Cincinnati-Creighton Postgame Quotes

March 22, 2013

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MARCH 22, 2013
NCAA Championship Second Round ▪ Philadelphia, Pa.

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

Opening Statement

“First of all, we congratulate Creighton.  They have a tremendous basketball program, great coach, tremendous fan base, and wish them well in their new conference that we used to be in.  Good luck to them on Sunday. Our effort, again, was tremendous as it has been all year.  I can't ask any more from my guys from an effort standpoint.  Extremely proud of them. Obviously a tough result for us, but I think at the end of the day, you've got to base your judgment on a team on do they give everything they have, and I think these guys are A+ in that category, and I appreciate it.”

Q. Coach, could you just kind of expand on how difficult it is with their just efficient offense and how difficult it is to defend McDermott?

“You can't give him lay-ups and free throws.  They made 22 free throws, we made four.  So it doesn't matter who you play, you're not going to win if it happens.  Fouls were 22 to 11.  The physicality was one way.  But that's been a problem -- I don't talk about officials, I'm talking about our team.  We've struggled with that all year.  Gregory did a great job inside tonight.  I knew watching him on film how much he had improved. Doug McDermott is a great player, I don't think Gregory gets enough credit.  We play in the Big East so we see real players all the time, and he can play anywhere for anybody.  I thought he was the difference.  He and Wragge made shots, were the difference.  Doug is going to do what he's going to do.  You're not going to stop him from doing it.  I don't care who he plays against.  He may have an off-night here or there. But the difference for them was I thought Gregory went 5 for 7 and Wragge is 4 for 5 at the end of the day”.

Q. There was a point where Creighton committed the flagrant foul, and you had Shaquille at the free-throw line.  How much of a difference was that down the stretch?

“It wasn't because he missed them both. He missed them both, so it would have been a huge difference if he would have made them both, but he missed them both.  Now, we banged in a three off the in bounds play.  So if he makes them both, it's a whole different game.  It was also a huge difference when they called a technical foul on one of my players for waving a towel on the bench.  That was two points.  Didn't help.”

Q. Obviously your bread and butter is defense, but eventually you've got to hit some buckets and some big ones, and they're going to.  Is it difficult in a situation like this where every bucket is a premium to find your guys hitting 5 of 20 from the arc?

“Not really because we're 48 percent in the second half, 15 for 38 from the field.  The foul line beat us at the end of the day.  And like I said earlier, Wragge made big shots.  We did a bad job on him in the first half.  But Gregory's physicality was the difference.  You can only do so many things to Doug.  If you don't switch things and he's going to make a wide-open three, he's going to get a lot of opportunities to shoot threes.  If you do switch things, he's going to go into the low post, they can spread you out. But I thought that we could have done a better job.  It's more feasible to stop Gregory from getting five lay-ups around the rim and from keeping Wragge from getting catch and shoots because we just lost him in transition at the end of the day.  4 for 9 from the foul line killed us, like I said, two points on a technical foul is really hard for me to swallow right now that was called on a player.  Apparently I was told a player waved a towel.”

Q. What was it like playing in this atmosphere today, and what's it like playing basketball in Philadelphia?

“It's a great opportunity any time you play in the NCAA Tournament.  The hospitality here has been tremendous.  And when we come -- next year we're in the league with Temple.”

Q.  With the new conference playing Temple next year, what are you most excited about, getting ready to go for next season?

“I really haven't seen Temple play much.  Did they win today?”

Q.  Yes, they won.

“Congratulations to them.  And I mean what I said.  Their people have been running this event.  I've been in these quite a bit in 17 or 18 years of college coaching.  It's been really first class. So looking forward to being in the same league with Temple.  Obviously Coach Dunphy, aside from being one of the best guys in our business, he's a great coach, and hopefully one of these times I get up here I'll be able to find John Chaney.  He's on my list of five people I want to have lunch with before I die.”

Junior Guard Sean Kilpatrick

Q. Sean, what do you think the difference was down the stretch in this game?

“We just really got some bad breaks.  I mean, we wasn't expecting the bad breaks that be got, but it bounced the wrong way for us.”

Q.  Sean, could you just kind of describe what was going through your head with that three that went in and out in the last minute?

“I saw time running down, and it was a clean look, and then it just bounced, then rolled in and out.  It was surprising because it felt good going off my hands, but it just rolled right out.  I mean, it was really in the rim, and then it just came right now.

Q. Sean, what was it like playing in this atmosphere today, and are you looking forward to coming back to Philadelphia next year to play Temple?

“The atmosphere was great.  I loved the whole -- I loved the fans.  It was great.  And yes, I'm looking forward to that.  I mean, it's going to be really exciting.”

Q: Sean, did the ability to play physical that McDermott and Echenique have kind of make it tough because you guys can usually take teams out of things with your physicality?

“They're both great players, especially in the post.  If you have a 6'8" guy that can really almost do everything, like he can make threes, he can take you off the block and everything, it's kind of tough because we're not used to like 6'8" guys, especially in our league, doing things like that.  I give a lot of credit to both of them, but they played a great game.  I can't take nothing from that.”