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Nov. 22, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes



Pitt vs. Indiana (Pa.), November 22, 2008, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“I thought the biggest thing today was that we were unselfish. We got out to a big lead, but at no point were people looking for their own shot or trying to force things on the offensive end. You had DeJuan Blair diving for a loose ball when we’re already up by 30 points. That’s the kind of attitude and teamwork that’s going to take a team very far.”


On the play of DeJuan Blair:


“DeJuan’s been doing it every game since he got here, so nothing the he does surprises me anymore. The biggest thing for me has been his leadership and his focus in succeeding in things off of the court. His outlet passing has also gotten a lot better this year too. It’s something we told him to work on and it’s just been great to watch how much it’s improved just in the last few games.”


On playing against Maurice Polen:


“Maurice is one of the greatest human beings that I’ve ever been around. There was fortunate enough to be scenario where we could get him his degree from Pitt, but also get him the opportunity to play at IUP. He’s exactly the kind of person a young team like IUP needs to build around. I also couldn’t be selfish enough to keep him all to myself. Someone else had to have the chance to coach him.”


On Belmont:


“I’m going to watch film of them tonight after the Pitt football game. I know they’re a very good shooting team and very dangerous. From what I understand, they probably should have beaten Duke in the tournament last year. We’ll have to make sure we’re prepared for a battle from the tip-off.”


Quoting Pitt’s DeJuan Blair


On his play:


“I’m not sure exactly how I got 27 points and 18 rebounds. I just kind of got on a roll from the first minute and just never looked back. It just seemed like every ball I got near I came down with, and everything I put up went in.”


On Pitt’s freshmen:


“That’s a huge opportunity when they can play big minutes together. We need them building chemistry together and getting accustomed to playing ball together at this level. There are definitely going to be games throughout the course of the season  where we need them to step up.”


Quoting Pitt’s Levance Fields


On the play of DeJuan Blair:


“It was a great game but we’re used to DeJuan playing like that. He does things that a guy his size shouldn’t be able to do. When you’re a center in college who dribbles between two defenders and hit a driving layup, there aren’t a lot of guys who can stop that.”


Quoting IUP Coach Joe Lombardi


On the play of DeJuan Blair:


“I thought that was Shaq out there.  His size was a problem for us. He’s an immovable object and it’s not like he’s just a big guy, he’s skilled too.  He’s better than last year. Last year he was a man in waiting and now he’s arrived.”


On playing Pitt:


“It was a great experience. This is something our players enjoy, they have fun. This gives us exposure.  We find out our weaknesses.  Sometimes, players are in denial of bad habits and when you play a team like Pitt, you find them out right away.  A game like this gives us a chance, as coaches, to be better teachers and develop better players in the long run.  We can learn from Pitt’s defense.  Championship caliber teams play fundamental defense. Pitt commits to fundamentals and that’s what separates teams. Pitt never let us get comfortable. Pitt has a lot of depth. Their second team guys are very good.  We still did some good things against them.”


On Maurice Polen:


“We needed a guy, inside, who was aggressive, and Maurice was here when I was at Pitt, and we have a growing team, so it was a good fit. A guy like Maurice brings not only his game but his characteristics, his core values and his leadership helps us.  Even as a walk-on at Pitt, he drew the players’ respect. He helps us build our program and it’s well worth it.”


Quoting IUP’s Maurice Polen


On Playing at Pitt:


“It was weird.  Playing a game in this atmosphere for a different team was different.  Pitt is a physical team, but I thought we played them tough.”


On  DeJuan Blair:


“He developed a lot. He’s a solid big man.  He’s an impact player. He’s phenomenal.  He’s hard to box out. I didn’t expect anything less of him.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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