Cincinnati-Louisville Postgame Quotes
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Feb. 16, 2011

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University of Cincinnati vs. University of Louisville

February 16, 2011 – Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati Quotes

Mick Cronin, Head Coach

Opening Statement

“Well, obviously a great win for our team. I thought we played 40 minutes as hard as we’ve played all year. Our problem has been that we haven’t played with the intensity we need to for the entire 40 minutes. That’s what’s required to win in our conference and we did it tonight. We made some adjustments defensively to make our team more aggressive. Our message to our team was if we had a high deflection total that we would win the game.  The guys really bought into it and did a great job with our intensity on the defensive end. That was the difference in the game, that and Cashmere Wright. He probably had his best game since he’s been here. SK (Sean Kilpatrick) banged in some shots that widened out their zone. Yancy Gates had a big impact on the game with getting fouled. He had zero turnovers from a team that was trying to trap him a lot. We ran our offense through him most of the second half.”

“We had a great day on Monday. Our best practice in two or three months on Tuesday. It’s a long season and kids can get distracted. They are under a lot of pressure and stress. It is hard to insulate your team from negativity probably a lot harder than I anticipated because I’m totally insulated. We addressed a lot of things on Monday. We are 20-6, and we need to be proud of that. We don’t need to let anybody define us individually or as a team that is outside of our locker room. You can’t seek approval or praise from other people because it is empty. It doesn’t matter either way. All that needs to matter is your team, your family, and what goes on inside our locker room. All that other stuff is empty and they’ll come to find that out anyway. Those people won’t be there for them when they need them anyway. We addressed a lot of that on Monday.”

On Rashad Bishop’s Defense

“To win in this league, you need a veteran who can guard. This kid’s the best defensive player in our conference. He can guard 1 thru 4 and he’s unbelievable. We made a decision to put him on Siva to keep Siva out of the lane. We have others that can chase Knowles. When Siva came out, we put him on Knowles. We’ll miss that big time next year.”

On Their Three Point Shooting

“They lead the BIG EAST in the three point shot. Obviously, I have a little knowledge of what goes on in their practice. You don’t let them steal the ball, get on runs, and bang in threes. You really take away what makes them who they are. We tried to stay at home when they drilled the ball. We tried to make them finish off the rim and not foul them. For the most part, we did a great job of that. They only took 7 free throws. We made them finish tough shots by shooting over our big people. That’s where Yancy did a great job.”

On Win Helping NCAA Hopes

“Every win helps. Obviously, St. John’s looks like a pretty good win on the road with how they are playing. If Saturday we get beat, you ask me how much that hurts our tournament chances. There is a lot of ball to be played still.”

On 20th Win Since 2006

“I told the guys in the meeting on Monday no one is raining on my parade. I don’t need to rehash what my situation looked like when I took this job. Tough loss against St. John’s, trust me. I was sick for two days. It is a brutal existence when something happens. I don’t care who it is. I used to have to coach games with kids that I loved, but Marcus Sikes playing center against Hatheem Thabeet. Now I have good team. We are having a good year whether anyone wants to recognize it or not. I told my team I’m going to do anything I can do to enjoy it, and I’ll certainly enjoy it. I’m happy with the 20th win.”

On Finishing the Game

“I’ve learned that I can’t get a timeout because I’m obviously too short. You didn’t see me chase John Gaffney down half court. I tried to call a timeout. I can’t get a timeout and I have to instruct one of my players to call it. Still at the end of the game, we were dribbling it too much against their pressure. In the last minute, they were down 10. You aren’t going to get a 10 count just hold the ball and get the foul. We will edit that and make sure we cover it on film.”

On Best Executed Game

“The Xavier game we were pretty dominant. We’ve had some good games. Tonight, under the circumstances with our backs against the walls, I thought we did well. If you are in that pack of 7-6, you worry that you’ll play musical chairs at the end and someone gets left out. You don’t want to be the one left out when the music stops.”

Player Quotes

Yancy Gates, Jr., F

On Rashad Bishop’s Defense and Feeding off his Energy

“That’s his job. He knows he’s the best defender on the team. He accepts that and he comes out. He goes out and guards who ever coach puts him on. He really sets the tone on defense for games like this where there are key players. He is very poised on defense. Certain things you look forward, Cash got the energy on offense and Copo brought it on defense.”

On Hearing Fans Cheering

“During the game, no. When you come out, you notice it. You are so focused that you don’t notice it. It helps get your energy and adrenaline running.”

On Playing Tonight

“Just trying to get back out there. I feel like I haven’t played in so long. It felt good to be out there and helping my team whatever I had to do to help win. Trying to get back in the groove with my teammates. And be ready to play.”

On Being in Better Shape

“From being a freshman, any freshman is hard. Being in shape, and being able to run up and down. It’s been easier since I got in shape and lost some weight.”

On Last Few Days

“No, I’ve got great teammates. My teammates know because I talk about everything with them. As long as my teammates weren’t down on me, nothing really mattered.”

On What The Win Win Means

“It helps. It helps us a lot especially after the St. John’s loss. It was a ranked opponent at home, and it is a big deal. We have two more ranked opponents here. After that loss, people thought they won’t make it, but we never felt like that.”

On NCAA Hopes

“We aren’t just going to assume that this team losses. We are going to control what we can control and the outcome of our own games. No, everyone doubts us. We don’t care. It doesn’t matter to us.

Cashmere Wright, So., G

On Setting the Tone

“Coach Cronin told me from the get go to reduce the play calling and just attack. Attack, attack, attack. Just be aggressive. He told us to look inside first. He told us to quit thinking and just do it. It made the game much easier. I did less thinking and more playing.”

Sean Kilpatrick, Fr., G

On Celebrating

“Yes, especially after the fact that they support us all year. They deserve something like that.”

On Playing with Fire

“For the past couple of days, we’ve been having a lot of meetings telling each other that we have to hold each other accountable. Even though one of the other players scores, we aren’t looking about it that Coach is going to be mad. We are looking that other players are going to be mad. We are playing for each other. It’s always more accountability, but at the end of the day, it’s good to play together and have each other’s b ack.”

University of Louisville Quotes

Rick Pitino

UofL Head Coach

Opening comment …

“They played tenacious defense and took us out of our game. That is a credit to what they did. Our guys tried as they usually do, but when you get in a game like that when it is such a slow-paced game and it’s smash mouth basketball, you have to match the defensive effort without fouling. We physically couldn’t match that and that is the reason that we lost the game. We didn’t do a good job of defending them in the low post, we fouled too much. That being said the pace was theirs. They were at home. They needed this win to get them in the NCAA and they certainly deserved it and I’m real happy for Mick.”

On getting within five points …

“Yeah, Mike Marra had a wide open shot. We have to get him concentrating on defense, doing other things, then he will make his shots. He is just relying on being a jump shooter. Instead he needs to learn how to run a pick and roll correctly, he needs to learn to guard somebody and if he starts doing it and becoming a better passer, he will make shots. When you are just a one-dimensional basketball player, you put too much pressure on yourself. Kyle (Kuric) has learned to do that, Kris Smith has learned to that a little bit. Now Mike has to do it.”

On getting within 12 and then stalling …

“Yeah, we had that wide open shot. We struggled to score. They played great defense, they really did, but the difference in the game without question is that we couldn’t turn them over and we couldn’t keep them off the foul line. That was the difference in the game.”

On only attempting seven free throws …

“Yeah, it wasn’t the referees’ calls. We don’t have guys that get to the rim. TJ dishes, but our guards didn’t get foul.”

On substituting …

“Yeah, we still can’t substitute yet. Rock (Jared Swopshire) hasn’t played in nine weeks. He may be in shape to play, but he is not in basketball shape to play. Gorgui (Dieng) did a decent job, so he is ready to play, he wasn’t out that long. Preston (Knowles) got a lot of experience and I’m happy with that. He threw some nice passes and that is going to help us.”

UofL Player Quotes

#23 Terrence Jennings, Forward

On what went wrong tonight against Cincinnati…

“We just didn’t come out and execute like we were supposed to. They [Cincinnati] came out and they were prepared. They played great tonight, but we just didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”

On Louisville’s lack of consistent flow…

“Cincinnati took us out of pretty much our whole offense. We just have to get back in the gym and get ready for UConn. They played great tonight, and I give them credit for coming out and playing well.”

On Louisville’s intensity level…

“In the first half we kind of let ourselves get down. I think the effort was there, we just didn’t execute properly and weren’t able to get stops like we were supposed to.”

On the physicality of the game…

“It was hard, but it’s just the mentality. We have to come out and be tougher. They were the tougher team tonight, and they played great. Like I said, we have to get back to the gym and figure out what we need to do to get better. Our effort was there tonight, and we played hard. We just need to get better.”

#14 Kyle Kuric, Guard

On Cincinnati’s defense…

“Their [Cincinnati’s] wasn’t the problem tonight; it was our defense. We didn’t get stops like we needed to.”

On Louisville’s offense…

“They put more pressure on us than we were expecting. They were more aggressive than we thought they’d be on the offensive end. We weren’t getting free throws, because we were pulling up too much tonight and shooting too many threes. “