2007-08 Cincinnati Men's Basketball

Feb. 28, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Cincinnati at Pitt, Feb. 27, 2008, Petersen Events Center


Quoting Pitt's Head Coach Jamie Dixon:


Opening Statement:


"This is a hard-fought win against an NCAA tournament caliber team. I don't care what their record says, they've had some injury problems, and they have the talent to make the tournament. It was a grind tonight, but I'm proud that we managed to pull through. DeJuan Blair's free-throws were big for us down the stretch and that Levance Fields really stepped up his play in the second half. I think that three at the end of the game is going to be big for Levance in terms of getting his confidence back. I don't think people realize how tough it is to sit for eight weeks then come back and play."




On Pitt's rebounding:


"The numbers don't lie. We're not rebounding like we need to right now. I think some of that is that we start a smaller line-up. It didn't hurt us earlier, but it seems to be doing it now. With our schedule, we're also not getting in the practice time we need to right now. We have to get better at that moving forward, but we're still finding our way and improving."


On Levance Fields playing 35 minutes:


"He's got to go right now. You can't simulate game situations effectively enough in practice, and to get him where he needs to be he just has to play through it. He's a tough player, and I'm confident he's going to pull through and continue to get better."


On what he told the team after they fell behind 40-33:


"I can't remember specifically what I said, but I know we pulled it together after that. We got that big steal by Sam Young and the three by Levance Fields to really put the game away. I think we also did a better job defensively as the second half progressed."


On Pitt's shooting:


"We haven't shot it well, but I think we're getting good looks. We took too many threes tonight, but Ronald Ramon had a lot of good open looks, so what can you do? We have two guys playing with torn labrums and another with an infected finger. We're just going to have to play through it and keep trying to get good looks."


On Ronald Ramon surpassing 1,000 career points:


"Ronald is a winner. He's been on four 20 win teams during his time here. He's beloved on campus, and every point he's given to this team, he's given us even more as a person."





Quoting Cincinnati Head Coach Mike Cronin


Opening Statement:


"This was a hard-fought Big East game tonight. I have to give Pitt credit. They played really well. Sam Young just took over in there, and DeJuan Blair really dominated with those offensive rebounds that he got. They made big plays. We made big plays. I'm sure it was a great game to watch. Our turnovers were too high. When the game was tied at 55, we got that three and then let them go down and score one, too to tied it at 58-58, and I don't think we ever climbed back up. This was a tough road loss. We really needed this win being in the situation that we are in the conference."


On comparing this year's Pitt team to last year's:


"When you have a senior center, someone who is a first-team All-Big East in Aaron Gray and then you've got a fifth-year senior in Levon Kendall, you've got a lot of experience under the basket, and that makes all the difference. I know. I've got young guys down low. No one has more than two years of experience and it makes games tough. Freshmen aren't going to be as good as veterans in rebounding or on defense. DeJuan Blair is good, but he's not going to be where Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall were until he's at least a junior. We have same problem as Pitt, we're both young down low. The best teams out there have veterans under the basket. Still, Pitt has a great coach, and they find a way to win. They'd just lost too much recently to lose again tonight."


On what the difference in the game was:


"Our turnovers were too high. We gave Pitt too many easy baskets and we were just unable to play defense. Sam Young was a difference. His play tonight was huge. DeJuan Blair's ability to block out when Pitt was struggling to make their three-pointers, that really hurt us tonight, too.


On the momentum swing:


"This game got really physical. We just turned it over too much, and they tightened up. We didn't understand or deal with the heat the Pitt was bringing. Sam Young really stepped up and put the ball in the basket. He's just a great player."


On Sam Young:


"He can score in so many ways. He's just a great player. You know what he's going to do, and you still can't stop him. That's the sign of a great player, and that's Sam Young."