about.”

Post Game Quotesheet

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