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Presbyterian 56, UC 54: Humbling experience

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There are many different directions you could poke and prod with postgame reaction. Then, when Mick Cronin enters and says everything that needs to be said or heard about the state of the 2011-12 Bearcats basketball team, you let him go. So, us media types did.

Rather than try to twist and turn his words, I figured I'd just let him speak for himself and the disappointment surrounding a team at a surprising early crossroads following a 56-54 loss to Presbyterian.

Mick Cronin:

(On leading up to the game)

This never should have happened. We just quit playing defense. We are not tough enough yet. I knew this was coming, but obviously I failed to get my point across the last two days with my team.

As hard as we tried to practice and as upset as I was in practice the last two days about our performance against Jacksonville State, We are just not tough enough to win yet. This team has to win ugly right now. Period.

(On the loss because of effort)

This was coming. I told my team this was coming. Not in that nice of a tone. Even if we would have won we are not a very good basketball team.

(On moving forward)

We have to make some changes. Right now we are not good enough to win games. A lot of false hope about who we are. So, maybe this will be good for us. To be honest, I'm just worried about finding a way to win Monday night right now. We are not a very good basketball team right now.

(On giving up a 15-point lead)

The stuff that was going on out there in the last 10 minutes defensively is beyond my comprehension.

(On state of team)

We are not blowing anybody out. Even when we are up 15, we are just trying ot get the win. We don't have seniors coming off the bench to drop the hammer. That is not realistic now. That is not who we are. Been falling on deaf ears, though, very obviously. So, we'll see. We will see what we are made of at the end of the day.

(On what he called "laziness" on defense down the stretch)

We are in desperate need of some toughness. Everybody wants to talk about offense. You can't control guys standing there wide open missing shots. Going 4 for 10 from the foul line. You can control your defensive effort. That you can control.

They had 14 fast break points to our two. Pretty telling stat. Considering they only had three steals we only had nine turnovers. How they getting fast break points? Guys are worrying about missed shots, not getting back. Worrying about things that they can't control. Young guys do that. That is the mark of a young team. Veterans don't do that. That is foolish. They think the game is over, instead of playing with humility and respect for your opponents for 40 minutes and getting your butt back on defense. 

(On practice prior to Monday's game)

It's not going to be very pretty, because I got nails to pound. One way or the other we are going to not give up those kind of points. We may not score a basket, but that is not going to happen. I don't know who is going to play Monday night, but that will not happen.

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