Cincinnati-Rutgers Postgame Quotes

Jan. 11, 2014

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Cincinnati vs. Rutgers
Fifth Third Arena
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“It wasn’t like the way we drew it up, (Justin) Jackson doesn’t play the last 12 minutes and we pull away to win by 20 without him and Sean (Kilpatrick) goes 1 of 10 from three. We had foul trouble, but our guys found a way to win and for us the answer is defense and defensive rebounding.

“I told the guys that I thought Rutgers did a great job against the press in the first half. I told the guys at halftime it was my fault. They had all week to prepare. They are quick and athletic. I knew that Louisville pressed them which messed with them a little bit, so they were going to spend all week as they should getting ready for the press. It caused us to get in a lot of scrambles. They had seven offensive rebounds and six layups in the first half and 20 points in the paint as well. That was my fault and I told that to the guys at halftime and after the game.

“Once we were able to keep the ball in front of us and make them shoot over us it allowed us to have better defensive rebounding position and, obviously, you have a better chance to miss from 20 feet than you do from two feet. So the guys stepped up through adversity, did a tremendous job. We didn’t take care of the ball real well tonight. We’ve got to become a better passing team, but that’s why we’ve got practice. That’s my job.”

“David’s (Nyrasuk) stat line isn’t great, but when you stand a seven-foot-one guy in front of the rim it helps. It’s a lot easier for David to play zone than man to man. Obviously, he sees the play coming at him and he doesn’t have to pivot, turn, and help recover. So he is a lot more effective in the zone and a big part of coaching is you can complain about his man-to-man defense or you can realize he is seven-foot-one and don’t ask him to do things he can’t do. A big part of coaching is don’t ever ask a guy to do something he can’t do. So we try to put him in a position to succeed defensively and him standing in there makes a big difference.”

On how much of a lift Troy Caupain gave the team:
“Troy has played extremely well, I don’t know what happened to him at the foul line. The guy is a great free throw shooter and he goes at Sean (Kilpatrick) every day and challenges him in free-throw shooting. He still has to learn to take care of the ball a little bit better. He still throws some high school passes but he hit some big shots and making shots is one thing but I think what shows you a lot about a guy is when he makes his shots. He made a big three and we had missed about 10 straight wide open ones and a lot of times at that point everybody is looking to hide. They don’t want to be the next guy to shoot. He showed a lot of character, a lot of toughness stepping up and knocking the one that he knocked in in that moment where we had missed a bunch in a row.”

On his thoughts getting his 150th win at UC:
“Yeah, I feeling a lot older and that’s not a good thing and I feel too. I hope to have a whole lot more here.”

#23 Sean Kilpatrick, G
On elevating their defense late in the second half:
“That’s what this program is based upon. Since I have been around, this program has been about defense. You can’t win games if your defense isn’t on point, so that is really our bread and butter. It helps us generate points because we make the other teams turn the ball over.”

On Troy changing the energy of the game tonight:
“I tell Troy every day that his length on defense and heart do a lot for us. We need him to play like he did today. If he continues to play like that, by getting to the basket and drawing fouls, it will help us a lot down the stretch.”

On being 4-0 in the conference:
“When we went in for our postgame talk with coach, the last thing he said wasn’t we are 4-0. It was that we have seven more games, and that is something that we have to continue to work and focus on. We are going to have games like today where shots aren’t falling, but we were able to grind it out and pull out a win.”

#10 Troy Caupain, G
On having the role players step up and make big contributions:
“It takes a load off the upperclassmen, so they don’t feel like they have to do everything and can trust the younger players. It definitely takes pressure off them, and it makes our team more lethal.”

On his “and-one” layup late in the second half:
“SK made a great pass, and it generated a lot of momentum for us. It got the crowd back into the game, and our bench was hyped too.”

Biggest adjustment from high school to college basketball:
“It’s probably the speed of the game and also everyone’s strength. Coming out of high school, I had to adjust my game because I couldn’t do the same stuff. I would get blocked going up for a layup, so I developed my shooting game. I also got in the weight room to help with the physicality.”

Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan

On what happened after halftime:
“We had some foul trouble issues. We went through our bench a little bit and didn’t execute as well as we should have. We had four guys do something right and then one guy wouldn’t. Three guys would do things right, and two wouldn’t. It was a combination between their defense and our lack of execution. We weren’t on the same page, five guys, every possession.”

On what he saw specifically in the second half that they will work on more:
“I will look at the film. I thought we didn’t have five guys on the same page on every possession. We got stuck at 48 to 52 for a long time and we went to our need sets and didn’t get good looks because we didn’t do things right.

“Was it their defense? We will give them credit, but when it comes down to it, we have to make things happen. We have to get it done. They played some zone and we put the ball where we wanted to, but didn’t finish the way we wanted to. We could have taken the ball to the basket, which we did sometimes, but we didn’t finish. Sometimes we just bailed out with jump shots. It is a new team trying to learn how to win. We are trying to learn how to play together and trying to learn how to win. I think we are getting closer, but we have to get it done.”

On what was encouraging in the first half:
“I thought we were aggressive against their pressure. We have worked on it since the Louisville game and have worked on it since preseason. I thought we got out and got some fast break layups and got some open floor play against their pressure which was good. We came down and stayed organized against their pressure so I don’t think their pressure bothered us that much. We have the confidence. We played without fouling until mid to late first half. Then we got in trouble and had to keep shipping guys in and out and we just didn’t have the chemistry or the rhythm.”

On the turnovers:
“We turned them over too. I think it was even in the turnover department, 14-14. People give them credit, but why not give us credit for turning them over. It is just a way of basketball. We were the underdogs and we have to come in here and prove ourselves. We just have to prove ourselves against that crowd and prove ourselves against them. We just didn’t do it.”