Postgame Quotes
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Feb. 26, 2009

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University of Cincinnati

Mick Cronin, Head Coach

 

Opening Statement

“Obviously a great win for our team despite our poor shooting (6-for-20) from the three point line and our poor free throw shooting. We are winning ugly and grinding out victories. If you can hold teams to 61 points, you are going to have a chance to win. We raised our intensity level, which is what I have called upon our guys to do. Our effort changed after the first 10 minutes, and I thought that changed the game for us. We got up 10, and then we decided to miss free throws. To be honest, now that we have won the game, if I could have scripted it that way, I would have. We got down, and we had to get defensive stops to win the game. I thought it was Yancy’s (Gates) best game of the year. I probably played him too much. He was able to change the game. I was proud of our guy’s effort.”

 

On Mike’s Condition

“Mike has a sprained MCL. He is cleared to play. He is sore, and he tried to practice for about 30 minutes yesterday. He didn’t look comfortable, but there is no point in forcing it. He is day to day. He tweaked it in the Louisville game; we treated him to make sure he was okay but he hasn’t been able to get the soreness out.”

 

On Playing Without Mike

“My first concern was Mike’s health. I wish I could have played Anthony McClain. He was ready, but Darnell played well. You have to step up and win the game. Things like that will happen. If I’m going to preach no excuses to my guys, it has to be across the board. We don’t address injuries with the team. If we are going to break into the upper echelon of basketball, I told the guys we can only take them so far. I wasn’t’ happy with technical fouls, but it was the first time our guys showed a lot of emotion and passion. We need to learn how to do that without a technical foul. For the fans, this was a great game to give Huggins an unbelievable ovation. For us, our season is on the line. When the season is on the line, you have to scratch and claw. “

 

On Fan Support

“It bothered me a little bit that I was asked that question. Our fans have been loyal. Too much is made out of the people that aren’t here. I’m worried about the people that are here.”

 

On Post Season

“I would say that I don’t understand the RPI, and certain teams get more ink than other teams because of preseason rankings. Being on ESPN tonight, hopefully it helps. We still have games to play, and we aren’t worrying about post season. We have three more to go.”

 

On Earning Back Their Locker Room

“Yes. I hate doing that stuff, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have a great relationship with my team. We are a close knit group. We worry about the things that go on in our locker room, families, and each other. Sometimes it is hard to be so hard on them. It was really an attempt for the guys to take ownership in the team. I told them it was up to the assistant coach to let them back in.”

 

On Defensive Glass Effort

“It was much better. They got 16 rebounds, but it is all about numbers. We did it as a group. We got in there and fought. Y ancy’s nine was the most he has had since he has been here. Steve Toyloy had six, and Larry Davis had six. They (West Virginia) are second in the BIG EAST in defensive rebounding. They pursue the ball with great aggression. It is a credit to their coach because his teams have always done that.”

 

 

 

Yancy Gates, Fr., F

On His Game Tonight

“We knew they were small and liked to flop a lot. We just wanted to turn around and shoot over them.”

 

On Playing Well Against WVU Coach Bob Huggins

“It felt kind of good to play like that against one of his teams; especially since I grew up watching them.”

 

On Not Having Mike Williams

“Coach told me I would have to play more minutes. I played more forward in practice. Playing without Mike is something I am used to because we play on different teams in practice.”

 

 

 

Deonta Vaughn, So, G

On Pulling Off The Win

“Yes, that is what it was. It was giving us a chance for the NCAA tournament. We have been practicing hard to prepare for them. We wanted to play to our best aspects on the court. We knew they were going to do a lot of switches, but we wanted to get it into Yancy (Gates).”

 

On The Environment

“I knew it was going to be like this when West Virginia was going to be here. There were going to be a lot of people, and they were going to want to see Huggins again. We weren’t worried about Huggins being here, but we wanted to just play with chances.”

 

 

 

 

 

West Virginia University

Bob Huggins, Head Coach

 

On Before Game Ceremonies

“Honestly, I was standing in front of their bench. I was so used to standing there. I didn’t realize I was at the wrong bench until the officials came over. So many great memories of so many wonderful guys and walking in here with 13,176 and those people putting their hearts out. The love for what was Cincinnati basketball when I was here, and 16 years is a long time. I mean Joe wrote an article like I stayed around to screw the program up. I’m not sure what I was supposed to do. I love Cincinnati and I loved living here. I love the people here. I walk in yesterday and seven or eight of my guys are here. They are here tonight. Nick flies in from Houston. I had special guys. I had wonderful guys. I have enough memories to last me a lifetime.”

 

On Making Shots

I thought we could have made more than we did. They just jammed it up for us where we couldn’t score close. They forced us to make some jump shots, and we didn’t make any. We didn’t make enough. Even then we had opportunities and our execution down the stretch wasn’t very good. I probably screwed up. I put a guy in that hadn’t played. I put him in because he defends pretty well in practice. He fell down; Deonta got the ball, and then got an intentional foul.”

 

On The Team Atmosphere

“We’re going to compete. I think I’ve said to some of you, we definitely aren’t the most talented. We don’t shoot very straight, but we have great kids. They play hard and they try their hardest to do what you tell them to do. They don’t always do it, but they try their best. We play three freshmen in our top six. We are young, but they are great kids. I can’t say enough about them as people and the kind of kids that they are. Last year and this year, just going to practice was enjoyable. It is just enjoyable coaching them.”

 

On Wanting to Win

“I detest losing. I told our guys downstairs, I didn’t come back to alma mater to play for sixth. You walk out there and you see champions, and there are a whole bunch of them out there. It is all about an attitude and expectations.”

 

On Game Plan with Yancy

“It wasn’t very good, was it? We didn’t do a very good job. I didn’t think we fought it very hard. He is a big strong guy.”

 

On The Pre-Game Video

“This place will always have a special place in my heart. I knew I was going to tear up for the video so I didn’t want to look. I thought it would be disrespectful if I didn’t look. This is a special place. I lot of things have been said, but I have had the greatest guys here. I would take exception to anyone who thought anything else.”