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Post-Game Quotesheet




Nov. 17, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

POST-GAME QUOTESHEET

Howard at Pitt, Petersen Events Center, November 17, 2013

Pitt 84, Howard 52

 

Quoting Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“It was a good win for us. We got off to a good start. I think we were up 19-1 so obviously our starting group looked real good, put some subs in there. We sustained at a pretty good level and did things that we wanted to do. I thought our turnovers were low, we wanted to keep them below 10, but we had some at the end that got away from us. But it was a really good performance from us, the starting guards especially. James (Robinson), Cameron (Wright) and Lamar (Patterson) were really good. I thought we defended well early and also made good decisions in transition and in the press as well. I thought we looked good early. I wanted us to sustain a little bit more for 40 minutes but there were some really good efforts. I thought Chris Jones had some good minutes off the bench, and Jamel (Artis) and (Michael) Young, so you’re talking about three freshman that I thought did a pretty good job in that regard. Talib (Zanna) couldn’t get going with the foul trouble but he’ll be back next game. I thought Derrick (Randall) rebounded well. We just didn’t get inside as much as I thought we would, but when you shoot 81 percent in the first half I guess you’re doing a pretty good job with shot selection and decision making. Again, I thought our wings were really good. Cameron, Lamar and James, and that’s what we needed—a sophomore, a junior and a senior.”


 

 

 

On Howard’s game-plan against center Talib Zanna:

“He got the fouls and only played six minutes, so I don’t know if it was effectiveness or anything, but we shot 81 percent. I don’t know how effective you could consider that in the first half. I’ll take it. If that’s being effective, then I guess we’ll take it. 81 percent is good, it’s a school record, and we’ve been pretty good at field-goal percentage. It says a lot and I think we recognized it. What we wanted to do was get it inside and play out of it, but we were getting lay-ups on the back-end of the press and in transition, and the open threes. I thought that was good. (Howard) really did sag. One of the things we saw after their press was they really got into a sagging man-to-man, and that’s something that I think we handled really well in the first half.”

 

On the size and talent of the Panthers’ guards:

“I don’t know how much it comes into play in pressing or in the breaking of the press, but we’ve got good ball-handlers and good passers and versatility with those guys. Lamar (Patterson) can handle it like a point guard, can play like a point guard, and Cameron (Wright) played some point tonight. There are two guys on the floor that can play point guard for us and have in games. Throw that with James (Robinson) and Durand (Johnson), who’s become a better decision maker. The length comes into play in a lot of areas, that’s part of it. I thought they defended pretty well and made it hard for (Howard) to score in the first half, especially.”

 

On guard Cameron Wright embracing his role on the team:

“I saw him play off-guard in high school when they didn’t have many big guys on their team, so yes, it is versatility. He gets rebounds, he can take it up, and so he’s playing point guard. In a lot of ways our guys are interchangeable in most of our sets. He’ll be guarding anyway. That’s pretty much a lot of point-guard play right there when you talk about it in many facets. Lamar and (Cameron) have point guard skills. They’re versatile. Cameron could always guard the point and I think Lamar can now too. I think we’ve got the ability and versatility with those guys. In practice, Cameron plays the point and we put James (Robinson) and Josh (Newkirk) together. Josh getting a couple of fouls early allows us to do some of that too. When they get a rebound, we want them to take it and bring it up to either guy and encourage them to rebound and then make decisions at the end.”

 

On how he sees Wright fitting into the shooting guard position:

“He’s played as well as anybody on our team. He’s played really well. In the scrimmages he’s played really well. He’s been playing really good. I thought he played really well tonight defensively. He gives us rebounding, he gives us shot-making ability, he gets lay-ups – and that’s an added thing – and he’s been rebounding at a pretty good rate too.”

 

On how much he realized how well Pitt was shooting in the first half:

“I don’t know that it was shooting, but execution more, and decision making and passing. I don’t know how many assists we had at that time. Sometimes you can shoot it well but this was off of offensive decision-making. We ended up with 20 assists, which is a good number, but I think we had 13 at the half. To me, that’s the biggest indicator if you were to look at a number. We got a lot of inside-out penetration on the kick out with the threes. Penetration, kicking out, inside touches, kicking out—those are the ones when you shoot a better percentage, and we shot 78 percent from the line. That was good to see as well.”

 

On the team’s improvements from the start of the season:

“I think we’ve improved on our ball screen defense in this last week. I thought that was something we didn’t guard well early in that Fresno State game in our man defense. It’s expected given freshman, freshman, new guy, and (Talib) Zanna at the fours and fives. That’s what we’ve got to continue to improve on. “

 

On the difference between tonight and the Panthers’ last game from three-point range:

“I thought we got better shots today than last game and then I just thought we missed some. I think we took a lot of bad shots in the last game and missed some open ones. Tonight we took almost all the good threes, and I think that was a big part of it. It usually comes down to shot selection.”

 

Quoting Pitt forward Lamar Patterson

 

On his 3-point shooting tonight:

“That’s something I work on every day. Last game, we just couldn’t find the touch; today we found it. That’s how it is. Some games you have it, some games you don’t. I just saw it was going in, so I wanted to keep shooting. I kept getting open shots.”

 

On the school record field-goal percentage in the first half:

“We were just feeling it. We have a lot of unselfish players who can drive it, kick it and find wide-open players.”

 

On beating Howard’s full-court press:

“We knew they were going to trap out of everything possible, so we wanted to be smart with the ball, be unselfish and take our time. We did that for the most part in the game. We were trying to look over them to make the pass. We have a lot of guys who can pass on this team. It’s hard for teams to press us. We know what we’re doing in pressure.”

 

Quoting Pitt guard Cameron Wright

 

On the play of Lamar Patterson:

“He can score the ball. Lamar Patterson can score the ball. Lamar’s a great player. He works hard. He deserves it. The ball was going in today. He wasn’t shooting great the first couple games, but he can score the ball.”

 

On whether the team knew about setting a school record for field-goal shooting percentage in a half:

“Nobody told us that. I feel like you guys make those statistics up sometimes. We weren’t aware of that. We just had a great first half.”

 

Quoting Howard Head Coach Kevin Nickelberry

Opening remarks:

“We knew coming Harvard, tournament team, physical; I tried to give them warning this team was even more physical and that they were a better defensive team and don’t let the stats fool you. They make timely shots, they have guys who can make shots, and my goal was to come out and play hard for 40 minutes in this type of setting. I thought we played hard, obviously Pittsburgh was the better team, a lot better team. Hopefully we will grow from this.”

 

On the size matchup compared to Zanna:

“We got some tough guys. They are young, Boyd (Marcel) is young, and he is only seventeen or eighteen; he’s only a freshman. Ellison (Oliver) is only a sophomore. We tried to go at him (Zanna) with Boyd a little bit, and try to go inside early in to the game and see if we could get him in foul trouble. We just wanted to use our two-headed monster and get him in foul trouble. Obviously he is a good player, very good player, I didn’t think we could match up, I thought we could try and give as much effort as possible to make him not think it was an easy night.”

 

How they played against Zanna and Randall:

“I told them the guards have to beat us tonight and the guards killed us, so we focused on the bigs. We wanted to create problems, put a lot of people around them, in our zone, in our man that is the first time we played zone all year; I am a man-to-man guy. After three minutes of making jump shots we put our back to our man, we try to block every shot we can, but their guards made shots. We tried to cut off what we thought was the head of the dragon, but obviously there are more parts to the dragon than we thought.”

 

On having a young team:

“When I took over the job, when I came from Hampton we had a lot of success there and I took the job because I am from the DC area, they had nine sophomores at Howard. This is the year we knew we were placed with more talent in size, so I knew coming in what we would bring in. One of our best players wasn’t playing tonight, he will be eligible second semester, 6-9 kid. We knew we would play nine freshmen, one of the freshman didn’t play tonight our tenth one, but we knew coming in, this is my fourth year, we replaced nine sophomores with nine freshman. We knew it was a process. I think we have some young talented freshman, especially for our mid-major level; they’re going to be pretty good when it is all said and done. Daniel (James) has no fear, which is kind of bad sometimes because he thinks he can make every shot, so sometime you have to calm him down; he’ll shoot from half court if I let him."