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Nov. 27, 2010

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Pitt vs. Penn, November 27, 2010

Pitt 82, Penn 58


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening statement:


“I really liked how we played today. I thought it was good for pretty much the entire game. We played a lot of guys, they got a lot of different minutes, a lot of opportunities. I really liked how we sustained it for pretty much the entire 40 minutes. Very unselfish, I like that we only had eight turnovers. Something we emphasized the last couple days is really taking care of the ball. We’re making a little bit better decisions, sounder decisions. ‘Simpler plays’ is the phrase we were harping on the last couple of days. I think Gilbert Brown played probably the best he’s played defensively this year. I thought Nasir Robinson played well. Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker played well (too). Travon Woodall and Jonathan Moore (also) gave us good minutes.  We obviously played a lot of guys with a lot of different minutes, 11 guys in double figures in minutes and that’s very hard to do, but I think they all got their opportunities and they all played well. For the most part we played as a good, solid team possession by possession. We just tried to grind it out. Penn is a good team. I anticipate them being at the top of the Ivy League. They’re very well coached and run a lot of good sets. They’re an experienced team that is healthy now and once they get a couple other guys back then they’ll be at the top of the Ivy League. So I’m very happy with how we played against a very good team.”


On how rebounding keyed the run at the end of the first half:


“I thought it was our defense first that really led to that run. I also think our offensive execution was a little better. It allowed us to get offensive rebounds since we were taking good shots. All those things lead to the good rebounding numbers. We are a good rebounding team. Execution both offensively and defensively gives us an even better opportunity to rebound. I thought we finished out the first half very well. We played very unselfish and that was a good stretch for us. We have to beat people on the boards by really big margins because that’s something that we emphasize and really do well.”


On solid play of reserves:


“If you look at the minutes Gary McGhee only played 13 minutes, Talib Zanna 18 and Gilbert 22 so the minutes were very balanced out. Dante Taylor played very well, he’s been playing well. He’s such a great kid, so unselfish. He’s playing better defensively and he’s becoming more comfortable offensively. He just keeps getting better. I thought J.J. Moore played well. I thought he was a big part of the run. He got a couple rebounds that created second chance opportunities for us and that was big. Travon played very well too, I thought. I feel good with him on the floor.”


On Penn’s play:


“Penn was not going to beat themselves. They stayed within their stuff, they ran their stuff, they made open shots for the most part. We had to limit those open shots.”


On defensive breakdowns in the first half:


“We struggled early on with the backdoor cut and I take the blame for that. I didn’t get across how I wanted them to guard that, but they picked it up well by the end of the half and created a turnover from it. We also didn’t defend penetration well early on but we made adjustments. We just have to keep the ball in front of us and contain penetration a little bit better. That was something we emphasized this week too. It was better, but still not where it needs to be.”


On Travon Woodall’s improved decision making:


“I think in the last couple games especially Travon's decision making has improved. I think he knows where he’s going in and how long he’s playing for so he doesn’t feel like he has to make a play to stay on the floor. We’ve got our rotation and he understands it. There are times where he may play more but he knows that he’s going to get the minutes he got tonight. We need everybody to get to that situation where they understand that its defense and decision making that is going to decide their minutes. We have guys that can score but we need guys that can defend and play without the ball as well.”


On the play of Nasir Robinson:


“He only played 14 minutes so his numbers won’t really jump out at you. I thought he played really well, he played within himself. He got offensive rebounds and stayed near the basket. He played pretty good defense for the most part and it was against a pretty good player, Jack Eggleston is a good player. I think we have a good rotation with him, Talib, Lamar and J.J. Richardson.”


On spreading out the minutes:


“Everybody wants to play 40 minutes but we didn’t play like that. We didn’t play like we were hungry for shots. For the most part we made good decisions and played unselfish. Brad was very unselfish.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On being experienced and different from other teams because of a deep bench:


“I definitely think it’s unique and that it’s definitely special because of the fact that we have guys who come off the bench have experience, game experience. With  the three people I named right there along with J.J. Moore, Lamar Patterson, and J.J. Richardson coming off the bench, it’s beneficial for us to have people who have experience from past years and prior games this season. I think they can only continue to grow and get better.”


On the key to being successful with on the offensive boards:


“Just being consistent with what we do. We practice day in and day out just crashing and making sure we take it down as a mental note to never take the day off of take a play off. As long as we keep that in mind I think we will continue to dominate on the board like we have (been).”


Quoting Pitt’s Dante Taylor


On his success in rebounding on the offensive side:


“Coaches tell us when we are on defense to rebound and rebound and be consistent.”


On inside scoring for the squad improving:


“I think with the scoring it will come, we just have to come every game and play hard. I think the guys on the perimeter are doing a good job. We just have to come to every game. If you had a bad game this game or the next game you just have to bring it next. You don’t have time to focus on it or can’t let it carry over into the next game or throw up bad shots.”


Quoting Pitt’s Travon Woodall


On playing more patient:


“I am playing a lot more mature, I think. Gibbs and I joke around all the time about scary money don’t make money. I am just trying to take what the defense gives me and make an open play. You know if they give me an open drive I take and if a guy is open and make the simple pass and don’t look for the spectacular pass. Sometimes I think its hockey, you pass to one guy and it makes it to the next guy.”


Quoting Penn Head Coach Jerome Allen


Opening Statement:


“I have a lot of respect for Coach Dixon and the Pitt Panthers. They showed a sound display, took care of the ball and beat us on the boards. That’s what we expected, because that’s what Dixon has shown throughout his tenure at Pitt.”


On Pitt’s run at the end of the first half:


“In the first half I thought initially our stance, whether it was in zone or man-to-man, was fine. We just couldn’t finish out possessions which is something we talk about all the time. We want not only to play sound defense but also come up with the ball. That didn’t happen. We didn’t close out and they finished on a 15-0 run. That was the tale of the story. “


On the foul calls:


“We have a lot of respect for basketball, we respect everyone but we fear no one. But that’s just the nature of it when you play on the road. It’s not that the whistle will always go in the home team’s favor, but sometimes you have to anticipate things that you can’t control. We just need to do a better job of not putting ourselves in that type of situation. They play in the Big East, and that’s physical basketball.”


On Pitt’s depth:


“I don’t think it was their depth that wore us down. They were just relentless on the boards, and that was the story of the game.”

On Penn’s overall performance:


“We talk all the time about holding onto our own principles, especially defensively; helping the helper and closing possessions. When we don’t do that, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, we’re going to be in trouble. I just felt like we didn’t execute our own game-plan.”


On Pitt’s size advantage:


“Charles Barkley was 6’4, 260 pounds and was one of the best rebounders in the history of the game. Rebounding is something that requires anticipation and inner-will, and you flat out just have to go and get the ball. It’s not that our guys are lacking in that area, but tonight we didn’t do a good job of that. No matter the height, you just have to go get the rebound. DeJuan Blair is a perfect example, he’s not the tallest guy but he’s an animal. If you have anticipation and desire, you’ll get rebounds.


Quoting Penn’s Zack Rosen


On his relationship with the Pitt players:


“I grew up with Ashton, we worked out and played a lot together growing up. I knew Travon because he went to St. Anthony while I went to St. Benedicts. Plus Lamar, who went to my high school so I obviously knew him too.”


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