Postgame Quotes: Rutgers at Cincinnati
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University of Cincinnati

Mick Cronin, Head Coach

 

Opening Statement

“Well it was just like we drew it up: get down 16 and miss 17 shots, test all our characters, find a defensive line that will play together, shut them down in the second half and win by 12. It would have been nice to know that was going to happen when we were down 16. Obviously, Deonta Vaughn stepped up to the plate with a tremendous game and leadership; him and Mike (Williams). Other guys had tremendous efforts. Rashad Bishop and Steve Toyloy played well. We found a group that defended with commitment, and they played as well. We not only made forced shots but also forced 17 turnovers.”

 

On Defending Mike Rosario

“Anytime he got open, they made it extremely difficult on him. These are things you have to do. You have to know the other team’s strength, and you have to be able to take them away as a group. It was not only Rashad but it was Steve and Mike that made it extremely difficult for them. We got Deonta Vaughn some open shots and that is why he was 9-of-15.”

 

On Being Relieved to Get A Win

“I think it is great to get a win. I wasn’t as concerned as others. It isn’t about one win, but you have to win one to win two. The only thing I would say is the way we won. I have been preaching to these guys about defending. Quit worrying about winning. Focus on defense and defending with a commitment as a group and the win will come.”

 

On First Half

“We started out the game awful. I think when Steve (Toyloy) came in and it changed things. I thought Darnell (Wilks) helped at the end of the half.”

 

On Pressing and Gaining Momentum

“Darnell’s three was big, but we need to press when Deonta and Mike are out. We have to try and scramble to play on the run. It was big. We were able to get Deonta and Mike out. Somebody yelled press, and we had been trying to press for five minutes. But you have to score to press. We were going to press three or four minutes earlier, but Mike missed free throws. We were able to pick up the pace of the game. It made them forget that they were down, and they were just able to play. Darnell’s shot at the end of the half was big.”

 

On Yancy Gates Not Playing Second Half

“Anyone that didn’t play in the second half was because we wanted to put out five guys that could defend as a unit. I love everyone in that locker room but this isn’t fifth grade tee-ball. We are here to win.”

 

On The Pick and Roll For Mike and Deonta

“What happens is, Mike is popping to the short corner and making shots. The guy defending Mike is scared to come out and defend Deonta.”

 

On Mike’s Improved Performance

“It is all coaching. It helps when he gets the ball. I would say Mike’s practice habits have changed. He has been a different guy in practice. He has practiced being aggressive. He can’t expect to put up three or four shots in practice and then put up big numbers in a game. He has really taken his effort to another level in the last three games. I think confidence has grown as well.”

 

 

 

Deonta Vaughn, Jr., G

On Coming From Behind to Win

“We stuck with our game plan. Later on, we knew the shots were going to fall and we just went on from there. Nobody panicked and stuck together. We stuck with the game plan and did what we had to do to get the win. They were 57% in the first half, and our goal was to keep them under 35%. In the second half, they had 29% and that’s what helped us win the game.”

 

On Not Panicking

“We knew if we got the game close, we would pull out the win. We have been playing hard and our defense is getting better. It starts in practice, and we have practiced hard all week. (Practice) is competitive and everyone challenging each other.”

 

On Second Half

 “We thought it was good. Everyone stuck together and had to play defense. When we picked up our defense, our shots started falling.”

 

 

Mike Williams, Sr., F

On Winning First BIG EAST Game

“To come off of a drought and pull a game off, it is momentum for us. We have to continue to build on that.”

 

On Improvement Over Last Three Games

“I’m more settled now. Coming off of two years without playing and injury, I am finally settled.”

 

On Expectations of Play

“As long as I stayed positive and played hard we knew that everything would work out. It wasn’t hard to stay positive with Deonta by my side every day. He kept me on task, and he made that much easier to go through.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rutgers University

Fred Hill, Head Coach

 

On The Change in Defense

“I’m not sure there was a major difference in their defense. They came out with a lot of energy so you have to give them credit. We had point blank lay ups, and you can’t miss those shots. We went inside out and you should be able to knock down those shots. I’m more concerned with our defense. We hold them to 26% in the first half, and they shot 55% in the second half. That has been a trend, and we need to figure out why in the second half everyone has shot better than the first. I don’t know if guys are getting tired or mentally fatigued, but we need to figure out how to be efficient for 40 minutes.”

 

On Being Fatigued After Tough Schedule

I hope not. It is irrelevant whether we are or not. It is what it is. I’m an opportunity guy and I look forward to great challenges. Is that a tough task for any team in the country? Certainly, but you have to win games. You have to battle, compete, and stay focused. You have to find a way to win. We have a bunch of young guys on the floor, and they have to learn to finish. When you go up 16, you should be able to finish games. You have to give Cincinnati credit because they made big plays. Obviously that is what you have to do. They came out with energy in the second half and tied it up. We had a chance to cut it down to two or four in the second half, but we missed some point blank shots.

 

 

Anthony Farmer, Sr, G

On Not Getting the Win

“It’s very disappointing because we expect to win whenever we step on the floor. We got up 16 in this conference is very tough to do; especially on the road. To not band together, is disappointing. You have to give them credit for coming together and making plays down the stretch.”