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Nov. 25, 2008

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Belmont at Pitt, November 25, 2008, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“Belmont is an excellent team. I think when we scheduled this game people kind of thought we were crazy for wanting to play such a good non-conference team.  Yesterday at this time we were coming off one of our best practices of the year. I thought we were going to be without Gilbert Brown and have DeJuan Blair. Then obviously right before the game that got flipped so we kind of had to adjust on the fly. I think because of foul trouble we had five guards out there at one point. But we were able to persevere and get the win, which is what good teams do.”


On Gary McGhee’s play:


“That was a big basket Gary gave us to open up the game. We went down low to him and he turned around and hit a tough shot, so that gave us some confidence. He turned his ankle a little bit in the second half so that really hurt our depth, but I thought he gave us good minutes in a tough situation.”


On Pitt’s rebounding:


“Depth at center or not, getting outrebounded is not something we can afford to do. I talked to the guys at halftime about it and I thought we got it corrected. We tied up the rebounds at one point in the second half even, but we just couldn’t carry it down the stretch. They had some long rebounds that they got a hold of, but the numbers don’t lie. That shouldn’t happen to us.”


On Sam Young’s play:


“He did a good job in a very difficult situation. We’ve wanted to practice him more at power forward, but with Gilbert Brown being injured we just haven’t had much of an opportunity to do that. I thought Sam really stepped up tonight when we needed him. When we had kind of a makeshift line up on the floor, we were able to at least get the ball to Sam in good position and he made things happen.”


Quoting Pitt’s Sam Young:


On playing center:


“It was a little bit of a different experience for me. I haven’t played center since Friendly High School. It was just good to come out with the win.”


On his play:


“When we huddled up with about 12 minutes to go in the first half, coach was really on us for being too passive. I knew that that I had to be more aggressive in looking for my shot and kind of take the game to Belmont. Fortunately the shots just started falling.”


On missing DeJuan Blair’s defense:


“DeJuan’s a huge presence. It’s definitely a challenge to have that taken away from your team, especially when you don’t have a chance to practice without him. He’s a big piece of the puzzle but we have to make sure we get better when he’s not in the game.”


Quoting Belmont Head Coach Rick Byrd


Opening Statement:


“This was a missed opportunity for our team. With Pitt missing DeJuan Blair, we didn’t know he wasn’t going to play, and to go out there and shoot the way we did was unfortunate.  If we shoot the ball the way we can, it’s a different ball game. Pitt makes the given shots and they play good defense.  We didn’t make enough of those shots. Pitt is quicker, more athletic and longer, so we felt hurried.  A lot of those shots we missed were sheer luck of the ball not falling our way.  I like Pitt.  I’m a voter in the polls and I usually vote them third.  They are a legitimate Final Four contender.  They’re a championship team.  For Belmont, we did good things against a good team.  We just didn’t do what we needed to do to get over the hump.”


On the play of Sam Young:


“I was frustrated with our team taking his fakes.  When he gets by, something good happens for Pitt.  We tried to keep him out of the paint, but he’s as good as any player I’ve seen get in there.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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