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Dec. 19, 2009

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Mount St. Mary’s at Pitt, December 19, 2009, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement:


“Mount Saint Mary’s is a quality team. They won their conference two years ago and finished second last year, so they’re used to winning and they’re going to win a lot of games this year because of their quickness, experience and the fact that they’re well coached. I thought we did some positive things. We cut down our turnovers and we held them to 31 percent shooting from the field. But, I still think we can play better. We haven’t played our best basketball yet and I believe that we will. Brad Wannamaker has been playing really well, he’s been more patient and he’s letting his game come to him. Jermaine Dixon showed improvement and he’s going to be back to where he was very shortly. We’re headed in the right direction with him.”


On this past week’s practices:


“We focused a lot on ourselves. We didn’t watch a lot of film, mostly everything we did was out on the floor. We only had so much time during finals week, so it was good to focus on things such as our defense and turnovers. I thought we played solid defense today and we cut down the number of turnovers. We still had a few careless ones that we can still cut down on.”


On the team:


“We’re a new team starting tomorrow. Gilbert Brown comes back, we have Jermaine back and showing improvement, and we have seven new guys that are continuing to get better. It’s a unique situation. Critics say that a team can’t be good in this situation, but I believe we can be good and that’s what I tell the guys. I wake up and I know that it’s going to start clicking for us. We’re progressing as the year goes on and that’s what we want to see. We’ll play it by ear with Gilbert, but we’ll continue to evolve. We set our standards high and we’re going to continue to strive for them.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On his play:


“Today my shot selection was better and they were falling for me. Throughout practice, coach stressed to us about our turnovers and our defense and I thought we played our best defensive game and we cut down our turnovers. We just have to keep taking what we’ve done in practice with us to the game.”


On the return of Gilbert Brown:


“It will be good to get Gilbert back because he can show the younger guys some things. He’s been around and it will be good to have another leader. I know he’ll come back and fit in right away.”


On Pitt’s next game against Ohio:


“Being our last game before Big East play, we want to focus on having a complete game, where we get everything right with our shots, rebounds, turnovers and defense.”


Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs


On his play:


“I started out at point guard today and that was something that we practiced this week. I got used to it. It doesn’t matter what position I play, I’ll play wherever my team needs me and today I had the opportunity at point guard and I took advantage of it.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gary McGhee


On his play:


“Coached emphasized the concept of defense and crashing the glass. I was seeing that a lot of shots come off the glass and if I got the rebounds I could put back more shots. Today we outrebounded them by 14.”


On this past week’s practices:


“We had a good week of practice. This is our last game before Big East play, so it was good to go hard. We needed it for a tough stretch of games coming up.”


Quoting Mount St. Mary’s Head Coach Milan Brown


Opening Statement:


“That was a tough game. I liked our intensity. We came up short on a couple of plays. We didn’t do what we needed to do to beat a team of their caliber. I thought that their backcourt hurt us. Those guys made some tough shots. I was happy with our effort, but not the result.”


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


“They definitely closed out the half. When that happens, it always hurts you. It’s always been said that you have a chance to win if you can win the first five minutes and the last five minutes of each half. We didn’t do that. We never made them feel uncomfortable about the game.”


On the play of Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker:


“I think from watching the tape and from seeing them live, it’s two-fold. It isn’t just them being patient, making good cuts, and taking good shots. It’s also their teammates getting them the ball and setting good screens.”


On Ashton Gibbs switching between point guard and shooting guard:


“I think when Gibb’s moved back over to the two, he was more at his comfort level. He did make a couple early baskets, but when he was playing at shooting guard, I think that he looked more comfortable. He will be fine sliding over to the point guard position, though. When you are a good basketball player, you can make adjustments. I’m pretty sure he will.”

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