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Dec. 21, 2007

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Pitt vs. Duke, December 20, 2007


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


On Mike Cook and tonight's game:


"I apologize. I was talking to Mike Cook's mom and trying to figure what we are going to do. This was a bittersweet victory. We don't think this is good for Mike (Cook) so we are trying to figure out what to do. I can't say enough about our players. Mike (Cook) has been a leader for our team. Levance (Fields) is his best friend. When he went down we said we were going to win this game for Mike and his best friend hit that shot. I can't say enough about the heart of this team because we didn't play well early. I am very proud of this team."


On the first half:


"I think it was a couple of different things. We were fortunate to be down by 12 at halftime, the way we played. We played hard, but we didn't play our game. We talked about being a smartest team in the second half. We played hard all the way through, that is what we do. The defense tightened up a little big but it was really the offense. We felt if we got field goal attempts we could hurt them on the offensive boards because they play small."


On Levance Fields' game winning shot:


"That is what we ran. Set play. I called the timeout. I felt he was getting great looks. They had a hard time guarding him and keeping him in front (of them). With the coaches afterward, we talked about him hitting that shot a hundred times. Him hitting his shot going left. It felt pretty comfortable for me and it looked like it felt pretty comfortable for him."


On the play of DeJuan Blair:


"The guy has the tools and he has the hands. He has energy. He plays hard. He is getting better, 20 rebounds tonight. Like I said earlier, there were nine guards out there and he is the biggest guy. His job is to rebound. He is another guy that everyone thought was too small and maybe not good enough (but) I like him."


On the importance of this game:


"To me, not much difference. To you guys probably more and to the fans, probably more. I didn't think this game was going to make or break us. I think seven years speak volumes compared to this one game but at the same time we knew everyone was watching. That is why our kids wanted to play it. You guys can make the judgment. I knew our guys would compete and battle when it came down to it. I saw that I knew tonight."


Quoting Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski


Opening Comments:


"First off, I want to congratulate Pitt and (Levance) Fields. He made a big shot. We need to congratulate them. That is a big-time play. I thought they played tougher than we did. We just didn't have the energy that we have displayed most of the season. I think some of it is because Pitt is good. They play hard and they are never going to give up. There was something missing for us. Finishes were difficult for us. Finishes including the free throw line. You just need to convert a higher percentage if you are going to beat a good team. Hopefully we will learn from it. This team has been a really fun team to coach. I really like my team. Pitt took over that game after about 12 minutes in that second half with their persistent toughness, which is their trademark. They are a winning group."


On the second half:


"There are going to be swings in games when you have two good teams playing against one another. I just think they just didn't stop playing defense. They score four points at the end of the half and we didn't get a shot. That is a poor way to end a half. We needed to start the second half better but we just didn't. The end of the first half and the start of the second half gave them an opening which they seized because they are good."


On the rebounding margin:


"They just wanted it more. In the first half we did a good job on defensive boards. In the second half they just took it over. We had some guys that played and didn't have a rebound. The other thing is just our turnovers. We had 11, I think in the first half. We just got ahead of ourselves."


More on tonight's game:


"I am not just disappointed, I am very disappointed. You come here; you are playing in the Garden against a really good team, an outstanding program. We should have had more energy and toughness. Sometimes you get punished in the toughest ways because you are not deserving. You are teased and then you are hit. The game has a way of doing that to you and tonight that is what happened to us. We didn't lose it on the last play, we lost it throughout. It is not one man's responsibility, we are all to blame."


On Pitt:


"I would think they would get it. Jamie (Dixon) winning 25 to 30 games a year and if someone doesn't get it and send them a note. They are very good. They show up to play hard every game. They are very well coached, good style, good kids. They play hard. They believe they are going to win and that is how they are supposed to play."


Post-Game Quotesheet

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