Cincinnati-Providence Postgame Quotes

Feb. 15, 2012

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Providence at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Feb. 15, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“Any double-figure win in the BIG EAST is a great win. I think when Providence made a run at us you have to give Vincent Council credit. He’s a tremendous talent. You have to give their team credit, especially their coach for holding them together and continuing to fight. It didn’t surprise me because I’ve watched them on film. I saw them almost upset West Virginia and be up 19 at Villanova.  I saw them mount the same comeback against Pittsburgh.”

On UC’s rebounding:
“I think it was the difference in the game. Yancy (Gates) did a great job. We are getting better at rebounding the ball with two hands. He was a two-handed rebounder tonight. Dion (Dixon) and (Sean Kilpatrick) got in there. That was big for us. Justin (Jackson) was highly productive in his 12 minutes. I didn’t want to go zone and give up the three-point shot. Although, we were giving it up in the man-to- man. LaDontae Henton is a difficult coverage for Justin with the way he was shooting the basketball.  I think it hurt us offensively. We are a better offensive team against the zone with Justin working the high-low with Yancy.  It hurt our offense but when you have the lead, you try to go with your best defensive line up.”

On UC’s bench performance:
“Jeremiah (Davis) was the key to the 7-point run (in the first half). I have great confidence in those guys. They are the future of our program. I just told Justin, Jeremiah and Ge’Lawn (Guyn) that I was going with mostly a defensive line up in the second half, especially the last 10 minutes. Those guys gave us quality minutes. Ge’Lawn has to do a better job of having more confidence in his perimeter shooting. I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to get the ball inside against the zone, which we had talked about, so he was very locked in. I had a chance to talk to Jeremiah before he went in, not that he needed it.  I told him to be confident and shoot the ball when you are open. “

On what he told his team in timeouts when Providence was making a run:
“Before they made the run, I told them to quit looking at the scoreboard and just play. That was our problem against Marquette; we were worrying about blowing a 12 point lead. It doesn’t matter.  You are up 12, so what. I averaged 30 a game in eighth grade and nobody cares. I’m the same height, same weight, no hair now. Nobody cares.  You have to keep playing and show toughness. The only score that matters is the final score. You can’t get too upset. You have to catch square, look up the floor, which we did a good job of doing. We started using Yancy in the middle of the press break. We weren’t using him. He’s standing there and he’s hard to miss. He’s not Tiny Tim now.”

Providence head coach Ed Cooley
Opening statement:
“Tale of two halves. Obviously, rebounding was an issue for us all night. We were a little lackluster to start the game. I thought we gave Cincinnati a ton of confidence early and that carried them through the game. We’re a good basketball team, but we’re still growing, learning. I’m trying to keep my kids’ heads up. We’ve been in so many close games and the same Achilles Heel continues to bite us. We can’t secure an urgency rebound. Look at our last six losses - take away the Syracuse loss - the games come down to the last four minutes and second shots. It’s killing us. It’s really, really hurting us. Hopefully, that is something we can continue to address as we build our program. Another game, it’s really frustrating seeing these kids lose in battles so hard, but I’m proud of the effort to get back in the game.”

On if he saw a chance to come back from being down 24 points:
“I always believe that, of course. We wanted to try to pick up the pace a little bit and press just to get our bodies going. I felt like we were in mud for 30 minutes. Then when we pressed and we got a little energy, the game changed. The game changed dramatically, but there just wasn’t enough to get over the hump. “

On changes made from the first to second half:
“It’s so delicate there. I just wanted an active body and [we] weren’t active in the first half. Didn’t move our feet well, weren’t attentive, trying to guard people on the interior. What did we give up? Like 27 points in the first half in the paint. We got 30 fouls there. We should be fouling those guys because we just can’t let people score in front of our face like that. We made a coaching decision just to go in a different route.”

On the scoring imbalance:
“It was really, really strange. Vince (Council) played really well. LaDontae (Henton) despite having the flu. We have to try to get (Bryce) Cotton going. In his last two games, he’s maybe one for 15, one for 16 from the floor. We’re not going to win too many games with our second-leading scorer scoring zero points.  He was so open, he’s still open. You’re in the BIG EAST, you’ve got to make that shot. That pushes it to a four-point game or a five-point game. I definitely felt momentum shift. Anything’s possible, two possession game.”

Cincinnati Player Quotes
No. 23-Sean Kilpatrick, G

On the nerves of the team after Providence cut the lead to seven in the second half:

“It is always like that playing against a dangerous team. You know that they are capable of making shots and they have great shooters and great players, but with a team like that, when you have the lead that we had, we can’t look at the scoreboard. We have to just keep playing.”

On the ways to combat the hot shooting of Providence’s Vincent Council:
“Well, the player that is really not doing much, you have to help off him then you have to try to contain (Vincent) Council. He was hitting big shots and he was making some unbelievable stuff, but it was good that we were able to get the win at the end.” 

On the importance of stretching out the lead toward the end of the game:
“Yeah, especially with the fact that we knew that they were just going to wind up fouling us so we had to knock down free throws in order to get the lead up. Council was coming down and hitting some stuff that we didn’t even think he was going to hit so the free throws at the end, they counted.”

No. 34-Yancy Gates
On trying to get a win any way you can at this point in the season:
“Oh yeah, especially this time of the year, everyone is desperate for wins. We were shocked that we went up as much as we did, but we knew from watching some film on them that, in the second half, they are a real good team. Especially with a guy like Council, who can go off like he did at any given time. You just want to try to play hard and come out with the win.”

On a team goal of how many BIG EAST wins the team wants:
“Really, we are just focused on the last five, game by game, every game is just as important as the next. Tomorrow we will start getting ready to try to get a win against Seton Hall, who has won their last four. It is going to be a tough game Saturday, but it is an important game for us too, so we will be up for it.

On the sense in the locker room with the season winding down:
"Not necessarily the locker room, I think it is more of, in the locker room and on the court, just trying to help each other stay focused on what we are trying to do. Finish strong down the stretch, so we can get into the tournament which is where we want to be and also hopefully get a good seed in the BIG EAST tournament. It is more of everybody, not just a couple people more, but a group thing just trying to make sure everyone is focused.”

On the production of the bench tonight:
“That helped out a lot. That was part of us taking that lead like that in the first half, JD (Jeremiah Davis III), Jermaine (Sanders) and Ge’Lawn (Guyn). Even Justin (Jackson) came in and played with instant energy which led to some buckets. It gave us a lift, especially at the time when we needed it. It was big for us tonight.”