Cincinnati-Louisville Postgame Quotes

March 11, 2012

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Postgame Cincinnati Quotes

COACH CRONIN:  Well, obviously wasn't our best night.  Give all the credit to Louisville.  Very happy for Coach Pitino, love him like a brother.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.  So I'm very, very happy for him.  I’m very disappointed for my players because we didn't give our best effort tonight.  I take nothing away from Louisville.  We have a tendency to get over-confident at times.  I thought that was an issue for us.

But I give Louisville credit.  I don't like to say that we play bad. I hate when coaches do that.

The other thing I would say was just from an X and O standpoint, our passing was as bad as it's been -- I'm sorry, our lack thereof.  So I was very, very disappointed in that we dug a hole because we wouldn't pass the ball.  We had one assist in the first half.

Q.  What do you think caused them to be overconfident?

COACH CRONIN:  Yeah, if you've followed us all the time complacency is an issue.  It cost us a couple games early in the year that it shouldn't have because we're just over-confident.  We have a tendency to be on cruise control.  I would have been much happier if we had to play Syracuse again tonight where my guys would have thought that we had to have a great effort.  The fact that we beat Louisville -- I said it to Bill yesterday, that was a big concern of mine with our guys.

Q.  The offense picked up in the second half.  Was that because you passed better then?

COACH CRONIN:  We actually executed what was being called and passed the ball.  But our lack of free throw -- the comeback was tough, but when you're making a comeback you have to make free throws.  We didn't do that.  1 for 7 in the second half, you've got no chance to make a comeback if you do that.  You're 5 for 7, and instead of being down four you'd be tied.

Q.  You had that 16-6 run that you closed the game out on.  JaQuon really got a little more aggressive.  Were you happy to see that they were executing what you wanted?

COACH CRONIN:  You know, this is a simple game.  The team that executes and plays harder wins, and Louisville did that tonight.  It gave us a chance when we started executing and passing the ball.  But it's my job to get them to do that, and obviously I didn't get the job done with that tonight.  So I always try to self-evaluate.  You hold a team to 35 percent shooting, you should win the game.  50 points, you should win the game, with our talent level.  But we didn't play team basketball on offense until it was too late.

Q.  You did talk last night about your fear of overconfidence.  Did you sense going into this game that --

COACH CRONIN:  They just admitted it to me.  They just admitted it to me.

Q.  That they were overconfident?

COACH CRONIN:  We just have a tendency to go to cruise control at times.

Q.  (No microphone.)

COACH CRONIN:  Well, you've got to be able to defend, you know, because when you get in the NCAA Tournament, 99 percent of the teams have a good team.  They're there for a reason.  You know, even if they didn't have a great overall record, they got hot late and they're playing well.  So I think that if you can't get some stops, you can't win.  And I think leadership -- if you were to ask me one thing, I think, that affects winning, especially in basketball, whether it's the pros or college, leadership from players.

Q.  Mick just said that you guys admitted to him that you were overconfident.  Did you think that was a problem?

Yancy Gates:  Yeah, I was the one that said it.  I could tell the difference in the way we was getting ready for the game today.  A lot of people didn't have the same focus as we did when we first got out here, and I think because we won our first two games, they were so tough and we won them the way we did, we kind of felt like Louisville was going to come in here and kind of give it to us, but I think it was the reverse, we came in here and gave it to them because we weren't prepared to play a hard game until the second half, so we paid the price for it.

Q.  Cash, does this feel like an ending? Your season isn't over, but it's the end of this championship.

Cashmere Wright:  No, it's not the ending.  We've still got games to play.  We can't look back, we can't look at this game no more.  It's over.  We can't mope no more.  We've just got to look forward and keep pushing in practice and get better.

Q.  The win over Syracuse, did that give you the confidence that you could beat anybody in the country?

COACH CRONIN:  Well, I try to impart to my team that I believe most teams that are good teams can beat anybody.  But we're also capable of losing to anybody.  You know, there's only one or two teams, I think, that can have a bad night and still win.  And in the NCAA Tournament, I don't know if that exists.  I don't think -- there's not enough NBA players stacked on teams like the '90s in college basketball, and I firmly believe whatever happens in the NCAA Tournament, you could replay it and have totally different results.  There's that much parity.

But I think for the kids, what I try to tell my guys is it's a great opportunity.

Q.  Cash, what finally got you guys going offensively the second half?

Cashmere Wright:  We started playing with our heart, and we came out thinking we were going to win like Yancy said.  We weren't playing with our heart, and we were just playing off last game.  Then in the second half we realized they weren't going to give us the game so we had to go take it, but after we started pushing, it was too late.

Q.  When Cincinnati came into the BIG EAST, you faced some adversity early --

COACH CRONIN:  There's the understatement of the press conference.

Q.  But you've reached this level in the BIG EAST championship.  In the next couple years there's a flux of new teams that are coming in.  Do you see the potential for some of these other programs that will be coming in?

COACH CRONIN:  I'll say what Jim Calhoun said six years ago.  I wouldn't want to be a young coach trying to build a program in this league, and I'm glad I'm not anymore.  But I will say, fame is fleeting, too.  There's a fine line between 12th place and 5th place in our conference. There are teams that finish there with McDonald's All-Americans and talent.  So you've got to make sure you've got winners in your program and develop winners.

We're here tonight -- obviously you know, the guys know me, I'm a competitor.  I wanted this more for them than for me because I'm where I want to be in life.  I'm with who I want to be right now.  But I know where they want to go.  You've got to develop winners in your program, and we're here because these guys have really fought hard to rebuild our program.  Coaches get a lot of credit.  No coaches win without players.

Q.  Yancy, you were visibly frustrated a couple times in the first half, talking to some of your teammates.  What were you telling them?  What were you saying up there?

Yancy Gates:  Basically, when you're out on the floor you can feel that we weren’t playing with the same intensity as we did the past few games.  I was trying to tell guys, we need to try to find a way to pick it up.  Normally the way we started the game wasn't scoring, and the way we get going is with our defense and deflections.  We tried to find a way to pick it up, and it didn't happen until late in the second half.  Like we said, by then, it was too late.  That was basically the frustration.  It wasn't with any scoring or anything.  It was just how we were playing as a team.