Cincinnati-Rutgers Postgame Quotes

Jan. 28, 2012

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Cincinnati at Rutgers
Rutgers Athletic Center
Piscataway, N.J.
Jan. 28, 2012

Postgaem Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin

Opening statement:
“We’re soft. The going gets tough in the BIG EAST and we are not tough enough to win a game right now.”

On turnovers:
“You can’t shoot the ball when you turn it over. We gave them 19 points off layups because you keep turning the ball over, throwing towards their basket – turnovers for touchdowns. Not ready to play, no mental toughness. Give Rutgers credit, they are not too good to listen to their coach, they are not too good to play hard. Right now we are too good for both things. ‘I’m too good to listen, I’m too good to play hard.’ We are too good to get a loose ball with the game on the line or even dive for it. We are too good to not let a guy shoot a three pointer in your face with one on the shot clock in a close game, their best shooter, because that would take too much effort right now.”

On being too confident after beating UConn:
“I don’t know about that. You have to ask them that. I think that we are too soft and too good to play hard and not tough enough to win a game in the BIG EAST right now.”

On not getting bench production:
“We are not getting much from starters too, look at the stat sheet. [Sean Kilpatrick] had five or six times around the rim when he couldn’t get [the ball] on the rim, just looking for fouls. We had five or six times at the rim, point blank, don’t get fouled or score.”

On moving forward:
“I am not really worried about that right now. Right now, I don’t want to be around them. I am about as embarrassed to be the coach of this team as I have ever been in coaching right now. I am miserable.”

On this being a crossroads in the season:
“I think that anybody who loses three in a row in late January better decide what they are going to do. They are either going to toughen up or they are going to pack it in. I think that we have a team that has never had the respect of our opponents and now we do, hence the crowd, hence Rutgers’ effort. People respect Cincinnati, we can’t handle it, we are not tough enough. We were told that all week and it fell on deaf ears. So, right now I am sick of telling guys stuff that don’t want to listen. I am going to find five guys that will listen and I will play them 40 minutes in the next game. That’s how I feel right now. We will figure it out. I will tell you one thing, I will rectify it. Next time we take we take the floor guys are going to play with some heart, hustle and toughness.”

Rutgers head coach Mike Rice

Opening statement:
“Overall, I thought we got some very good performances, but as a team we had a toughness about us. We weren’t going to let it happen again. We weren’t going to let ourselves get frustrated or sad if something happened. I thought we responded very well. Now, was it as clean as I would have liked it the last three minutes of the game? Of course not, but those things we will work on. I thought as an overall performance tonight it was a gritty, tough team performance and that’s what we needed.”

On outscoring Cincinnati in the paint:
“Controlling the tempo is all we talked about - making Cincinnati play five-on-five every possession. And really, because of the way they flow, their style, they (take you) one-on-one and space you out, we had to win our possessions. If there wasn’t a lot of possessions tonight, we weren’t going to be very successful, so I thought our guys did transition defense, closing out, boxing out, we did tremendously well tonight.”

On Cincinnati’s defense:
“They went to more of a helter-skelter defense (at times). I think it helped us to be honest with you, (as they were) giving up layups. Our guys have to understand to pick and choose when to attack and when to put the ball out. Again, young teams do that. Gilvydas (Biruta) did a tremendous job of ripping it through, working the ball up court. We’ll work on these things and it’s a process. But again, there wasn’t a turnover, a foul, a missed shot, we stayed the course tonight. We had that toughness throughout the 40 minutes tonight, and that’s important for this team.”

On Eli Carter’s performance:
"(He was) very poised, very composed tonight. Against DePaul, when things go wrong, Eli’s first reaction is to dribble and make something happen. In the BIG EAST, it’s difficult because there are really good teams and really good coaches. When he got shots, it was in the flow of our offense. Our guys were screening, we had more of a flow to us and that’s important because we don’t have that all-conference-type of player that is going to get us 20 and 10 every night. We have to be versatile and play for one another. I think we did such a better job. Coaches talk about all the time, playing for one another, and we certainly did tonight.”

On Dane Miller’s performance:
“Wow. He gives the young guys confidence when he does that. Whether its rebounding, toughness plays, finishing in traffic, he gives our young guys confidence. When he’s engaged like that, finishing through contact at the top of his jump, it helps.”