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RUTGERS vs. CINCINNATI
JANUARY 2, 2010
RUTGERS HEAD COACH FRED HILL
On the difference in the game:
"I think it is a combination of a lot of things. We're not a very good rebounding team yet. It's something that we work on every day and we've got to get better at. It's something that unfortunately is not a strong suit yet."
"Our guards have gotten better at it (rebounding) and Dane Miller grabbed six rebounds. I thought Brian Okam gave us some very solid minutes also. It's just something we have got to get better at. It has been our Achilles heel all year long. I think rebounding was the difference in the game especially in the second half. In the first half, we went up five (at halftime). I think our initial defense is outstanding. Whether we are in zone or man, the initial defense was great. But when you shoot it and miss it and get the rebound and put it in, that's 50 percent. That's what they did to us in the second half."
On the play of sophomore guard Mike Rosario:
"Mike has to score for us and he's going to be the focal point of every defense. They did a good job of staying home on him and not letting him get very many good looks. On the other hand, I thought his teammates did a good job of setting solid screens and getting him good looks. They just didn't go down in the second half. In the first half, he knocked down some big shots. When you don't rebound, you can't run as much as we've been able to run in some earlier games and even against North Carolina. A lot of what Mike gets is in transition and we weren't able to get out and run because we didn't rebound the basketball. I thought that slowed us down tonight."
On the amount of full-court pressure his team utilized:
"We pressed a little bit more. I thought it was very effective. We like to press after free throws, so we have to get to the free throw line. Our guys did a good job of causing some turnovers and slowing them down. Our zone also slowed them down. We had some tough matchups in the second half that didn't allow us to play as much zone as I wanted."
CINCINNATI HEAD COACH Mick Cronin
"Hard fought win for us, all wins in the BIG EAST are hard fought for us, especially on the road. Rutgers gave us their best shot and we had to come from behind. There were a couple of things that changed the game for us, our offensive rebounding and obviously our bench outscoring their bench 34 to 15 points. We're a team that has some options and we can make some changes and adjustments. It's nice to be able to make some adjustments and play different guys."
"Jonathan Mitchell was hurting us tonight and we had to go with Darnell Wilks, a quicker player on him. We got contributions from three different guys from the five spot. Yancy Gates really asserted himself tonight."
"If you go up and down our lineup you will see that guys affected the game in many different ways."
"We hadn't seen a lot of two-three zone this year. I thought that their zone definitely had us stagnant for quite a while. We hadn't seen a live zone situation in almost two months. We work against it in practice but it's not the same. They had us really standing around in the zone, plus we didn't rebound well against their zone. But once we got some offensive rebounds, got some basket, got our feet set underneath us and got set on the defensive end the game changed."
"We didn't let Mike Rosario score in the second half. We had three different guys guarding him. When he makes shots they are a pretty formable team."