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Dec. 5, 2012

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Duquesne vs. Pitt, Consol Energy Center, December 5, 2012

81ST Annual City Game

Pitt 66, Duquesne 45

Quoting head coach Jamie Dixon 

Opening statement:

“It’s an important game for us and it’s an important game for them, and I’m real pleased with how we played. They came out and hit a three-pointer on the first play. The last two days we emphasized guarding the three and it was thrown out the window, but we were doing a good job. I thought we really defended well, we rebounded well, which the numbers obviously indicate, so it was good to see it put out there on the floor. It was a very good job by our guys. (Duquesne) really shoots the ball well at four and sometimes five spots on the floor, so it’s hard to guard. But it was a good improvement by us in that area, and the rebounding, obviously, the numbers were tremendous. I thought we were very good offensively in the second half. We were not as good in the first half. We rushed and forced some things, but we learned from it and got better. I joked with the guys that we’re going to do some layup practice. I thought we missed a lot of layups today, especially early. It’s not often you have a team shoot 53-percent from three and then shoot, I think, 33-percent from inside three. But there were a lot of good things for us, a very important win for us.” 

On the performance of guard Tray Woodall tonight:

“I thought he was tremendous, it might have been the best game he’s played. I thought he played good defense too. He played good help-defense, which is really the thing that we need most from him. We have a lot of guys that can score, but I think that he really took good shots, and he made some good plays at the end of the game too. It seemed like he got out on it a little more and made some penetration, I was a little surprised when he had the two assists. He had a real nice drive at the end when he dumped it off to (Steven Adams), just patience against the zone.  But the other thing too, we were really good against the zone. They went to the zone and we really picked it apart, obviously that was an emphasis the last couple of days. We needed to improve in that area.” 

On the aggressive play of Steven Adams tonight:

“I don’t know if it is aggression, aggression’s gotten him some fouls too. We worked on some things with rebounding and we emphasized some things, it’s a new world for him in so many ways. He’s had some moments like how he played today. He’s a great kid. People will say, ‘why’d he miss the layups?’  We got nine offensive rebounds.  It’s never going to be enough. We understand that and I’ve explained that to him. He’s going to get better and has gotten better. He’s fun to have on the team.” 

On the impact of Steven Adams’ play in tonight’s game:

“He can run the floor, he can finish, but he really needs to improve and we knew that going into this. We want to play through him. I thought he made some real nice passes with a couple of assists passing out of the post. Once we got the ball and didn’t get an initial break, we wanted to get the ball inside, and I thought made some good passes out of the post to guys for open shots.” 

On Tray Woodall sharing his role at point guard with freshman James Robinson:

“I think the most important thing is that it’s not that big of a change. It’s not that big of a deal. He’s always played off the ball in some plays, he’s always knew both positions. It’s not as big of a deal, but speaking to the whole thing, his attitude and commitment to having a great senior year has been exactly what you want out of a fifth-year senior. He’s made an effort to become a better defensive player and still needs to get better at it, but it was a good defensive day for him. I’m excited about it. I liked how he played, especially down the stretch when we had the big lead. He continued to take good shots, and to me, that was a real good thing to see.” 

On Tray Woodall’s shot-selection when playing off the ball:

“It’s just him getting better. This is a good offensive team right now that’s getting better, but of course, we only shot 38-percent today. But our numbers, as much as I point to what we haven’t done, we’ve had the number-one offensive efficiency team if you look at certain stats that really reflect what you’re doing offensively. We’ve been up there every year among the best in the country over the last five or six years, but this team can be really good. We have three guys that can really pass on the perimeter, guys that can come off the bench and really pass and get other guys shots, and that’s unique. I think that’s something we can build off of. If you talk about Tray (Woodall), James (Robinson) and Lamar (Patterson) with unbelievable assist-to-turnover ratios, and I think that’s where it starts.” 

On his thoughts regarding the City Game tradition:

“I think it’s tremendous and I think we had a great crowd. If you look at games across the country, middle-of-the-week games, there’s very few that have 13,000 to 16,000 (in attendance). I think that says a lot, that’s really all you need to know. It’s important to us and it’s important to them, and I think they played like it. Both teams were diving on the floor playing hard.” 

Quoting Pitt guard Tray Woodall

On Pitt’s defensive success: 

“We tried to make sure we got ball pressure and made sure everybody was on the help side.  Our coaches did a great job of scouting.  We just wanted to make sure that everything we went over in our workouts and pre-games we executed and I think defensively that’s what we did.”

On what Steven Adams’ rebounding did for the team: 

“It is great to see him go out and get rebounds.  He is one of those guys that do it a lot in practice and we know what he is capable of.  I’m glad he’s becoming more comfortable going out and being an attacker to get rebounds.  We emphasize to him to bring down rebounds with two hands.  It was great to see him go out there and get rebounds.  He is one of those guys that can do it on a consistent basis.  That boosted us a lot.”

On his own shooting success: 

“I have gotten consistent hours in the gym.  Early on in my career, I knew I wasn’t going to shoot many shots.  I didn’t work on many things because I knew I wasn’t going to shoot much.  Now I take a lot more shots and I want to make sure I shoot a lot more in my workouts.  I try to make sure I’m ready to knock down shots and make sure my body is in shape to do it consistently.”

Quoting Pitt forward Lamar Patterson 

On getting the ball to Tray Woodall when he’s hot:

“We like to feed the hot hand and he had it today.  He was hitting shots.  It was part of our game plan.” 

On the meaning of the City Game:

“It means a lot.   We see these guys around town all the time.  We play summer ball with them.  We are constantly playing against them and playing with them.  There is a little trash talking here and there but it’s fun and good for the whole city to come out and watch both of the teams play.” 

Quoting Duquesne Head Coach Jim Ferry

Opening statement: 

“I thought we played extremely hard today.  We defended pretty well for 30 minutes; we were able to hold Pitt to 38 percent.  We just didn’t play well.  We played very hard, just not very well.  If you’re going to win this game, you have to out-rebound Pitt and we didn’t do that today.”

On getting out-rebounded by 16: 

“It was disappointing.  When you have guys on the team getting one or two rebounds, we needed a better effort from the team.  For you guys that cover us, you can see it (rebounding) has been a major effort for us this year.  I think Pitt is an exceptional rebounding team; it’s what they do.”

On first experience in the City Game: 

“We lost.  I don’t feel very good.  It’s a great environment and a great game for the city.  I read something today that Jamie (Dixon) said ‘This game has to be played.’  Especially with what’s going on in college basketball with everybody flip-flopping leagues, this game has to be played.  It’s a great game for the city.  People take a lot of pride for their city and I really respect that and look forward to being involved in this for a long time.”

On the play of the freshmen: 

“I don’t think it had anything to do with the stage.  I thought it had to do with Pitt’s defense.  We could have played this game in a parking lot somewhere; it’s not the stage.  Pitt is a really good team.  We played Georgetown a couple of weeks ago and Georgetown is ranked in the top 25; this team (Pitt) is significantly better than Georgetown in my eyes.”

On Tray Woodall playing off-the-ball: 

“I think he is doing a great job.  I’ve seen Tray play in Brooklyn.  I’m happy for him and the fact that he has accepted the role of playing off the ball is great and he is doing a fantastic job.  Now he is a threat.”

Quoting Duquesne guard Sean Johnson 

On giving Tray Woodall too much room for three–pointers:

“We were helping off too much on him and he was getting his shot off real quickly.  We were just helping off too much on him and by the time we closed out, his shot was off.” 

On how this Pitt team compares to past Pitt teams:

“This team is more of a rebound team.  We didn’t rebound too well today, but in previous games we have, and we shot poorly today.  I still think we can beat this team, but it is what it is.” 

On the transition from Coach Ron Everhart to Coach Jim Ferry:

“I think I’m digesting it really well so far.  It is pretty much the same, but Coach Ferry is more of a defensive coach and he works on the details of defense and the little things, and it shows.” 

Quoting Duquesne guard Jerry Jones

On progress necessary to match up to bigger basketball programs: 

“That was the game plan going in, running the glass would give us a good chance to win, although the rebound differential wasn’t what we wanted it to be. We’ve just got to go back in the lab and keep working getting better and using this as motivation for the next one.”

On whether Duquesne’s shooting struggles were a result of Pitt’s defense or the atmosphere: 

“I wouldn’t say the atmosphere got to us, it was just a couple bounces that didn’t go our way.  We just have to continue staying in the gym and getting better from here and I think our shooting will pick up eventually as the season progresses.”

Quoting Duquesne forward Quevyn Winters 

On how this game will help freshmen down the road:

“It definitely helps down the road.  It gives us more experience, makes us more mature and it helps us to take this loss as motivation to get back in the gym. We know what we have to work on next time if this opportunity permits.”

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