March 8, 2012
Final Stats |
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI
COACH CRONIN: Obviously a great game. Georgetown was tremendous today, outplayed us for most of the game. But our kids, despite not being able to make shots, we hung in there, continued to battle. As a coach, you talk about developing an inner toughness and not letting your offense affect your defense. Today was a great example of the character of our team. So I couldn't be more proud of these guys right now, to go 2 for 21 from three against Georgetown and win the game is unthinkable to be honest with you. It's just unthinkable that we were able to dig it out. So I'm just really proud of the team.
Q. Can you just talk a little bit about the resiliency that you guys showed, down 11 with nine minutes left?
COACH CRONIN: Yeah, you know, that's what I said in my opening statement. As a coach, there's things you can control. You talk about effort and attitude and togetherness and playing hard and defending and rebounding and hanging in there and staying together. There's never a better example of that than today with the situation we were in. We were down as far as 11. I believe when I called a time out, I was just trying to get the guys settled, let's just get after them and make one last run at them. We're going to score eventually, you've got to stay together and keep digging in.
These guys have been through a lot together rebuilding the program, so I think that they've been in situations, and when you've got leadership like we have, it was air key. The other key, we started getting the ball to I can't answer I. That was a big key. He got us a lot of tough baskets when we were really struggling.
Q. I can't answer I, how badly do you want to stay here and play? How hungry are you?
Yancy Gates: I was thinking about that on the court. This is my last shot at it, so you don't want to just play one game and go home right away. I'll never played in the Garden in the Big East Tournament again, so just trying to push and fight and stay here as long as possible.
Q. What was it like when you were going back and forth, going blow for blow?
Yancy Gates: Henry Sims, he's a great player, so just trying to guard him as tough as I can, and the same with him. We both were caught up on getting tough baskets down the stretch for our team, so it was just a good battle between two big men, two seniors, too, trying to stay in New York for a day longer?
Q. Coach, you said earlier in the season you didn't ever want to come out of the zone again, even if people criticized you, but at the start of the second half you brought out man to man. Why is that?
COACH CRONIN: No, I said that about Marquette. Marquette could have beat us by 50 at Cincinnati, I wasn't coming out of the zone. Our plan was to try to change defenses. They're so proficient on the offensive end, what you try to do is pick the shots they're going to get. They're going to get shots because they're such a good passing team. But you try to keep them off balance as much as possible.
I thought zone worked for us late, different times, different things. But they only had two turnovers at halftime, so we needed to turn up the heat. So I think the first half was more my fault. I was so in the pregame I was talking too much about not getting backdoored and we didn't have enough pressure on the ball, and consequently we weren't the layoff, the double bye, we were flat. That was my fault in the game preparation.
Trying to get the guys going in the second half as much as possible, not worry about fouling. We've got to get up there and get some deflections. If we don't turn them over we're not going to win the game, got to get some turnovers, and they did a great job of that.
Q. Cashmere, can you talk about the game winning shot, what you saw and how you were able to get that basket?
Cashmere Wright: I mean, it was all set by Yancy. They were respecting me so much, like when he ducked in, seemed like the whole team just sucked into him, so the hole just opened up wide open, and I just took it upon myself to try to win the game for my team.
Q. What was it like watching Yancy go back and forth like that?
COACH CRONIN: You know, one thing it's like a proud parent. Me and his dad will talk tonight and laugh. We've been working on this guy for a long time, his dad longer than me. One thing about Yancy and Dion Dixon, they're traditional guys. You know the 60 Minute special about red shirting. These guys weren't held back. They are young seniors. He's still a young guy. His best basketball is way ahead of him still as he continues to develop his body and become an adult. He's been called upon to do a lot, too much, in rebuilding our program, before he was ready to do it. It was really unfair. He's been through a lot. So for me, two things: I'm happy for him, but also as a coach, it's great when you know you've got a horse and you get him the ball and he's delivering. It gives you options. When you've got no options, it's tough to wear a suit and a tie over there. But when you've got a guy like him doing that, then it gives you some options. Our offense changed once he started finishing, we started getting him the ball.
Q. Could you just talk about tomorrow night's match up in the semifinals, now playing against Syracuse?
COACH CRONIN: Yeah, that's the farthest thing from my mind right now. We understand Syracuse has got a great team. UConn gave them a great battle today. We'll show up. Game is at 7:00, right? We'll be here. We'll make sure we're here.
Q. Yancy, you guys played them earlier in the season. You came back to turn them over a bunch. Do you guys think about that game when you were down?
Yancy Gates: Yeah, that was one of the first things he mentioned coming down the stretch, how we were able to do that in their gym, to be in the Garden at a neutral site, it was possible to do it again. I think that kind of gave us the confidence and the energy to go out there and make it happen, which we was able to.
Q. Talk about the turnovers in the second half, how they were really a critical part of this game.
COACH THOMPSON III: Yes, we had some very untimely turnovers at key junctures. They got some second shots at key junctures, and I think that's why we ended upcoming in here second and they came in here first.
Q. Talk about the final play and how that evolved, and was that what you were looking for?
COACH THOMPSON III: Yeah, but I mean, we wanted Jason dribbled off Henry, had Hollis in the corner. They just locked in on Hollis so he couldn't move, and so both guys came with Jason, he threw it back to Henry, a shot Henry has made, so you want to get those three guys playing together, so the reading was there. They locked in on Hollis. Hollis didn't cut, didn't come around. Jason came up, both guys came at him. Threw it back to Henry for a wide open shot, ball didn't go in.
Q. Henry, I was just wondering if you could talk about your emotions, going from the high of making the shot in the first overtime to missing the second one.
HENRY SIMS: I mean, it would have been nice to make that last one, obviously, but the first lay up to put it into double overtime I think obviously felt good. But I'd much rather have that shot at the end.
Q. I know this is not about individual accolades, but can you reflect on how Henry has improved over the season and how he's become a key player for you guys?
COACH THOMPSON III: I think we've been reflecting on that all year. He has improved. I think I said it yesterday. He's made a natural progression each year, and you see this year the fruits of a lot of hard work that he put in starting this summer and rededicating himself to being a good basketball player.
Q. What did Cincinnati do differently in the last nine minutes of the second half?
COACH THOMPSON III: I'm not sure. I think that during that stretch our turnovers we had made some poor decisions at that point, I think.
Q. You had a couple of front ends on one and ones that could have made the difference down the stretch. Can you talk about how tough it is to see a game come to something like that?
COACH THOMPSON III: Obviously it's difficult to come here and lose, and like I said, to come here and lose when I think the key things were rebounds, turnovers, and then you put your foul shots in, and that's what's different.
Q. Talk about Cashmere Wright's drive on the game winning basket. He seemed to have a lot of room, he went right down the middle. Can you talk about what happened there?
COACH THOMPSON III: He's a good player. I think for most of the night they were trying to attack our zone with penetration, and at a key point he was able to penetrate and get to the rim.
Q. How tough was Yancy tonight?
COACH THOMPSON III: Yancy is tough every night. I mean, their team is tough every night. Yancy hurt us, not just with the post moves, but he got some big second shots that we needed to get the defensive rebounds. But he's a competitor. He's been through it. He's a very, very good player.
Q. Jason, can you talk a little bit about they clamped down on you pretty good there and kind of your emotions about this tournament, how you hold it in high regard and how you feel now that it's over?
JASON CLARK: You know, I'd rather be sitting in here talking about a win, but they did a good job, and that's a tough team. They played hard. You know, it doesn't just come down to me scoring. We've got a lot of guys on this team that can score the basketball. But like I said, I'd rather be in here talking about a win.