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Nov. 23, 2010

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Pitt vs. Robert Morris, November 23, 2010


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“It was a good win for us against a team that I anticipate being at the top of the North Eastern Conference and I hope they make it to the NCAA Tournament. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their program and their commitment to basketball. They’re good and they played hard and we’re good and we played hard. I’m happy with our rebounding, we out rebounded them by 16 and we held them to 30 percent shooting from the field. We didn’t guard the bank shots as well, but that means we played pretty good defense. We got better in the second half as far as ball and player movement and that helped us. We’ll get better before we prepare for Penn on Saturday.”


On Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs:


“They’re just good. They are and have been good for us and anticipated that they would be for us when we recruited them. They can and will get better as the season goes on because they’ve improved their whole careers here. That’s the best feeling a coach can have. It’s about wanting to get better and having the ability to get better and they both have it. They’re good and they play well together.”


On the turnovers:


“You’ve got to look at different things, we held them to 30 percent, we outrebounded them by 15, then we go to the negative of 15 turnovers which is higher that we want it. We shoot for 12. For most teams, they aim for 15, we set our standards higher and strive for 12. We’re always one of the lowest in the country for most teams. Robert Morris had a lot to do with it, they’re a team that forces a lot of turnovers, they foul a lot, they’re aggressive, so I expected to see a few more turnovers. But I didn’t like how we committed them and we have to get better in that area.”


On winning games in the stretch:


“It’s just what we do. Game after game, wherever it’s played, we execute down the stretch. I think execution in key, defense tightens up. We have been getting to and making it at the foul line down the stretch. We’ve seen this story before. The game we played against them last year was similar and we got up a little more on them in a low scoring game.”


On Ashton Gibbs’s second half:


“It’s not really a nack, the shots he made in the second half were all open shots. I think the team did a better job of moving the ball and that had something to do with it. There is all different situations. The other night we ran sets for him in order for him to get open shots, tonight we wanted to run our sets in the motion and get more patience for shots.”


On having a solid non-conference record:


“We have the best record in the Big East over that time. We’re not just good early, we’re the best when we start Big East Play by far. That seems to not get out there. Our margin is pretty large, playing some pretty good teams in a pretty good league too. We’ve been good and we’ve won more games than every team in the NCAA tournament and I think it’s because of our style of play”


On Nasir Robinson:


“He played well, he needs to make better decision with the ball but that’s going to come in time. He hasn’t practiced all that much and there are somethings that he has to do better. We’ve only had one hard practice this week.


Quoting Pitt senior guard Brad Wanamaker


On North Florida’s 19 hours between games:


“No. I don’t think it was an issue for them. We’re all used to having short rest between games when you play in high school and in AAU. We just came out ready to play and got up on them early.”


On using the depth of Pitt’s bench:


“Yes, we’re deep. We work with our bench in practice and we know that everyone can contribute. Today, the bench put up some big numbers and those go to show what we can do as a team.”


Quoting Pitt sophomore Dante Taylor


On his rebounding:

“I’m now used to seeing how my teammates shoot the ball, so I know where to be in order to grab the ball on the offensive glass. I’m always active around the glass and going hard after every ball that I can.”


Quoting Pitt freshman J.J. Moore


On not playing against Rhode Island:


“After I didn’t get into the game against Rhode Island, Coach Dixon told me that I needed to be ready to play in the next game. I was, and I wanted to show everyone how I play. I played hard and contributed in both games.”


Quoting Robert Morris Head Coach Andrew Toole

Opening statement:

“I thought that we had some good stretches in the second part of the first half where we played Robert Morris basketball. There were some second stretches in the second half were we didn’t compete – we weren’t relentless. Pitt isn’t relentless when they play. They make you do things you don’t plan on doing. I saw doubt in our kids, and that’s scary.”


On not penetrating into the net:


“We couldn’t make shots, we didn’t execute on offense and we didn’t make them work defensively. Against a team like Pitt you won’t be able to drive to the rim. You need to penetrate the pass and that didn’t happen enough for us. You can’t shoot one-on-one; it has to be a team effort. That’s why we shot a low percentage.”


On not having Karon Abraham:


“It doesn’t matter who is out on the floor. Not having him out there put doubt in some people’s minds, but not mine. We didn’t live up to the standard of Robert Morris basketball tonight.”


On Pitt having a size advantage:


“It’s hard with a team like Pitt, with their size. You have to pick your poison. You have to guard with an entire team effort, you have to make plays if you want to compete and you can’t have breakdowns like we did. Once you start to breakdown like that, it’s the start of the end because you don’t make the plays that you need to make.”


On Pitt’s overall team effort:


“They defend, rebound and take care of the ball. You have to do all three of those things to win basketball games. If you do two of them, it keeps you in the game. They don’t give you the opportunity to run down the court and get a layup. On the flip-side, if you want to compete as a strong opponent like Pitt, you have to do those things. We didn’t do the things that we needed to do."


On Karon Abraham’s status:


“It will be day-to-day.”


Quoting Robert Morris guard Karon Abraham:


On Robert Morris’ offensive strategy:


“You need to change sides of the floor and make plays. That’s how we play. We penetrate and dish out. Velton Jones and Anthony Myers did a good job at that tonight. We took some early shots and that ultimately killed us and led to their transitions.”


Quoting Robert Morris forward Russell Johnson:


On making the necessary rebounds:


“You have to try. If you try, you can do it. We were undersized, and if you rebound, you can stay in the game.”


On questioning his shot:


“Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes I hesitate and take the wrong. It hurts.”


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