Dec. 31, 2012
No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 24 Pitt, Petersen Events Center, December 31, 2012
No. 8 Cincinnati 70, No. 24 Pitt 61
Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon
"Tale of two halves, I guess. Up eight and then totally get outplayed in the second half. That's something that we usually don't do. Year after year we seem to come out in the second half and finish what we started. Give credit to Cincinnati. They played hard. They made their free throws. They outrebounded us by nine, I think, in the second half. And knocked down shots and really beat us off the dribble, which is something we did a good job of in the first half. So, disappointing in every way. They're a good team, a very good team, but I think we are a better team than what we played the second half. We're going to have to get to work and get back to work and figure it out. I think it's a number of things, the rebounding, the defense, the missed free throws. They made theirs. And by guys who are good free throw shooters; so, somewhat strange that that occurred. Just kind of all add it up and they come away with the win. It's on us. We didn't get it done. I didn't get it done. We are going to get to work to learn from it and get better for it and become a better team. But, we've got a lot of work to do, as I've been saying all the way through and again, we've known that for awhile."
On Cincinnati's size giving them problems:
"Well, it didn't in the first half. We're up four. Second half, we obviously got outrebounded by nine, like I said. So, it did. I think there was obviously the stretch where we played zone and that turned into rebounds for them. It's something. I don't know, I feel like we're a better rebounding team than we should be. We have guards that rebound pretty well. We have big guys that put up numbers. We simply didn't get it done when we had to. I don't know how you go from, again up four to down nine in the second half. That's a dramatic change. But, the long rebounds were theirs and finishes, too. They got drives. I think some of our defense led to that. I think our defense allowed them to drive. Forced us to rotate and put us out of position, as well. So, it's something we have been working on, emphasizing, and for the most part, the first half, we did a good job against a good rebounding team. But, second half obviously the numbers show the difference."
On if the way Cincinnati plays wore them down:
"I don't know. With the foul trouble, our guys didn't play a lot of minutes, our guards. So, when you look at James [Robinson] and Tray [Woodall], they played 27, 25 minutes. So, I don't know. That was a concern coming in. But, obviously if we kept the minutes down, that was something that I thought we would handle. I thought there were times when we didn't attack in the second half, as much as we did. But, it started a lot from our defense. We couldn't get stops, so we couldn't get transition baskets that we were getting in the first half. But, they played a lot of guys, as did we. They were obviously an aggressive team and they were able to sustain that for the entire game."
On how the sequence at the end of the game, where Cincinnati got two offensive rebounds and then scored, shortened the last few minutes of the game:
"It did. A close game, obviously, and hopefully at home you can make a play. And, obviously it was about a two and a half minute possession, really. It's long rebounds that we simply didn't get. But, that goes back to the rebounding thing, again, that put us in that position. So, the numbers are obvious to me and I don't know how, again, you can come out in the first half and outrebound by four and get outrebounded by nine in the second half. That's a big turnaround and in a low possession game, that's a big number."
On when Steven Adam's picked up two fouls in a row:
"Their back-up came in and played well. He made some big plays. That's something that you need to do when you get in that situation and he did. They continued to drive us and get second shots and make free throws. They went 16-19 in the second half from the free throw line. They outscored us by 10 from the free throw line. That was something that we have to avoid. We can't be in that position. They got the rebounds. They made the plays. And we didn't in the second half. We had opportunities. Even with our defensive break downs, we still had opportunities, but didn't do it. You've got to make some shots, too. You go 0-10 from three. I thought they were good shots. That's something that sticks out. I thought we had some open looks that we didn't knock down. We just, simply, didn't get it done."
On not attacking us much in the second half:
"We were saying to attack. We thought there were some opportunities. But, sometimes you've got guys that you want to attack and sometimes there's guys that handle. I thought we did in the first half a little bit more aggressively, but we wanted to go on the back end of some and we did in the first half; didn't seem to get as many in the second half. I'm surprised by that, because we were fresh. I thought with the minutes, how it worked out, the guys in foul trouble, it shouldn't have been a fatigue issue down the stretch or even the entire second half. But, it was. We didn't get lay-ups. We obviously shot a much lower percentage. I was surprised by that."
On the physicality of the game:
"They're a very physical team. I think there's no question about that. It's pretty obvious. They're old. They're fifth year seniors, they're fourth year juniors. So, they're an experienced team. They've played a lot together. They've grown together. We knew that coming in. We've been talking about that and drilling that. We've got to learn to be physical without fouling. That's what we've got to do. It's something that we've been constantly talking about and looking to do as we go forward. This reflects that and I think the rebounding numbers reflect that. We seemed more aggressive in the first half. Maybe the fouls got us less aggressive in the second half. I don't know. I don't think that should be the case."
"Steve had the nine rebounds and obviously was in foul trouble. I thought he did some good things. We ran a lot of sets to get him the ball. But, we didn't execute well enough. We didn't get the ball to him in the right spot, inside. So, again, no shots from him. And, James battled, played well. I thought he did some real good things for us. But, at the end of the day we've got to get more lay-ups, we've got to make more free throws and knock down some threes."
Quoting Pitt guard Tray Woodall:
On if it was difficult to match the intensity of Cincinnati:
"No, I don't think so. I just think they got to some of the loose ball quicker than us. It was a hard fought game. It wasn't difficult to match their intensity, they are an intense team, but we are too."
On whether it was deflating for Cincinnati guard Cashmere Wright to hit all those contested shots?
"Every move that he executed was what we worked on in practice or what Coach (Brandon) Knight brought up in scouting, so he did a great job scouting him. We just have to do a better job of defending him. He made all the shots we thought he would take, and yes it was deflating."
"I think both of those guys played tough, exactly how we expected them to play. I think all of us, as a team, didn't have a great game. Those guys came out in their first (conference) game and played intense. The best is definitely yet to come for the both of those guys."
Quoting Pitt forward Lamar Patterson:
On what Cincinnati did differently in the second half to make it difficult on Pitt:
"We didn't come out the way we should have. I'm not going to doubt our toughness, but I felt like they were the tougher team today."
Quoting Pitt guard Cameron Wright:
On if Pitt switching to a zone defense was effective:
"Yes it was. We were executing on defense in man-to-man and also in zone. We just needed to get the loose balls and we didn't do that, but it doesn't come down to one play. We had opportunities to win this game."
On what Cincinnati did with their man-to-man defense in the second half to give Pitt so many problems:
"We didn't' necessarily have problems, we executed on defense. We just needed to connect on the rebounds. Rebounding is obviously a huge part of the game. I don't have a stat sheet in front of me, but it's not hard to tell we got out-rebounded."
Quoting Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
"Obviously we're pleased with the victory. Not many people win here, and I don't think many people are going to win here this year. Pitt's a very different basketball team than it was a year ago. We were well aware of that. We're a much better team than we were a year ago as well. Our kids showed a lot of togetherness today. My biggest fear when we come here is always not being able to score early in the game. This is our first true road game because UNLV was upset when we were slated to play it. We ended up playing Oregon, which is a really good team, and it was a great game, but I was really concerned. We played Marshall in Charleston, which is obviously not the same as Huntington. So, I was concerned with it being our first road game. We were able to hang in there and stay close until we could get some shots to start falling. As Cash(mere Wright) alluded to, we play our bench, speed and quickness and never flinch. No matter what the score was, we didn't flinch. We kept playing."
On David Nyarsuk's contribution:
"That was huge. He's a confident guy, and he's not afraid. If you could bottle that in every recruit, that's all I would go after. You just don't know until you get a guy. He's not the strongest guy, but he doesn't run from contact."
On the difference in the guards' play in the second half:
"Pitt's a great defensive team. Its help is always where it's supposed to be. Once we slowed down and got the matchup we wanted and the spacing we wanted, we tried to attack Pitt one-on-one more than with set plays because Pitt is the best on defending set offenses."
"James Robinson plays like he's 30. I say that as a compliment. Very poised. To play the game against us and have only one turnover the way we come after you is impressive. He's impressive on film. It doesn't surprise me with his background. He's the winningest player ever at DeMatha Catholic. That's enough for me. Steven Adams had nine rebounds. He's a big, strong guy. His offensive game, I'm sure will develop in time. We obviously struggled to box him out."