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Dec. 9, 2009

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Pitt vs. Indiana, Jimmy V Classic, Madison Square Garden

December 8, 2009


Quoting Pittsburgh Head Coach Jamie Dixon


On tonight’s game:


“Well, obviously, congratulations to Indiana.  It was great to be a part of this event…the Jimmy V Classic.  We had great success last time we were a part of this and tonight we didn’t.  We got really what we deserve, we didn’t play well and Indiana did.  I was happy we outrebounded them but at the same time we didn’t do too many other things as well as we had hoped going in.  We have some work to do, we understand, our players understand and we have to get ready for our next one Saturday and show some improvement. We have to execute better offensively, we have to take better shots, we have to guard the dribble better and we have to defend and contend shots better than we are doing right now…and stop fouling.  That is our responsibility and we have to take actions to change that.”


On the offense:


“We have to attack better.  I think we get in a hold, we get down and then we have to get a little more patient.  We get impatient against a zone.  I thought we missed some lay-ups.  Ultimately, we are relying too much on jump shots and not getting enough stuff to the rim.  We had 21 offensive rebounds and yet I don’t feel like we got many put-backs and that is something we have to do.”


On the team:


“We lost some guys and we also have some guys out so you throw that stuff together.  We have lost guys before.  Those aren’t excuses.  No matter who we have, we have to play better than we played tonight so I don’t buy that.  We have played better than this and we should have played better.”


On Ashton Gibbs


“I don’t think we are relying on him.  We are not attacking the zone well enough and we are not running the offense well enough.  We have to do other things better.  Travon (Woodall) got into some foul trouble.  He didn’t play as much as I wanted him to play.  Both of those guys have to defend better.  They are a freshman and a sophomore and I think both of those guys learned something tonight.”


On Indiana:


“I think they did a good job of taking us off the dribble.  They got some scores inside from the big guys.  They got to the free-throw line.  They get to the free-throw line a lot but they also foul a lot and put guys on the free-throw line.  Our goal was to get to the free-throw line.  They outscored us by 13 from the free-throw line and they outscored us by 10.  When you look at the stats of their opponents, their opponents are outshooting them at the free-throw line and we didn’t do that tonight.  The zone and how they defended early put us in that situation.”


Quoting Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean


On tonight’s game:


“First and foremost, our players, the way they work, the way they compete, I think everyone got a chance to see that tonight. More than anything else they needed something to really go right for them. They needed a signature win for themselves. And it’s a great win in the sense that we’re beating a very good basketball team, a storied program, one of the greatest winning programs in the NCAA over the last seven, eight or nine years, since Ben Howland and Jamie (Dixon) have been there, and in an incredible venue. But most importantly, these guys were so focused on doing the right thing; they were so focused on defense. We didn’t always do the right things, but it’s going to be a lot more fun to have teachable moments after a win. So I’m really proud of the way that they played. They needed to see why they practiced twice on Thanksgiving, why they do individual instructions, why the demands are the way that they are. And I think they’ll be able to build off this and this will help springboard us to other things. I thought we got a lot of excellent basketball from a lot of different people.”


On play of Verdell Jones and Jeremiah Rivers:


“Two guys that really stand out to me… because of the injuries that they had over the weekend are Verdell Jones and Jeremiah Rivers. For those two to play the way that they did, with Verdell’s ankle and Jeremiah’s back, for those guys to just absolutely play on pure guts, I thought that was great. I think that’s something that’s going to really serve them as well.”


On sophomore guard Verdell Jones:


“He’s getting stronger. He’s gained 20-plus pounds since he’s been with us. He’s an excellent mid-range player. He’s not even scratching the surface of where he’ll be. He’s got to continue to rebound better and understand what he’s got to do defensively, but he’s got a real knack for scoring. To see the strength in a year’s time gives us a lot of hope for what our program will be as we build it. Because here’s a guy, he doesn’t look strong by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s no way that a year ago this time he’d even be close to being in the lane like he is right now. So he’s made a lot of progress. He’s as improved a player as we had on our team last year from start to finish and I think he’s got a lot ahead of him.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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