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March 14, 2010


No. 3 seed Pitt, Pittsburgh, Pa., March 14, 2010


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon


Opening Statement


“I’ve seen film on Oakland when they played Syracuse and I watched them play a little in the Summit League championship. From what I’ve gathered, they have size and they’re well coached. Oakland also won their conference, so they have experience.  We’re familiar with them from a tournament we played in 2005. They were smaller and athletic then and that’s not the case now. I have four sets of film to watch on them later. We just have to get ready. I’m excited that we have the opportunity this week to get better as well as playing in Milwaukee. From what I know it’s the second closest site and being that we’re playing on Friday, hopefully we’ll get more fans and it should be good for us.”


On the West bracket:


“I don’t really know the rest of the bracket right now. I just know we play Oakland. After we were announced, I got the guys together and went over some of our plans. I haven’t even thought about the rest of the bracket but it’s something that we’ll hopefully get to.”


On playing in Milwaukee:


“Travel sometimes can be a pressing issue, but I told our players it shouldn’t matter where or who we play.  We just have to be ready to play and not let travel be a factor.  We’re used to playing on Thursday, but this year we drew Friday. We get to rest and that’s a good thing. We’re going to practice and get better this week and work on some of those missing details. Our guys want to get out there and compete. They showed that today in practice.”


On the Big East Tournament:


“That was last week and a lot of teams lost, especially in the Big East. What matters is what we do this week.  It’s more important than the past three months.”


On getting past the first game:


“We’ve been to the Sweet Sixteen numerous times, so something like that shows our success rate in those first games. We just have to play well every game and try to win. What matters to us is that everyone is healthy, so we can get to work and get better this week.”


Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs


On Pitt getting a three seed:


“It’s something we expected a little bit. Either a three, four, or maybe a five. It’s something we’ve got to work with. I think our bracket is a tough bracket, but at the same time we if we play our game each and every day, we’ll be fine.”

On Oakland:


“They are a team who has pretty good size. They are in a good conference. So, it’s going to be a tough game. Anybody can be beaten at any given time in the NCAA tournament. You have to come with it every day. “


On Chase Adam’s having previously played against Oakland:


“Chase was actually talking about them as soon as he found out who we were playing. He said that they were pretty good, very versatile. They have good guards and a good big man. He said they have good size as well. It’s going to be a tough game, but we just have to execute in practice and carry that over to the game.”


Quoting Pitt’s Jermaine Dixon


On what went wrong in the Notre Dame game:


“We didn’t play defensively the way we were supposed to. We know that we have to be ready to play 35 seconds of defense.”


On if the coaches emphasized maximizing offensive possessions:


We came down played defense for 30 seconds and then came back on the offensive end and took a quick shot. We need to move the ball better than we did and take better shots.”


On Oakland:

“I know that they have a big man that’s supposed to be pretty good. He averages 17 points and 10 rebounds. We’ll learn more about them tomorrow at practice.”


On Pitt playing Oakland in 2005:


“Coach Dixon told us that Pitt has played them before. He didn’t go into the game. He’ll do more of that tomorrow. He gave us some basic stuff about them.”


On the similarities of this draw (potentially facing Xavier again, playing in Milwaukee, the possibility of meeting a Big East rival in the Elite 8):


“We aren’t even trying to look that far ahead. We have to think about one game at a time. We can’t look ahead and slip up on Oakland or they will get us. We know who the possible next teams we could face are, but we aren’t looking that far ahead.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gilbert Brown


On the similarities of this draw (potentially facing Xavier again, playing in Milwaukee, the possibility of meeting a Big East rival in the Elite 8):


“Just being in this position before and seeing some of same teams that we’ve played before like Xavier, and even Oakland, I really think it’s an advantage to us in terms of scouting. We can get a great feel and get a good scouting report and get things done that we need to in practice, because we already have a familiarity with these teams. I really think it’s a favorable match-up for us.”


On Oakland:


“We know what type of game it’s going to be. Every game in the NCAA tournament is a critical one. It’s win or go home. Each team is going to bring their “A” game and play as best as they can. So, I think that we really have to lock in and focus on this first game against Oakland. I know that they are going to be ready to play.”


Quoting Pitt’s Brad Wanamaker


On Pitt playing Oakland in 2005:


“We played against them before. I wasn’t here. I was a senior in high school. They have the same coach. Coach Dixon still remembers some things about them. We are going to get together with the coaches and then watch film.”


On what went wrong against Notre Dame:


“We have to take advantage of our opportunities. Against Notre Dame, we didn’t do that. We had chances to take the lead or to make the game even closer and we didn’t get a basket or get to the free throw line. We let them speed us up. They held the ball for 29 seconds and then would get a good shot. We would get the ball and shoot in five seconds. So, patience will be one of the keys in our run this tournament.”


On if the tournament is as fun for the players as it is for the fans:


“It’s fun for us. We get back to playing basketball again. It’s tough for us to watch these conference championships and to not be there. So, we are getting hungrier to make this run.”


Quoting Pitt’s Gary McGhee


On how it feels to know where Pitt is playing:


“It feels good. We’re going back to Milwaukee where we had a win earlier this season. We’re looking forward to going up against Oakland, a good team out of the Summit League.”


On playing well in his last trip to Milwaukee:


“It does feel good going back to a place where I had a pretty good game against Marquette. I’m looking forward to going up against Oakland in the same building where I had that game.”


On putting the Big East tournament loss behind them:


“You have to put it behind you and look forward to the next task. We’re in the NCAA tournament, the big dance, everybody tries to get here. We’re in a good position and are pretty excited.”


On Oakland:


“They’re a pretty good team. We know they have good inside players. Their one big man is averaging a double-double.”

NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday Quotesheet

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