UC-UT Martin Postgame Quotes

Nov. 11, 2012

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UT Martin at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Nov. 11, 2012
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“Obviously, we built a 34 point lead, and had Tennessee-Martin outmanned a little bit. Jason is a good friend of mine, so the full court press was not going to be in effect unless it needed to be today. We were trying to work on our half-court defense especially our pick and roll defense. We have to get better at it. We had four or five guys that played really well, and we had four or five guys that I think could get better. It is early in the year, and that is to be expected. I was happy with our 19 assists and colossally disappointed with our 19 turnovers. Our rebounding is better that it has been, so that was a positive. I knew that would happen once Justin Jackson got some minutes because he rebounds.”

On getting better:
“You never devalue winning no matter who you play. You have to appreciate that you won. We have veteran guys that we play against great teams. The last time we were playing in real games, probably our last eight games were against ranked opponents in the BIG EAST tournament, NCAA tournament and stuff like that. Our guys understand what it takes to beat the best and that is what we try to focus on. We try to do everything right at all times. It is a process. There are still a lot of things that we are trying to implement. For the most part, we are getting better every day so that is the key. We have to make sure we keep getting better.”  

On the play of Ge’Lawn Guyn:
“It’s a process for him. He has to keep getting minutes. When I look down, I see Titus, Cheikh, and Jermaine have three deflections between them. That confirms my belief that defensively their intensity wasn’t where it needed to be and offensively, just too sloppy at times.  If you put (Ge’Lawn) in with the veterans, he does really well. The problem is when you have all those guys that haven’t played that much out there playing together.”

On David Nyarsuk:
“Although  David played like a veteran. I was really really pleased with David’s competitive nature until the last play. He could care less what the score was. It says a lot about who you are. It’s the hardest thing to figure out in recruiting. The guys that just play hard no matter what the time or score; it’s just who they are. David’s not the greatest practice player, and I learned that. Rodney Crawford told me that and he was right. I have to wake David up sometimes at the beginning of practice. When the game comes on and, after I wake up him, he’s pretty competitive. I was really happy with his effort off of the bench.”

On mistakes to improve on:
“We were just too sloppy, too many turnovers, and (we need to) be better at the foul line. We have worked too hard at the foul line for SK to miss two, Justin to miss three. But focus is important. And it’s not about today; it’s about where we are going. We just try to stay focused on what we’ve got to do to get to where we are trying to go. In the meantime, we have to win games.”

On turnovers:
“It’s going to be the same thing. Basketball is a game of mistakes. To be a great team, you have to be like a machine and eliminate mistakes: defensive breakdowns, careless passing, and things that are controllable. For instance, we had 13 turnovers out of our starting line-up and that has to change. One statistic that changed as we built our program into a top 25 team in the last two years is that our turnovers went down. We got into the top four in turnover margin in the BIG EAST for our opponent.  Tonight, we are minus nine on that. That has to change and will change Tuesday.”

On Titus Rubles:
“He had three turnovers as well, so he joined the party. This team really has seven starters with Titus and David. He has to eliminate the turnovers. He is a very good offensive player so there are times where he is going to force the action. That is part of it. In our style, we don’t run set up plays as much as we run a motion offense. It’s bad for the coach because you don’t get to control every pass and every dribble. They have to make decisions. I have to demand ball movement, patience, and decision making. That is hard to teach and coach. We are getting better at it. Titus is really good at it for the first time of ever doing it. At times, he is over aggressive, but he has tremendous talent. He led us in assists, and he may be our best passer.”

On passing Ed Jucker in career wins at UC with 114:
“I didn’t know that. He’s got two that I don’t have: championships. Let’s not put me in that class. His name is on the court. For me, it’s an honor to be the coach here so if there is anything to put my name in the same sentence as Ed Jucker, I appreciate it.”

On quick turnaround:
“You have to play these games. Playing 31 you have to get them in. That’s why we start so soon. I’m sure our guys would rather play than practice. I would rather practice. The good thing is no one played over 24 minutes, so we can practice hard tomorrow. I know I will be looking forward to it because we have some things we need to work on.”

No.1-Cashmere Wright, G
On leading by 36 and only winning by 23:
“It basically just showed us that we have to keep working. The whole team from the first to the last person that comes into the game has to play hard and keep the intensity up. We can’t let down. We seemed like once we stopped mixing the lineups up that the intensity level went down.”

On what he was happy with from today’s performance:
“We’re 1-0. We made it and we have to look forward to Tuesday. After the game was over today, coach (Cronin) told us to look past it. It’s over and we’ll worry about the mistakes we made tomorrow when we look at the film. After that it’s on to the next team.”

On what mistakes they made today:
“We had a lot of turnovers. We had the same amount of turnovers as assists so that basically says that we weren’t doing something right. Either we weren’t sharing the ball or we were making terrible passes. We just didn’t come out focused up to our expectations.”

No.23-Sean Kilpatrick, G
On leading by 36 and only winning by 23:
“We have to stay level headed. We’ll go through phases throughout the game where it seems like everybody isn’t on the same pattern. It’s really just a modesty that you have to have.”

On where the programs expectation level is:
“We’ve worked so hard to get to where we are now, but everyone wants to be better. We want things to be better for this program and we want to be in a different slate than where we are now. We’re still working and we’re still a work in progress, but I feel and the rest of my teammates feel that we can be 10 times better.”

UT Martin head coach Jason James
On what the Skyhawks gain from this loss:
“I don’t know what you gain form a loss like this, what solace you find from getting beat by 27 points. They counted the last three so we outscored them in the second half, but we didn’t beat them. We were able to execute more.”

On how Cincinnati looked tonight:
“Big and bigger. Mick finally has his guys in here. I’ve known Mick for a few years and I think he’s finally got guys that are able to play up tempo.”