Cincinnati-Marquette Postgame Quotes

Feb. 29, 2012

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No. 8/7 Marquette at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Feb. 29,2012

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening Statement:

“First of all, it was great win for our team. Tremendous home court advantage here for us late in the year. It’s a big factor in the win. Thanks to our students and all our fans. Our goal is to get that advantage on a nightly basis. It affects winning and recruiting.

“One thing the students chanted was overrated and they are wrong. Marquette is not overrated. They have had a great season, and they have two players that could be player of the year in the BIG EAST. I voted for Jae Crowder, personally. He had 17 and 12 tonight. He affects winning more than anyone in our conference. I believe in always voting for someone that can end up placing first or second.

“Just a great win. Whenever you can dominate a game when you’re your best shooters can’t throw it in the ocean, it speaks to how well you played on defense. We really took care of the basketball. For us, our shooting percentage is misleading, at times, because we get so many shot attempts. We lead the BIG EAST or we are right there tied (for first). That’s the big thing with a four-guard offense because we take care of the ball and are a solid rebounding team. We aren’t the best, but we can get offensive rebounds, and in the first half, we got plenty. We get more shot attempts than our opponents. That is a big stat for us.  We got more shot attempts and more free throws tonight. We dominated points in the paint, fast break, and points off turnovers. I kept on telling our staff that if we make a shot, this thing is going to be over quick. The kids did a great job with 36 deflections in our zone. It was a great defensive effort all around for our team.

“Most importantly, we took care of the ball. You have to take care of the ball against Marquette. They are the fastest team in the country. You didn’t see that tonight because of our zone and we made them take their time. Even though they got enough shots, we felt it gave us enough of a chance to win.”

On JaQuon Parker’s performance:
“(It was) off the charts. It was tremendous. I’m the genius that didn’t play him last year. Think about that. He’s awesome with his toughness and practice habits. I couldn’t be happier for anybody on our team, for who he is as a person and what he’s been through while he’s been here. I think playing point helped him earlier in his career. It was just getting to a point where we could put him on the wing and let him attack.”

On Justin Jackson:
“Justin was great. Back spasms have really bothered him. Six blocks in the first half. It was awesome. He gave us low-post offense too. He was dominating the game for a minute there. I’m concerned about his back spasms. It is something we need to make go away. It didn’t bother him in practice. The way he is jumping out of the gym. He must be jumping so high that he landed funny.”

Cincinnati Player Quotes

No.3-Dion Dixon, G
On holding Marquette to only five fast break points:
“That was the main thing to keep them off the break. They score all their points in transition so we figured, if we limit them to under 10 points in transition, we’d have a great opportunity to win and that’s what happened.”

On other things the defense did well tonight that were missing in the previous game against Marquette:
“Last game, it wasn’t our defense, I think we just let them out and get layups. In this game, Coach (Cronin) put an emphasis on not letting them get layups. Make them score on our half-court defense and that’s what we did and see if they can beat us like that and we proved that they can’t.”

On if the defense was just dropping back early or not going hard for rebounds to prevent layups:
“No, it wasn’t that, we were taking good shots: being patient on offense, not rushing anything, not taking bad shots. Just being patient on offense and we’ll get whatever we want.”

No. 34-Yancy Gates, F
On initial thoughts about the win:

“It felt good to get the win especially because it was our last game in the arena, so we couldn’t ask for more.”

On if tonight is near the top of the list in games you have played in Fifth Third Arena:
“Oh yeah, (it was) definitely one of the top. The team came out, we all played great. Everybody did what they had to do to get the win. It is something I will remember forever.”

On Justin Jackson’s effort limiting Marquette transition baskets with his blocks:
“That was big. Some of the buckets you normally count them and just go back and play D. But Justin is fast and athletic and he does that best, so that was big for us. I think he had like six (blocks) in the first half, so that was big.”

On how big of a factor Jackson was with you getting two early fouls in the first half:
“Marquette is not the biggest team in the world, so they (UC) played six games (during the suspensions) with Justin (Jackson) at the five so it wasn’t unfamiliar for our team to play that way. It is actually comfortable that way, so he got in the game and played the way he played when we were suspended, so it was big for us.”

On the early fouls frustrating you after a strong start:
“The only frustrating thing was that I didn’t think they were fouls. You just go on the bench and wait for the next half and keep cheering on your team. Justin (Jackson) came in and played big, so it really didn’t make a difference.”

On if the team is in the tournament now:
“We have another game Saturday, so we have to win this game. We win this game, hopefully we are in then.”

No. 44-JaQuon Parker, G
On if taking the ball to the basket was his game plan:
“Oh yeah, because they deny the wings, so it was (everyone’s)  game plan because you were going to get one-on-one the whole time, so we were just going to take it to the basket.” 

On being surprised about the ease with which he was able to get to the basket:
“In the first Marquette game it was the same way, like they said, we just couldn’t pull it together, but I wasn’t surprised by that.”

On what was opening up that allowed the team to get the ball to the basket:
“We were just running a wing-pick. We just basically did our normal downhill stuff, so we just took advantage of that.”

On being surprised about how open the lane was:
“No, because they deny the wings. If you have a guy in the corner, they are going to deny that corner so, if you turn the corner you are wide open.”

Marquette head coach Buzz Williams
On if transition was in Cincinnati’s favor:
“No doubt. That was the most number of points we’ve given up in transition not just this year but in the last four years. I thought they were superb in transition.”

On if transition defense was slow:
“Or nonexistent. Either or. (It) just depended on the possession.”

On what it was about Marquette’s defense that allowed UC to get to the rim so much in half court:
“I thought they were outstanding. I don’t know if there were ever nonconsecutive possessions where they didn’t get a paint touch. They forced help, whether that be in transition or in the half court. But in the half court, I thought they were outstanding. It wasn’t necessarily their actions that caused the paint touch, it was penetration. A guess a few of those possessions they threw the ball inside to Yancy (Gates). I thought they were outstanding at driving it into the paint.”

On if this was a hard night for Marquette to get anything going offensively:
“Our defense is tied to our offense. If we’re taking the ball out of the net, we’re not going to be near as good. The other thing is that’s the first time all year that we’ve had a negative assist to turnover ratio. We’re in the top 10 in the country in assists, top 10 in the country in assists to turnover ratio, top 10 in country in assist percentage. I don’t know when the last time we had 17 turnovers was and a lot of that was their defense. But our offensive efficiency was tied to our defensive efficiency and we were really poor in that regard.”

On Justin Jackson:
“He’s an athletic, hard playing, unbelievable energy type guy for Mick to have coming off the bench.”