Cincinnati-St. John's Postgame Quotes

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Men's Basketball |

Jan. 7, 2012

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St. John’s at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Jan. 7, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“First of all you have to congratulate St. John’s on their victory. I make sure that is always important to give the other team credit. That being said, first thing I want to clear up before anyone asks me; we’re 13 of 44 from two-point range today. So, that was not the reason we lost. The reason we lost, we weren’t ready to play. We played as individuals. We played with no focus, no energy. We had poor preparation, poor leadership. It was a failure by the coaching staff to get ready. It was a failure by the players to get in a mental state ready to play. Outside of one or two teams in the country, that have four or five NBA players – and maybe them on some days, (if) you don’t come with tremendous energy and focus and go out and play with discipline and toughness, you will lose.

“We gave up 50 percent from the field in the last 30 minutes of this game. We lost because of defense. We only had 31 deflections and we pressed the entire game. We are supposed to be pressing, but I can’t get my senior guards to pressure so I have to yank them and put in freshman. That says why the final score said what it said. Obviously, I’m upset and frustrated, but such is life when you play bad, you lose. Welcome to the Big East. Today we played awful and I‘m not talking about shooting the basketball. That’s a weak excuse. It’s weak and it’s soft. It has nothing to do with getting a rebound, getting a defensive stop, stopping their best player in the final minutes. It was a lack of focus. Started the minute we showed up today.”

On the tip in:
“I’ll tell you what happened. We tried to steal the inbounds pass instead of what we talked about in the time out. Which was everybody was switching when we needed to switch, keep them in front, and make them take a tough shot over us. We got beat. Forget the tip-in, (the first shot) should have went in. We tried to steal the ball and let their best player turn the corner. Poetic justice on the tip in. Basketball god’s giving the team that deserved to win the win.  It’s hard to block out when you are in a scramble because someone’s getting beat off the dribble and you have guys running around trying to steal the ball. What were we going to do? Turn around and make a 70 footer. Just over aggressiveness. Lack of discipline.”

On players worrying too much about their offense:
“There’s only one thing you can do - play other guys. For the first time in my career, I subbed five guys at one point. That’s all you can do. My whole pregame speech was about effort. Don’t hire me to motivate your company. All you can do is promise guys that if you don’t give effort, you are coming out. Our problem is we are an offensive sensitive team and that is a recipe for disaster. You can’t be offensive sensitive. You miss shots and you are running back worrying about who shot, we’re missing shots, the score. None of that matters, you come back and get a defensive stop. It’s a 40-minute game.”

On UC playing well on the road and playing at Georgetown on Monday:
“I think I figured out why. We seem to only play hard when our backs are against the wall. Maybe that’s the reason. We’ll see. At some point you’d think, this group of guys, especially upperclassmen, that they would realize it is fun to win, fun to play hard and people respect your individual game. You might have an actual chance to make it as a player. You have to show up and play every day. You can’t win a couple of games and shut it down.”

UC Player Quotes
No. 23 - Sean Kilpatrick, G
On Coach Cronin being upset about the lack of preparation before the game:
“I don’t think everyone came in with a focused mind. Everyone else’s mind was somewhere else.”

On how tough it will be with a quick turnaround until the game on the road Monday vs. Georgetown:
“Well, I mean this should be a wake-up call on basically the fact that everyone should come to the game focused. From the start, it has to be an all-out war for 40 minutes. We can’t be playing lackadaisical the first half or the first 25 minutes and then when we are down by how many points… It don’t matter. We just have to start playing hard. That makes no sense. We have to play hard the whole game.”

On how much of a setback this loss can be:
“Well, it’s a long season ahead. We still have plenty more BIG EAST games left. We just have to take this loss and come back Monday and just play harder. It all starts with Sunday and our preparation and paying attention to detail.”

On if UC has lost its mojo:
“Just because you don’t make shots doesn’t mean your mojo is gone. You just have to prepare yourself to make some shots and you have to prepare yourself mentally for the game.”

On possibly overlooking St. John’s because of their recent struggles:
“I think that was half the point, but like I said, when you are in the BIG EAST there are no slouch teams. You have to come in every day and work.”

On who has the solution to fire up the team for each game:
“We do. We do as a team. Mental, that is all it is, mental focus.  If you have a mental focus and come in worrying about one thing and that is defense, most likely you will wind up winning the game.”

No. 1-Cashmere Wright, G
On the team’s shooting struggles lingering in your mind:
“Honestly, it all started from the beginning. I failed from the beginning to get myself in, to get my teammates going. I didn’t bring the energy in the first half, didn’t do too much the whole game basically, so it just trickled down and we didn’t deserve to win that game basically.”

On why this team struggles with success:
“I have no clue. That is something we need to fix. We have to figure out a way to get everybody going every day, every day in practice, every day before we have a game, and we can’t come out like we did today.  We came out not ready. We came out like we knew we were going to win and we weren’t ready for the fight.”

On the shooting struggles of the team:
“Eventually we figured it was going to happen. Shots can’t keep going in, but at the end of the day, we are supposed to be a well-rounded team. We are supposed to figure out a way to make it through it, push through and still win the game.”

On St. John’s zone bothering the offense:
“That wasn’t a problem because we practiced on it. The problem was we were too lackadaisical. We didn’t realize when they were playing zone and when they were playing man and we were running the same offense basically.  We never switched and realized what was going on. We weren’t paying attention enough, we weren’t focused.”

St. John’s assistant coach Mike Dunlap

On playing a strong defensive game:
“On the defensive side of it, Louisville had 26 percent at half when we came into their house. They’re hot and they shot 26 percent, so some of it had to be us. I know they thought they were cold. If we’d taken better care of the ball in the first half, we probably would have had two-point, four-point lead. But, Cincy’s not going to let you do that. I think defensively our guys were right on point. We’ve got a lot to learn. We know where we’re at. There was a huge effort on our part, especially on the boards because they’re a good rebounding team. They had disparities where they were plus seven, plus nine. We were keeping a running count. And then all of a sudden you reeled it back in and (Moe) Harkless got involved.”

On if he was urging D’Angleo Harrison to attack late in the second:
“I was. I wanted a two on one. We told him in the huddle from about the six minute mark down that we play to win it. And so, I didn’t want us playing backwards. As you know, we didn’t score within four minutes. We went dry. But, it wasn’t because we were telling them to play keep away. We wanted to get into some on ball, etc. But, Cincinnati got us out of that. They were coming at us hard. At that point, I wanted him to go around and sit down to go with the two on one with (God’sgift Achiuwa) on the backside.”

On the last play of the game:
“What they ran was just a kick back. I wanted Harkless to have the ball or D’Angleo. D’Angleo got the ball. It was a pick to picker action and (Sir’Dominic Pointer) set a good pick. They switched it and D’Angleo back cut the switch and got it. Then, he drove the base and after that was all his game.”

On Harkless’ rebounding the final play:
“He’s a special player and we all know that when we you watch him play. But, he’s got to be developed. I think that he felt that he wasn’t doing well enough in the second half. And, he was tired. All I said was, ‘What you’re giving us is good enough, Moe. Just keep playing.’ No negative, no nothing. He felt bad after that lob. I know we had a timeout after that and he felt terrible. I said, ‘No, no, no. that’s an impressive play.’ You have to really go for it with a young team.”

On why St. John’s was so effective in the second half:
“We were effective because we were a little smarter with our practices going in. They had their legs. I think that because we were stuck in the airport yesterday we had all yesterday off.  By the time we got in, we had a quick meeting after dinner, planted some seeds and gave them their scouting reports.  We didn’t overload them. So that was a day of rest, and they day before that we went light. So were learning how to coach seven guys and were patient. I think we gave them their legs back. That’s why we did well.”


 

 

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