UC-DePaul Postgame Quotes
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Feb. 4, 2012

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DePaul at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Feb. 4, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
"First of all, I thought DePaul played really well. They out-rebounded us in the first half. Jaime Crockett played really well and made some tough shots and put some game pressure on us. A lot of things weren't going well for us.

"I was really happy with our composure all night, as happy as I've been in a while. As a coach, that's one of the things you preach and the guys stayed calm throughout everything that was going on. Sometimes you are missing layups and the other team is missing shots, you can hang your head and we can panic, but I thought we did a great job of not panicking and getting to the free-throw line. Trying to stay patient with our offense and take shots that we could rebound. We had 10 second-chance points in the second half. We got to the foul line quite a bit throughout the game. Just like my friend Dean Gregory who doesn't get wins in golf, he takes a win anyway that he can get. That's what he says because wins are rare against me."

On Cashmere Wright's play down the stretch:
"Keeping the ball in our guards' hands. Understanding we were in the one and one, and trying to get to the foul line. I think he made a couple free throws and a lay-up that got him going. He did a great job of taking care of the basketball. He didn't have any turnovers. It was a big shot (three-pointer), but at some point we were going to have to make one. It is tough to win if you don't make one all night. We are still only 3-of-15. For a team that shoots the ball pretty well. You have to grind out wins."

On the preparation for DePaul:
"DePaul played a bigger line up due to a few injuries, which was a concern for us because we prepared for a different style of play all week. We prepared for them to have Moses Moore and Jeremiah Kelly and press more and shoot more threes. The guys they were playing are much better rebounders. They hurt us on the glass."

On his approach to practice this week:
"It's real simple:  Execution. You do what you need to do and you don't run. Execution wins games. Beating on guys isn't going to do anything. We played well against West Virginia and Syracuse. We just didn't close out the West Virginia game and Syracuse is a great team that made tough shots on us down the stretch and I thought we looked tired. Rutgers beats a lot of teams at home. They are a good team. I wasn't happy with that game. I don't base things off winning or losing, that's why people keep on coming in here and ask about tournament chances. I just want the team to play smart, act like a team, practice like a team, play with composure and the rest takes care of itself. We didn't do that at Rutgers, whether we won or lost. Winning is a byproduct of togetherness, team play, playing together, and playing smart. As a coach, you can tell when your guys are paying attention to details. Execution is everything. In whatever you are doing."

On the play of Justin Jackson:
"Justin did a great job. He didn't have Cleveland though because they set screens and we switched every screen. He did a great job running back. He ended up helping and blocking shots. He did a great job when he was switching on Brandon Young. It's the best job he's done not getting beat off the dribble, scouting report defense, and keeping Brandon Young on his right hand. Little things that matter, but the thing that our guys have to learn from Justin's performance, there is a reason he is 5-of-5. He takes high percentage shots. There is a reason other guys are 4-of-12 or 4-of-13. They take low percentage shots or finger-roll layups. Justin shoots layups with his hand on top of the basketball. We have some guys finger rolling the basketball. We wouldn't have won without him. I'll tell you that. He was a big factor. He missed some free throws, but he knocked in a big one and one or the front end of one."

Cincinnati player quotes
No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G

On what led to your scoring spurt in the last four minutes of the game:
"I just want to win, that's all. I just went out there and played hard, took what they gave me. Coach (Cronin) kept telling me, just attack, attack. Whether you miss a shot or not, if you feel like you are going to make it, just keep shooting it and going to the hole."

On the big three-pointer he made to take the lead late in the second half:
"I was kind of upset that I made that dumb decision. Instead of passing the ball I shot that dumb shot up (in a previous possession).  I had to make it up to my team."

On what DePaul was giving UC in the second half that they weren't giving in the first half:
"I didn't play too much in the first half, I was in foul trouble. But, I guess we took our time in the second half. In the first half, we were kind of pressing, not really running our offense. We were taking the first available shot and not running through and getting the open shot."

On DePaul out-rebounding the team in the first half:
"I felt like we let them meet us. In order to get the ball and block out, you have to block out them and we let them meet us first and go get the ball instead of us meeting them and going to get the ball. That is how they were getting every ball. They outplayed us in the first half."

On the message Coach Cronin sent to the team in practice this week:
"He just told us that we have to get back to what we were doing when we had suspended players. We have to get back to having fun, (playing) fast paced and nobody worry about mistakes. He said the last three games we worried about mistakes and everybody was trying to do their own thing and not worry about the team. We have to get back to a team game."

No. 5 - Justin Jackson, F
On the motivation behind being very active in the game:
"I knew I hadn't played good the last couple games so I just got my head focused and play how I play."

On playing overall good defense on DePaul's Cleveland Melvin despite his scoring spurt in the first half:
"I just read the scouting report and remembered what the coaches tell me and what the team was telling me and just played defense."

No. 23 - Sean Kilpatrick, G
On his tip-in that stringed together some momentum late in the game:
"I saw when he (Cashmere Wright) shot the ball, nobody boxed me out. I was at the top of the key and all I could see was everyone just staring around and nobody was trying to go for the rebound. Our team was, but they weren't, so I just went down the middle and I thought about dunking it, but I was like, `no, let me just lay it in.'"

On how bad the team needed this win after losing three games in a row:
"It is good to get the monkey off our backs, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done."

On DePaul not full-court pressing like he may have anticipated:
"I think the reason why is because they made adjustments in accordance to last year. When they did that, we were getting open a lot with the skip pass. With the team that we have now, the fact that we play four guards, it would be a lot easier against their press. I think they did a good job trying to contain us, but it looks like we overcame it."

DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell
Opening statement:
"Obviously, we're disappointed that we couldn't finish them off. I thought we did most of what wanted to do throughout the course of the ball game in terms of the way we played with the exception of taking care of the basketball. I thought we put too much pressure on the offense and defense by giving up pick sixes, where we turn the ball over off the top and there's no defense. That really came back to bit us. We were unable to get a working margin because we were turning it over at the top and then wouldn't defend it. 

"Under six to play when we were up by one, we were in a position on the road to kind of steal one. You got to give Cincinnati credit. They finished in a flourish and got on the boards. They made a couple of big shots when they needed to make them and we didn't. Guys got after it from an effort standpoint, but didn't play well enough out on the floor to get the job done."

On Jamee Crockett's play:
"He's been playing really well of late. This is obviously one of his better ball games. Losing him down the stretch clearly with us being short-handed with shooters with (Jeremiah) Kelly and Moses (Morgan), we needed someone to make shots. In fact, we got the shots that we wanted but Crockett and Kelly weren't in the game. Clearly, it changed the completion of the game. We were down another shooter coming down the stretch. We'll continue to be happy with his progress. He played pretty well until he fouled out."

On what Cincinnati did effectively to minimize Cleveland Melvin:
"They doubled him. They paid a lot of attention to him. They were sending a guy after him. I thought we should have done a little better of a job of being more patient in finding guys out of that. But, once again, in a tough ball game, Cleve played pretty well with 13 rebounds, with 11 being defensive, and gave us some scoring. It kind of gave us that big stretch in first half, probably gave us some control and confidence on the road. He played well, but he's got to improve in that area of the game because it's going to happen more and more, particularly when we're down two players, like we were tonight. They're going to send guys after him and they're not real concerned about leaving shooters open. We've got to recognize what strategies will be used against him and the main one will be double and triple teams."