Cincinnati-Villanova Postgame Quotes


Men's Basketball |

Jan. 14, 2012

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Villanova at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Jan. 14, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“Big East basketball at its best. We played a team that has tremendous talent and has played an unbelievable tough schedule. One thing that happened to Villanova is Philadelphia is good. LaSalle’s good, and we all know with their win over Xavier that St. Joseph’s is really good and Temple is really good. They’ve had to play three games right there and then they went out west and caught St. Louis when they were hot. They’ve had a rough schedule. They play at Cincinnati, at Marquette, at West Virginia. I tried to tell (our players) for the last three days that, in my opinion, they are the most talented team we’ve played by far. Anyone that watched would agree that Malik Wayans is the best player we’ve played against. Dominique Cheek may have played his basketball of the season. I’m sure he has had some good games, but played extremely well.

“We took their best shot. You have to give our guys credit. We were able to weather the storm of 10-of-16 from three early. Second half, we struggled to get defensive rebounds. They had 11 offensive rebounds in the second half, which negates our turnover advantage. We are plus 14 and have the arena record with only three turnovers. We have to get that rectified. That’s why I started Justin to get a little bigger. We’ve improved tremendously offensively, but we are struggling on the glass. We have to rectify that. We have a stretch of our next three games (where) we play the three best rebounding teams. I know Connecticut’s the biggest team outside of Syracuse. The game in the middle (against West Virginia), we play against the best rebounding coach in the country.”

On committing only three turnovers:
“Since we went to the smaller lineup and (and since have) gone back to playing big, we’ve found a rhythm offensively. Too much was made of the suspensions. I told everyone that this is different team from a year ago. It took us and me some time to make some adjustments and get into a comfort zone. We are finally in a comfort zone on offense. We got to the line 23 times. We recognized right away when we missed a couple of threes, but we were in the bonus. We could get the ball in the paint any time we wanted. The guys did a great job of recognizing that and getting in the paint.”

On pulling out a tough win:
“Well, I think it speaks to our ability to score the ball. This is the kind of game that you weren’t going to win if you can’t score. You have to be talented enough to answer them. We were able to do it with (Sean Kilpatrick) hurt. I don’t know if he got kneed to the thigh or groin, but we have guys that are putting the ball in the basket. We aren’t having those eight-minute scoring droughts that we were known for.”

On calling time out when UC had the numbers to score and hugging the official:
“Worst timeout of my life. I was worried (Sean Kilpatrick) was going to turn it over. He passed it. I called time out and then he passed it to the cutter. Timmy (Higgins) was a little slow on the whistle, so I thought he was going to let me retract it. I tried to retract it. I said ‘no, no.’ I said it so loud that if we’d attacked 3 on 1 and scored,  Jay Wright probably would have given him a different kind of hug. It was the right call.”

No. 3 - Dion Dixon, G
On guard play coming through toward the end of the game:
“We were making shots. When we were struggling, we started making some shots. That was good for us. Coach (Cronin) just stressed to us to take care of the ball. We have been struggling rebounding the ball, so it is our job to take care of the ball. We did a good job tonight.”

On feeling hot after making his first four three-pointers:
“Yeah, I was like ‘finally.’ It feels so good to make some shots.”

On how hard it was to take care of the ball with Villanova’s pressure:
“It is hard. Coach (Cronin) has been on us a lot about it, so we just had to be strong. We are good players and we did a good job tonight.”

On UC feeling frustration after Villanova hit numerous contested three-pointers in the first half:
“The first half they shot lights out. We knew they weren’t going to keep shooting like that and they shot like 28 percent in the second half. We just kept contesting them, making it tough on them. In the second half it wore off, they weren’t hitting like that.”

On team adjusting to playing an early game again:
“We were just hungry. Everybody just had a real hunger about them today. We wanted this win real bad.”

On dealing with Villanova’s pressure better than in years past:
“I haven’t beat Villanova since I’ve been here so it feels good to finally beat them. They pressure the ball, but I think we just did a good job today, me and Cash, taking care of the ball.”

No 34 - Yancy Gates, F
On team adjusting to playing an early game again:
“We knew where we stand at in the BIG EAST. We felt like we needed this win more than them so we just went out and got it.”

On taking Villanova’s best shot and still winning the game:
“It says a lot really. It actually says how good we are. You take a team like that’s best shot, and you are able to keep going, keeping pushing and getting the win. Especially the way we took care of the ball tonight against a Villanova team. They really like to score off the turnovers they force. Coming into the second half, we knew they weren’t going to shoot the lights out like they did in the first half, so we just told each other, ‘keep going no matter what until that clock runs to zero.’”

On Coach Wright commenting on how well you fit into the offense:
“Especially from early in the season and every time I touched the ball someone was digging or someone was coming over to double. Now, I just sit back and play my position and they are so worried about the guards driving and making threes that once I do touch it down there, it is a one-on-one. It makes it easier to score.”

Villanova head coach Jay Wright
Opening statement:
“I think that we played a full game in the BIG EAST. Cincinnati made the plays down the stretch. Their guards were great down the stretch. They made perfect decisions, finished plays and made free throws. It was a tough BIG EAST game where they made plays down the stretch and we didn’t.”

“Their guards were outstanding. They really were. The balance of their guards; they spread it out. And, it keeps them fresh. They isolate different guys. They share the ball with each other. They are very impressive.”

On Maalik Wayns’ performance:
“I thought he was a warrior. Our last game against Syracuse, everything they did was loaded to him. One of the things I think he learned from that game was that you can’t miss one opportunity to get one shot, because you might not get one. I though today he just did a great job of not missing any opportunities. When you’re a point guard, sometimes you have the shot and decide to get somebody else one. But for him on our team, the way people play him on ball screens, he has to give the ball up a lot on those plays. So, when he did have a chance in the open floor, we wanted him to recognize it. He did a great job of that tonight.”

On the difference in the 3-point shooting percentage from first to second half:
“I think it was the law of averages, I really do. I think we made some tough ones in the first half and in the second half, I thought they were the same looks. I thought we scored enough to win. And they spread us out, their guards isolated us. Down the stretch, we just had difficulty containing their guards and shutting them down. They had seven straight possessions when they drove the ball and went straight to the foul line. That was the difference in the game.”

On if he’s played a UC team like this:
“I think that whole situation with Xavier, I think after it happened, they handled it very well. I think like most things in life, when you do the right thing it works out for you in the end. They handled it well and they played a lot without (senior forward) Yancy Gates. And, they got a lot better. They recognized how good their perimeter guys were and they brought Yancy back. He’s the perfect complement to those guys. Every time you over extend those guys, you just go right inside. If Yancy’s man helps on one of the drives, if they miss, which doesn’t happen often, he goes up and taps it in or dunks it. It’s a great compliment. They’ve got a really great team.”

No. 2 - Maalik Wayns, G
On his scoring performance:
“I have a 100 percent confidence in my teammates. If there is an opportunity to score, I score. If the right play is to pass to somebody on my team, I am going to pass it.

“I just have confidence. I don’t let one game or one possession affect me. I just come back and just try to play every possession like it is my last.”

On forgetting his performance against Syracuse:
“If we would have come out of Syracuse with a win it wouldn’t have bothered me at all. I feel like I let my team down. I tried to come out tonight and give it everything I had and tried to get a win.”

No. 23 - Dominic Cheek, G
“Me and my team and coaches were not expecting this today, but I have a 100 percent confidence in the team and I think we played great today.”





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