Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes vs. St. John's

Jan. 5, 2013

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St. John’s 53 (9-5, 1-1 BIG EAST), Cincinnati: 52 (13-2, 1-1 BIG EAST)
January 5, 2013 // Fifth Third Arena // Cincinnati, Ohio // Attendance: 8,142

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

Opening statement:
“We got outplayed for 35 minutes. We had one-and-a-half guys come out to play. When that happens, you are going to lose.”

On UC’s shot with six seconds remaining:
“He was wide open at 12 feet. I’d have to look at the film. I’m sure somebody rotated. I’d like him to get it over the rim, so you have a chance to rebound it. Cashmere Wright came to play and Titus gave us some heart and hustle in the second half. Some shots go in and some don’t. Our problem is we give up 46 percent from the field in the second half. Everybody is concentrating on the things that don’t matter.

“Three things win games:  defense. We gave up 34 points in the paint and only got 18. We got outrebounded and turnovers. We had 11 in the first half and we dug a hole. Those are the things that matter.”

On Sean Kilpatrick:
“His shooting is not the problem.  The problem is he’s playing too many minutes, and he doesn’t play the defense he needs to be playing.”

On UC offensive rebounding:
“The problem is Cashmere Wright is our leading offensive rebounder with three. The problem is I have Justin (Jackson), Cheikh (Mbodj), David (Nyrasuk) and Shaq (Thomas) combine for two offensive rebounds. Cashmere Wright has three. That’s the problem. “

On UC’s problems in the first half:
“What I would say is everybody talking too much and kids buy into the talk about this and that. You have to play better in the first half, and if you do, you have this great team. No, be happy that you won. Be humble enough to know that you play really hard, you out-rebounded your opponent, and you only had nine turnovers and you got to the foul line. That is why you won. The name on the front of the jersey or the back of the jersey doesn’t matter. The other team out-rebounded us, we had 16 turnovers, and there is no excuse to have nine turnovers at Pittsburgh and 16 at home and 11 in the first half. Other than that, one-and-a-half guys came to play. Somebody forgot to send St. John’s the memo that they were supposed to come in here and let us win. So welcome to conference play.”

On St. John’s zone:
“When you throw it to the one-foot marker and can’t get it in the basket, that’s a concern.  I don’t know what else to do. When you get the ball to the one-foot mark, you have to get fouled or get to the basket. Or play somebody else that can get fouled or get a basket. It’s a problem. We were 32 percent from the two-point range. Not a lot of those were pull-up jump shots.”

On Cashmere Wright:
“Cashmere Wright is the only person who came to play. It’s evident in the deflection chart, it’s evident that he has half our steals, and the most offensive rebounds on the team. You could have put someone in the gym that says, ‘boy, that No. 1 on the white team he plays hard.’ That doesn’t know anything about basketball, and anyone could have seen that.”

On playing with effort:
“It takes effort to play with strength, get fouled, have your head on the rim, pivot, shot fake, and find open people. It takes effort, but that’s what happens. Don’t come to play and you lose. It’s a shame for Cashmere Wright because he played great today. He came to play today. A lot of other guys didn’t and that’s our problem. Maybe now we will quit worrying about first halves and who is ranked where and worry about playing hard. The reason we are where we are (is because) we played really hard. We were a great defensive team and a great rebounding team. That’s why we were where we were.

“We don’t have anyone going in the first round of the NBA draft with all due respect to my players, I love them. Other people may do, but even those teams get beat if they don’t play hard. Duke probably has three NBA guys. Other than that, I don’t know. Welcome to college basketball. Teams that play really hard, defend and rebound are probably going to win. That’s the reality. I love my team and that is our reality. We better become a really good defensive team again and a really good rebounding team or we will be in trouble Monday night (against Notre Dame).”

No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G

On St. John’s taking the ball in the paint:
“We had a lot of miscues on rotation. We give credit to St. John’s for the game but we somewhat beat ourselves.”

On the zone bothering UC:
“I think we just got outplayed. It comes down to the same thing, we just have to be ready to play, be ready to shoot, be ready to pass and do everything that we were training for before the game. It seems like we got here and we just started going through the motions of the game and thinking we were just going to win the game no matter what, instead of going out there and playing.”

On coming back from a 10-point deficit:
“It’s just how it goes. Like every other game we play, we are going to go on a run, but usually our defense helps us but in this game it didn’t. They came down made some tough shots and we just folded.”

On if Titus was supposed to take the shot:
“It doesn’t matter. It was a good shot. I felt like once he pumped fake out of the hole, I thought the shot was going in. So it was a good shot and as a team we would take that shot.”

On not being ready today:
“It was just a lot of mental things. We just let the mental things bring our game down and not come out ready to play. As a team I felt like we just let them out play us. They came to our gym and outplayed us.”

St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin
On the Red Storm’s emphasis of getting the ball into the paint:
“It was really the main emphasis all day. From our practice yesterday, to our pregame meal, to our pregame talk, at each timeout, at halftime and then down the stretch was to just rebound. I only put one word on the dry erase board today for the first time in my career and that word was rebound and then I just circled it. Usually, I put something like offense or defense or guys that we need to key on and then a motivational quote from Coach Wooden or Lombardi. Anything to try to engage this generation which is a challenge, but for this one I just wrote rebound. I said if we out rebound them we’ll win the game and if we don’t we’ll lose the game. It’s like the line of scrimmage in football. I’m realizing that with each game how to better coach this group of players with 10 freshman and sophomores. I had the youngest team in school history at UCLA and this team is even younger. This group has no post-season experience and no one the team has even been to a post-season. ”

On what the Red Storm’s zone was designed to do for tonight:
“That’s something that we’re tinkering with. We learned some things against Villanova because they hurt us with the three-point shot from the top and the high ball screens so there are times when we have to extend our big and bring him up top to show on some of those screens. Then we kind of raise up on the wings and it almost becomes like a one-three-one against a really good three-point shooting team. What they did late which was a good counter on Mick’s part was they kind of spread us out and attack us off of the bounce. Then we tried to compact them a little bit more with what we call our 23 pack, almost like putting eight in the box for football. We tried to play a little bit tighter and still have shooter location and get a hand up with our length to try to contest their shots.”

On this being a moment of real growth for his team:
“I think so. Before the game even though all I wrote down was rebound, I told them that there’s intersections and crossroads in every season. Sometimes there are multiple crossroads in a season where a team needs a signature win and I said that it’s you guys not me that are the authors of victories, you’re the engineers and architects of victories so why not today. I told them why don’t we take this opportunity today to flip things and out-rebound Cincinnati so we can win. When you’re aggressive you tend have the bounce of the ball to go your way and you hit the shot that D’Angelo did and you tend to get the officials’ call. I think that the aggressive team is the one that seems to make their own breaks in the game if you look throughout the history of sports and I thought we were finally able to get over the hump and finish a game and get a win because we were aggressive from start to finish.”