Postgame Quotes: Villanova at Cincinnati

Feb. 12, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Villanova at Cincinnati
Feb. 12, 2013
Fifth Third Arena

Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin Quotes
Opening statement:
"Obviously, a great effort by our guys. We had 46 deflections tonight, forced 19 turnovers, and had 21 points off turnovers. Like I said defense was the answer, deflections, loose balls, playing for your teammates and with heart and pride is the answer. Fortunately, I have some winners in the locker room and playing hurt and diving all over the floor. Cashmere had 14 deflections tonight. He's doing it with one arm."

On Cashmere Wright's shoulder:
"He can't extend his left arm too much. He's been playing that way all year. He has to get fixed after the season. It happened in the Oregon game. We don't practice very long at all. For him, it is getting enough consecutive days of playing basketball to get himself back to where he is a confident offensive player again."

On getting lost in the game:
"I think you look at the beginning of the game. Too many guys (were) worry about shooting, offense and lay ups. You have to get lost in the game. Worry about trapping the pick n roll, scrambling, getting lose balls, and getting your hands on the basketball. Any player will tell you this, you can't play offense and worry about missing. I finally got Jermaine Sanders to just let it fly. Ge'Lawn (Guyn) and the rest of the guys just to shoot the ball. You can't think, oh man, I missed the last one. It has to go in, oh the crowd and we're struggling on offense. That isn't the answer.

On Cincinnati's offense:
"If we had scored 50, we would have still won the game by eight. Our defense was off the charts and our hustle and our love for each other - the things that we can control. You win easy when you make some shots. We have good shooters. Our guys can shoot the ball and our passing was much better. That helps."

On Villanova's defense:
"Villanova is a team that their defense is giving up 37 percent from three. They are a hard help team defensively, and always have been. They don't give up lay ups. That is just their philosophy. You have to knock down shots to beat them. You won't get a bunch of lay-ups on them.  They are going to draw the charge and rotate. They've always done that and always will."

On his players being relieved to win:
"I'm sure they were. It is hard to insulate your team from external pressures. That is the biggest change in coaching from the 90s. For me, I'm coaching at my alma mater in my hometown. If we had lost the game, I'm still the coach. As much as I want to win, and as hard as I am on myself, you have enjoy it and I have good kids. That is a big factor. You won't always win. My dad taught me that a long time ago. I want Cashmere Wright to play well for Cashmere Wright. He has helped rebuild the program, and he's done his job. I want him to be able to stay healthy and get what he wants out of the end of his career."

On JaQuon Parker being aggressive:
"Same thing for JaQuon Parker. He doesn't say a word. You've seen us play and he's gone down on his ankle in the last two games. We just don't talk about it. We try not to make excuses. We finally got him to be aggressive. He only had four shots in the last game, and we can't win that way.  He was 2 of 4 in the last game. He has to be more aggressive on the offensive end. Sometimes that is my fault because I talk about making the extra pass, getting each other shots, and he's so into doing what I ask him to do that I can't take his aggressiveness away."

On Wright's 14 deflections:
"No question, the guy had 14 deflections. Like I said, if you see him on the floor, he has to do it in a way that he doesn't extend his left arm. That's what people don't understand. His value to our team cannot be measured on the stat sheet. Of course, Chris Shumate played for me at Murray State, and he always points out that he led us in deflections. We won 28 games that year. I don't recall him every getting double digits, but, of course, he is saying he had more. Fourteen is a lot, and I don't remember anyone every getting 14."

Cincinnati Player Quotes
No. 23 Sean Kilpatrick, G
On Cashmere Wright tying the school record for career steals:
"Personally, I think they should have gave Cash one more to be the all-time leader in steals and whoever didn't make that calculation is going to have to deal with us. This guy over here worked his butt of today and I think he deserves to have at least one more steal because he set a record for the team today with 14 deflections. So I don't see why he didn't get one of those steals."

On getting out of a scoring slump with defense:
"I think we attacked the ball today on defense and we did a lot of trapping and we made a lot of rotations today. Everyone was active, we came to this game today not even thinking about offense, everyone was in a defensive mindset and our captain right here (Cashmere Wright) led us to through everything."

On feeling a sense of relief after tonight's victory:
"Yes, as soon as I walked in the locker room, I was like it was good to have that monkey off our back because we have been scrapping and clawing the last two games. It wasn't pretty especially due to the fact that we know that we are capable of playing better than what we did the last two games. It's all a grind, you have to be able to grind 40 minutes and when you are grinding 40 minutes and when you're playing defense the way we did today it makes things a lot more easier."

On what the difference was today defensively:
"Energy, and honestly our big men they played a huge role today. With Jack (Justin) coming off the injury that he had with his ankle, he still gave us great minutes, with his blocks and his rebounding."

No. 1 Cashmere Wright, G
On jump shot getting better:
"Yeah, it feels way better. You can tell it's coming back. Like Coach Cronin told me, `don't worry about it, over time it's going to come back, so keep shooting. The team wants you to keep shooting and all the ones you shoot make sure they are good shots.'

On if he was worried about the tough stretch:
"I wasn't worried about it, because when you have people like the person next to me (Sean Kilpatrick) telling me all the time don't worry about it, its ok I have been through that; you just know you have to push through. That it's a long season and we still haven't made it to the end of the Big East schedule. We still have a lot of time to fine tune things and get it right."

On how much his confidence took a hit from shooting slump:
"My confidence never really fluctuates too much. I always believe I am going to hit the next shot no matter what happens. Like my parents always tell me, `nobody makes every shot, there is no way that I am going to make every shot this year.' So he said `everyone goes through slumps so keep playing.'"

On if Coach Cronin said anything about players not diving on the floor for balls:
"He made an emphasis on the past four games nobody on the team had dived on the floor. He said how are we supposed to win if we are not the hungrier team. That's what we are stapled by, playing hard defense and being the first one to the ground and coming up with the ball. Myself, Sean and JaQuon, we have to set an example. We have to be the first to show the people on the bench that when you come in the game nothing should change. If we are on the floor, you should be on the floor."

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright Quotes
On Cincinnati's play tonight:
"Their defense was outstanding and offensively their guards were outstanding. Their guards just dominated us. I give their veteran guards a lot of credit. I think it was their team defense and then we had no answer for their guards. We couldn't trap them and then we did trap them they got easy baskets. When we tried to guard them one on one, they just beat us and when we tried to help, they passed out for some threes. I just thought that their guards were outstanding."

On how Cincinnati plays together as a unit:
"I just think we got pressured by their guards tonight. Not so much full-court pressure, but their guards got up in the face of our guards. We just didn't execute well enough to take advantage of that. And when you don't, they take you out of what you want to do. That's what they did. Then on the other end when they ran their plays they just knew that if any of our guys helped they knew where the next guy was. They knocked down shots. They played like a veteran and experienced team."

On Cincinnati's perimeter shooting:
"I think it was the fact that they were breaking us down defensively and forcing us to help which led to them getting the open threes. It was the same thing that happened to us at Notre Dame. Grant was able break us down and force us to help. We just haven't been able to guard the ball one on one. They're breaking us down and forcing us to help. That's how we're giving up so many threes."

On the difference in the second half:
"They made great decisions. I thought they hit a couple tough shots too. The one that Kilpatrick hit was really about 30 feet out. When you let a guy like that hit three of those in the first half and really get going, he's going to continue to do that. Then on the other end we just didn't make great decisions and weren't ready to shoot when they kicked it out. I have to give their defense credit. Their defense just sped us up."

Villanova Player Quotes
No. 22 JayVaughn Pinkston, F
On how Cincinnati's defense played tonight:
"We didn't really get into a flow tonight. They knocked down shots. We were scrambling. We just have to get better on executing more and playing together."

On if it was the toughest defense he has seen this year:
"No, not really. We just weren't smart. We are going to get better and we have time to get better at it."

On if it was disappointing to lose after winning two straight:
"Yeah. I think that we are going to get better. We are going to go into practice tomorrow and get better at the little things. It is the little things that we always talk about, like turnovers, but we are going to get better."

On if this game was more physical tonight than normal:
"No, not really. I don't think so."

On the difference between the offense in the first half compared to the second half:
"Just making the right decision. We got to the free throw line, we just have to execute there and knock down our free throws."

On UC in the first half compared to the second half:
"I don't think there was anything different. They were just knocking down shots. We came out and worked hard, but they just executed better."

On UC's three point shooting:
"They just made the extra pass and knocked down open threes. We were rotating, but they made the kick and knocked down shots."