Cincinnati-Syracuse Postgame Quotes
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Jan. 23, 2012

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Syracuse at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Jan. 23, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
On Syracuse run:
“I thought that Scoop (Jardine) made one big shot and our defense was atrocious. They shot lay ups. I don’t care if we’re playing Syracuse or St. Ann’s, where I went to grade school. You let guys dribble in for lay ups, they are going to make them.”

On making mistakes:
“I’m going to say as a coach you have preparation and there are control levels. Scoop or Kris Joseph making a tough one on one is not a controllable. Giving up a lay-up on a blown assignment because your head is somewhere else or they made a tough shot or you are a little tired, that is inexcusable. They had 36 points in the paint.”

On staying focused:
“I thought in the West Virginia game we gave two backdoor layups off preparation. It was inexcusable for our guys to do that. It isn’t like our guys are surprised. Our guys are as prepared as they could possibly be. Down the stretch, we’ve had a lot of quality wins. The reason is, when you play Syracuse, you have to keep your mind off offense. You have to stay focused on defense. That’s how you beat them. That’s how Notre Dame beat them. We did not keep our focus on defense.”

On nine first half turnovers:
“I know we had a couple of careless passes and that is usually the answer to turnovers. You have to give them credit, but some of that you have to be better than that.”

Cincinnati player quotes
No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G

On Syracuse making adjustments after your hot start:
“They kind of pushed the zone up more. It was harder to get those shots off that we got in the beginning of the game, but you know, it is no excuse for the loss. We have to play better D and make better things happen.”

On how not to become frustrated with Syracuse’s zone:
“I think you have to find the open shots and when you get the open shots, you have to make them. That is all it is. You have to make shots when you get them. I really didn’t think about it too much. I am just out there playing.”

On Syracuse’s zone causing turnovers:
“We were trying to figure out what works. Sometimes you have to drive. We kept passing the ball around side to side and sooner or later they run another person out. When people tried to drive, they ripped it.”

On giving up layups to Syracuse later in the game when they were on their scoring run:
“The guards, we just have to get better on defense. We gave the game away, the guards, getting back-doored and letting them reject the screen when we knew it was coming. We just have to get better. We have to see what we did wrong, we know what we did wrong, we just have to correct it and look for the next game.”

On what more atmospheres like tonight’s can bring to the team:
“It brings energy to the game. It gets the players more into the game and we go out there and play hard. When the crowd gets with us, everything just seems to work out and flow.”

No. 34 - Yancy Gates, F
On coming out aggressive in the game:
“I was just trying to draw attention into the middle of the zone. We felt if we could get the ball into the middle of the zone, get a couple points there and get some kick outs, kind of spread them out and make them have to play both. I just tried to do what we went over in practice and play my role to help.”

On what the team has learned about itself on this three-game stretch:
“I think we learned about, as long as we come out in a good mental state, that it is a big key for us. We have talented players on our team, players that can score, that can play D. We just have to keep the same focus throughout the whole game and not let other teams run, which we did a couple times during the stretch, not let other teams run. Just keep going and keep playing and try to win the game at the end which is the way a lot of BIG EAST games are.”

On veterans helping to put an end to the two game losing streak:
“We have a bit of a stretch before our next game and we are going to have practice so we just have to come to practice and work as hard as we can and get ready for the next game. Try to put the game in the past but fix the mistakes from this game so we can be better in the next game.”

On frustration of not coming away from the stretch with a 3-0 record:
“Oh yeah, definitely. Especially a couple where you lose by three one game, the next game you are right there with the opportunity to win it and you just don’t close it out. It is frustrating. Even Coach Cronin talked about it before we got in here, we felt like we gave a couple games away.”

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim
Opening statement:
“You know, in the game against Notre Dame, we got off to a bad start. We just never fought back. Tonight, they hit the four threes. Sometimes, it’s a good thing when they start a game like that. Not always, but sometimes. They kicked back. I wasn’t as concerned as I was the other night because we were getting good things on offense. (Rakeem) was huge. Inside on (Yancy) Gates, (Rakeem Christmas) did a very good job for a freshman. I thought he was really good in the middle. Kris Joseph got better in the second half. Scoop (Jardine) was tremendous. We got a couple of big back doors out of timeouts. They did a tremendous job during that one stretch of execution on offense. I told the players this was as good a regular-season bounce-back win that I can remember at Syracuse. We were just so woeful Saturday night. But, coming here in that atmosphere, the way they started the game to play the way we did – I thought was tremendous.”

On relying on Joseph, Triche, and Jardine tonight:
“They’re the three key guys for us. I thought they did a good job. I thought James and C.J. (Fair) did a great job defensively and had some good plays. We missed out on threes for a long time. I think we went the whole first half for sure. I think we went into the second half. Brandon (Triche) might have made the first one, then Scoop. Those are the guys that we have to go to in these situations. They came up big.”

On the start of the second half:
“In the second half, they did make the run. They had the two backdoor plays. They came at almost the exact same time. Cincinnati scored and we went down and got the layup. They pressure so much. I was worried about it because the freshman’s making that pass. And he did, he made it. He made two great passes in that situation. I thought that was what came up. Then we had pretty great control. I’m glad Scoop made that last three because of the way we shot free throws. We’ve been shooting the ball good from the foul line. Our two best free throw shooters had the ball in their hands.”

On Syracuse’s run at the end of the first half:
“I thought that was unexpected. It came almost out of nowhere. We made a couple good plays. We made a couple good plays on the pick and roll.”

On Syracuse’s response to Saturday’s loss:
“I was very disappointed in the way we played Saturday. They played very well and they could beat us. If we went there tomorrow, they certainly could beat us again. I thought we played a horrible basketball game, offensively and defensively. We didn’t have one guy. Not one guy that did anything. Not only did they not do anything, they played badly, every  guy. We didn’t have a position player that did something that you could look at and say, ‘he did this.’ I watched the tape twice because I couldn’t believe what I was watching. We had seniors making defensive errors, the wrong guy in the zone, just missing easy shots. It was just an awful experience. If we’d played like that in here tonight, we would have gotten beat by 30 points. It was as far as I can remember from playing so poorly to playing pretty well.”

Syracuse player quotes
No. 11 Scoop Jardine, G

On what they were able to overcome tonight at not against Notre Dame:
“We just went out and played tougher. In South Bend, we just played a bad game. Tonight we didn’t hit a three until the last part of the game, so we hit one when we needed one.”

On getting easier baskets towards the end of the game:
“As a point guard, I was running plays all game and our plays we’re just to get Yancy (Gates) out of the lane,” Jardine said. “Towards the end of the game, he got tired because we put him in the ball screen on every possession. I was able to get around him and get to the basket.”