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Dec. 31, 2013

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Albany at Pitt, Petersen Events Center, December 31, 2013

Pitt 58, Albany 46


Quoting Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon

Opening Statement:

“There was a great crowd. I thought our guys came out playing hard and did some good things. The shooting was not there for us today but we did do some things we wanted to do. We got our rebounding under control and held them to 31 percent. We took care of the ball until the end. We got a 16 point lead and did some good things. No one feels great about how we played but you have to give them credit. They are a team that went to the NCAA’s last year and will be at the top of their league. They are an experienced team. They are patient, big, strong, well-coached and schooled in what they need to do. They really sagged. We talked about their defense, how they would be in the lane and almost daring us to shoot. We never quite got going shooting wise. We will learn from it. We did good things. I was excited about playing because of how hard we practiced this week and the improvements we made. Some of it showed today but not as much as I wanted. We are 12-1 going into conference play and that’s where we are at. It’s been an emotional game with Aron [Nwankwo] and the passing of this mother this morning. We had a lot going on but we did what we needed to do but now we get ready for our first conference game.”


On playing at a slower pace:

“I thought we were fine with it today. We didn’t make some shots. We had the big lead. We have to recognize their patience and we need to stay patient defensively. We have to be prepared to be patient. Making shots would help that and also making free throws early. It wasn’t our best performance and we understand that. We have to go to work and do a better job. Albany had a lot to do with it. I give them a lot of credit.”


On if he got what he wanted out of non-conference play:

“It was good for us in a lot of ways. You play through it. We are better now than we were. We have seen our guys in situations. We have five new guys out of ten. They have to play some basketball. We have to see them play and put them in positions. We had a lot to learn and still have a lot to learn. That isn’t over at this point. We have a lot of things to improve upon.  Our defense got better. I think our numbers indicate that. We have had games where we have played well offensively and some where we haven’t.”


On Lamar Patterson reaching the 1000 point mark:

“You have seen the best of his career and you are seeing a great senior year. That’s what you want to see. He has had remarkable improvement in many areas. He didn’t have his best game today but he still did a lot of good things. I think he’s gotten better for us as a defender. He does a lot of things for us offensively. The 1000 points is a milestone but he’s had a terrific 13 games for us and we need him to lead us.”


On what he wants out of Lamar Patterson for the remainder of the season:

“What he’s already doing. He needs to stay consistent. Offensively there are going to be some games where he won’t score as much but he’s getting shots and getting other players shots. I thought his shot selection was good.”


Quoting Pitt forward Lamar Patterson


On being sluggish:

“That is the way Albany played, to slow us down. It is just one of those games where you are happy to get out with a win.”


On reaching 1,000 points today:

“It feels good. I have been around long enough, so it was a good accomplishment.”


On recapping non-conference season:

“It was good. We got a lot of good things out of it, but we also learned what we need to do to be a better team. I think the biggest one is rebounding and our defense. That is something we are going to continue to build off of as the season goes on. We finished 12-1, but should have finished 13-0. We know how to build now and work off previous games so we will be fine.”


On the close score near the end of the game:

“I was surprised but they were hitting shots. We weren’t really shooting the ball well from outside and they were. That was Albany’s game plan, to slow us down so it was hard for us to kick out and that is how we played. They did a good job and we did a great job of closing out the game.”


On Cameron Wright’s progression:

“I knew Cameron had it in him the whole time. He works hard. We are usually in the gym together and I see how hard he works. I am happy for his success. Just by his numbers this year, it is showing what hard work can do for you. We haven’t seen the best of Cameron yet, so be ready for that.”


On their style of speeding up the game:

“In the summertime we had been doing a lot of conditioning and running. That is what we expected coming in. We have athletic guys. I think this is the most athletic group of guys I have played on. We like to play up and down. We are at our best when we get going and get inside. We are able to hit jump shots when teams are way off. We have to get better with slow teams and taking our time, finding open shots and knocking them down. [Cameron Wright] did a great job of that today.”


On being prepared for the ACC:

“I feel that we are prepared. We still have a long way to go until we can say we are conformable and ready. But we will be able to just get out there and get a feel for it. Coach will definitely have us ready for when Saturday comes along.”


Quoting Pitt guard Cameron Wright


On him gaining the lead before halftime:

“I have to give credit to my teammates. I like roaming the baseline a lot, and they know that. They do a great job of getting me open. I was able to knock down some open shots today.”


On being comfortable on the baseline:

“I really cannot explain it, I just like it. I’m quick and my big guys do a great job of screening, and because of that I am wide open.”


On shooting 0% in first half and 90% in second half from foul line:

“That was one of those bizarre things. It was a weird day. That’s the great thing about it is we picked it up in the end and turned the game around.”


On Lamar Patterson’s four year progress to 1,000 points:

“Everything he has accomplished he deserves it. He works so hard every day. That includes summer, whenever it counts. A lot of things go unnoticed. You see the game play for forty minutes but you don’t see the everyday grind, the lifting weights and running suicides on your own. That is what Lamar does and I am extremely proud of him. He deserves everything.”


On evolving into the role of an all-around player:

“I will just take it one step at a time. I definitely feel myself getting better. I am confident out there and my teammates provide a lot of confidence for me. I am surrounded by a great group of guys. Whether it is passing, rebounding, scoring, or defending, I am willing to do anything for my teammates.


On struggling from shooting beyond the arc:

“Shots will fall. It is a part of the game. I definitely would not call it a concern. It is what we do every day. We get in the gym and we work harder when we are not doing that well. We have a lot of great shooters on this team so I am not concerned about that at all.”


Head Coach Will Brown

Opening Statement:

“I thought our guys played extremely hard. Coach Dixon is a good friend of mine. I didn’t think he was going to pull out his inner Jim Boeheim and go 2-3 zone against us. The zone bothered us in the first half. We haven’t seen a lot of zone this year and I though the zone was the difference. We got passive, we didn’t attack it. They’ve got good length and are active in the zone. The second half, after we got down 16, we settled down. We attacked the zone and got good looks. We were much more efficient. We are an opportunistic three point shooting team. Fifteen 3’s is problem five or six too many for us. We had to take some jump shots against a BCS school. We have to work really hard to manufacture offense. They made us work and I thought the zone was a big reason for that. Our guys executed our game plan. We wanted long possessions. We wanted to force their guys to shoot the ball from the perimeter. We didn’t rebound the ball as well as I would like. We wanted to make them a jump shooting team and we felt the more jump shots they had to take, the better off we’d be. They passed up a lot of jump shots to get easier shots. They are good. Jamie [Dixon] is one of the best in the country, runs a great program built on defense, rebounding and toughness. Our guys gave a great effort today.”


On the game being so close late in the second half:

“No, I was not surprised. I was furious we were down ten at the half. Then we got down 16 early in the second half. We came here to win the game. We felt we had to play extremely well win this game. We thought we could win this game as long as a couple of their guys, who are not known as shooters, didn’t come out and make shots. If we had done a better job in the first half against the zone, we would have been in good shape. The last couple minutes of the game we felt we had a chance to win. We needed to make one or two more plays. The better team won. We came in with the mindset that if we did certain things, we’d have the chance to beat them.”


On their team improvement since their last visit to Pittsburgh:

“We have embraced who we are. We have to beat you the old fashioned way. If you take away the three point line, we would be really good. Take away the shot clock, we would be tremendous. Right now, we have to work really hard and play inside out. At our level, the guy next to me [Sam Rowley] is terrific, he is outstanding. We played Pitt all that length in double teaming. That bothers us. The new rules benefit us against the non BCS schools. We are aggressive, we attack the rim and we throw the ball inside. Defensively, we are one of the best in the country at not fouling. We are going to be just fine in our league. We are the defending champions in our league and we take great pride in that.”


On how Pitt will do in the ACC:

“Top four. You got North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, and Pitt. Those are the four best teams in the ACC, in my opinion. I watch every league in the country at all hours and I drive my wife crazy with it. I’ve seen all these teams play. Anytime you defend and rebound at a high level consistently, whether you are good offensively or you have great shooting, you are going to be in games- even when you do not play well.  That is the thing with Pitt. Pitt is never going to be out of a game because they defend and rebound. They should be undefeated. I don’t know why they are not in the top 25, I guess you could say schedule. Pitt is a team that nobody is going to enjoy playing against.”

Post-Game Quotesheet

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