Postgame Quotes - Cincinnati vs. West Virginia

March 12, 2010

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THE MODERATOR:  Deonta Vaughn, Yancy Gates, Lance Stephenson, Coach Mick Cronin.

            COACH Mick Cronin:  Well, I told my guys I'm extremely proud of their effort.  Tremendous tournament for them.  They deserved a better ending than to get beat on two shots, one at the end of the first half, a bank shot at the end of the second half.  The second last basket was a loose ball we dove for that squirted out and rolled in for a lay-up.  Guys could not have played better tonight on the defensive end and hung in there and fought hard.

            Just right now I feel really bad for my players.  I'm really proud but on a personal level I feel really bad.  They deserved a much better ending.  Win, lose or draw, just a tough way, tough way to obviously lose the game when a guy banks in a shot.

            THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.


            Q.  Lance, can you take us through your last shot and defense on the last shot of the game?

            Lance Stephenson:  Last shot we just was passing the ball around because they were playing a 1-3-1.  We were trying to get the open shot.  I was the open person.  I couldn't let my team down.  So I had to hit the shot.  And the last play of the game, I don't know.  I tried my hardest to stop him.  But he made an incredible move and an incredible shot.


            Q.  He said you were right up on him.

            Lance Stephenson:  I was all over him.  Nothing I could do.  I couldn't do nothing.  I couldn't do nothing different.  I actually fouled him.


            Q.  When it went up, what did you think?  When his shot went up, did you think it was good?

            Lance Stephenson:  He called it.  He said "bank."  I said "what?"  I turned around and I seen it go in.  Oh man.


            Q.  I don't think he called it until he saw it was going to bank.  That's what he said.  He said when he saw it was going to bank, he thought that was good.  He said you stopped him from penetrating.  He was supposed to take a couple more dribbles in.  You must have done your job.

            COACH Mick Cronin:  Yancy doubled him.  We didn't guard Ebanks.  We knew they were going to him.  We put two guys on him.  He dribbled away from the double-team and he got lucky.  I love Da'Sean.  He's maybe one of the nicest kids.  His high school coach, one of my closest friends Nick Marinello.  A lot of people didn't recruit him.  When you bank one in from the top, sometimes at the park that don't even count.  They make you call it.


            Q.  Lance, is this your toughest loss at The Garden?

            Lance Stephenson:  Yeah.  I never lost at The Garden.  Oh, yeah St. John's I lost.  Not like this.  This was the toughest loss.  I was mad we lost like this.


            Q.  You had two scoring droughts to start the first half and the second half.  You didn't seem to be getting a lot of open looks.

            COACH Mick Cronin:  They're a great defensive team because of their length and the way they denied everybody, they don't let you run an offense.  They held Villanova to 57 on the road in the last game in the regular season.  To have no prep time for their denial defense was a great concern of mine.  So I was just proud of the way the guys hung in there.  Look up and we're only down 18-9, as bad as we were playing.

            Once our guys adjusted to the way they were playing defensively, especially in the second half.  We only had three turnovers in the second half until the last play.  That's why we had ten offensive rebounds in the second half.  Because we get shots off, we can rebound.


            Q.  What happened with Dion?  I guess it went off his leg?

            COACH Mick Cronin:  He just got in a hurry.  We would have liked him to catch it.  They didn't have a guy who took it out.  If he would have passed it to Tay (Vaughn), Tay was going to race up the floor and guard it.  He turned and dribbled it too fast.  Like Yancy said, he turned before he even dribbled it.  He was out of control before he even put it on the floor.  I feel bad for him.  He's devastated right now.

            THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions?  Cincinnati, thank you.