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Dec. 4, 2010

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Rider at Pitt, December 4, 2010

Pitt 87, Rider 68


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“It was a good win against a good team. I anticipate that Rider is going to be at the top of their league and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the MAAC, that’s why we scheduled this game. They have quality wins against USC and TCU. Rider is very good offensively. We were concerned with that all week with what they could do. They space you out and they shoot the ball really well. But, we were able to run our offense well. This week we focused on offense and turnovers, which were pretty high for our standards and it was good to see that we were able to cut those down. We addressed it and we had 27 assists and 6 turnovers. Brad Wanamaker really stepped up for us with 11 assists and he didn’t have a turnover. It was good to have him out there without foul trouble. Good performance for us as well as our football team.”


On his players playing unselfishly:


“When a team presses us, it forces us to speed up our offense and I think our turnovers were coming from trying to make that homerun pass and force things a little too quickly instead of being patient. We still scored 87 points and had more patience, less turnovers, we had better shots and better scoring opportunities. Unselfishness can lead to forced passes and I think that’s our thing that we wanted to work on this week. The other guy can make the pass, it doesn’t have to be us. We can make what we call a hockey assist. It’s good because we improved on what we talked about all week.”


On Brad Wanamaker:


“I didn’t have a second thought about Brad whenever he didn’t have that great of a game against Duquesne. Fouls can change the way a player plays the game. You can throw that one out the window and move on. My faith in him for what he’s done throughout his career hasn’t changed over getting into foul trouble over the past few games. He made good decisions, he made that earlier pass and he played really well.


On being in the stretch of an easier schedule and preparing for Tennessee:


“I don’t think there is anything easy about our schedule. Rider beat TCU and USC and they’ll be at the top of their conference. Just because we’re beating teams by a large margin, doesn’t mean they’re easy. That means we played well. Teams are losing every night, at home, to teams that come from smaller conferences. We have to keep challenging ourselves in practice and continue to improve. Every game is an opportunity to get better and that’s why we are having success against these teams because we take advantage of it.’


On Dante Taylor


“He had a great freshman year and he’s having a better sophomore year. He’s showing good progress. That position for us is interesting and it’s productive. Nasir Robinson makes us better and we’re seeing that and with Dante and Gary McGhee, the numbers speak for themselves. J.J. Richardson gives us great minuets and he plays well in practice and Talib Zanna has had his moments. It’s five good players rotating at those spots.


Quoting Pitt’s Dante Taylor


On his offensive game:


“It’s coming around. I’ve been working on it in practice and I’m improving. I’ve been focusing on running the floor and making those easy buckets and being aggressive off the boarding and grabbing the rebounds.”


On Pitt as a team being unselfish with the ball:


“I think you see more people open when we’re making the extra pass. Brad had 11 assists today and I think everyone feeds off of that.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On bouncing back after Duquesne:


“I just wanted to move onto the next game. I’m glad that I was able to bounce back and be productive for my team today. I had a tough one the other night, but it’s about moving on and there’s a lot of the season that’s left to be played.”


On passing:


“Last practice, coach really emphasized that we need to make the extra pass in order to find the open man. We were able to do that and we showed on the floor what was preached to us in practice.”


On his former high school teammate/Rider player Mike Ringgold:


“He’s a good player. His game is similar to what it was in high school, playing mostly around the baseline. We still keep in touch from time to time, but we’re both working on our game and I wish him luck with his season.”


Quoting Rider Head Coach Tom Dempsey


Opening Statement


“I’m proud of my team. I feel like we came into a tough environment and competed really hard against one of the nation’s elite teams. There were a couple times in the second half where it looked like it could get out of hand. I thought we showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight and tried to keep competing for 40 minutes.  I think if you stop competing against Pitt it could get really ugly and I was pleased to see that we continued to fight for 40 minutes. Hopefully both teams got something out of it.”


On how Pitt defended Justin Robinson


“They were certainly focused on him. He missed some decent shots. He got some decent looks, but didn’t get many clean looks. That is a credit to Pitt. He’ll have to embrace the challenge of playing against another good guard and he’ll have to do that throughout the year. It was tough because I don’t think he scored in the first half. We had some other guys that played well. But if you are playing one of the best teams in the country and your leading scorer doesn’t score in the first half, then winning becomes an even taller task.”


On defending Pitt’s passing:


“They do a good job playing off of each other. They continue to run their stuff. They don’t settle and they make you guard them for 20 or 25 seconds. You bounce off a lot of screens; there are some big physical bodies. Their shot selection is very good. Their pass selection is very good. You just have to try and grind every possession and that wears on you. They never make your defensive possession easy by throwing one pass and watching the shot. You just have to defend and defend and defend the whole night. But I give our guys credit. We gave up some layups in the second half because we got a little bit tired, but we fought and tried to continue to defend throughout the game. It’s a tough team to play against. When you have 27 assists and only six turnovers you’re not going to lose a lot of games, I don’t care who you’re playing.”


On the play of Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


“He has just turned himself into a terrific guard. We know Wanamaker and Mike Ringgold were high school teammates. They were looking forward to playing against each other. I matched Mike up on Brad and he had a great game. He didn’t play Mike on the other end, because he plays more of a post for us, but Mike had a terrific game. Wanamaker has really turned himself into a great player. I think that he is just ice out there. He never really makes a mistake. He never really takes a bad shot. You can say that about a lot of Pitt’s guys. That’s why they are one of the most well coached teams in the country and one of the best teams in the country.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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