2009-10 Cincinnati Men's Basketball

Nov. 12, 2009

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Cincinnati vs. Bellarmine

November 12, 2009

Cincinnati Ohio – Fifth Third Arena


Mick Cronin, Head Coach


Opening Statement

“It was a great game for us. Three minutes to go we were up 16. We learned a lesson that you have to finish the game. You have to give Bellarmine credit. That is why I wanted to play them in the last exhibition game. With them having a game under their belt, they wouldn’t turn the ball over and make us run defense. They really put a lot of pressure on our team defense. We weren’t really able to rattle them too much. Their shooting and their poise and coaching kept them in it. They are probably the best coached team we will face all year. We got to learn a lot of lessons, and once again, I don’t want it to become a trend. To be able to score 76 points without scoring the ball well means we are a more potent offensive team. Our offensive rebounding was good. Steve Toyloy and Dion Dixon did a great job on the glass, and it helped us out a lot.”


On Deonta’s Off Night

“The adjustment for Deonta is that not every play is being run for him. We still need to get him some shots. We need to get him open looks. We have to make sure we are ready to do that. When the real running gets started, we need to get him open looks at the basket. I think he passed up a few open ones tonight.”


On Playing Without Thomas

“Foul trouble is a concern. I tried to talk to Yancy and Steve about in practice. We can’t be in a situation where they are both out against a high level team where you have to play extended minutes without either one of them. If one of them is out there, we are fine. Other than a few mental breakdowns, I think Darnell is playing really well. He is progressing nicely. He sometimes outthinks himself on the defensive end, but he has proved that he can play. When he is in there, we can press more. We didn’t trap a lot tonight by design. “


Learning From Guys

“This was more realistic because this team ran offense. We haven’t played a team that posts on us; so we haven’t worked on our post-up defense. We work on that kind of stuff, but Division II teams are going to spread you out more. It is hard for our big guys to guard that. There is no doubt that we are going to have a more balanced team, but we have to make sure Deonta gets some opportunities offensively.”


On the Upcoming Season

“Excited. It is 75 to 59 with three minutes to play. To be honest, I didn’t know if we would see a 16-point lead knowing about this team. There are a lot of positives. I think offensively, we have to find a rhythm and a balance. I’m really happy with our offensive rebounding right now. We need to smooth it out a little bit on the offensive end. We have to become a great defensive team. For the first 13 minutes, we gave up 11 points. The last time I checked, the game wasn’t over. I’m excited. We have a lot of weapons, depth, Thomas will join us and add some size, and we still have to figure out who we are. We have to gain our identity on both ends of the floor. Our attitude is great, and it was very good practice tonight to play against Bellarmine.”


On Deonta Vaughn’s Leadership

“All our guys live together and are very close. Our team chemistry has been great this far. Everyone wants to win, but no one else as much as Deonta Vaughn. He wants to go to the NCAA Tournament and compete for the BIG EAST Championship. He is in to winning, and he has been around the most. He wants to compete and be ranked. He wants all the things that we haven’t had.”


On Playing Rashad at the Four

“He doesn’t practice it because Thomas needs to practice. He forgets to take the ball out of bounds. He won’t live there, but we can make changes. If you play certain teams that play small, we can play small and that is an advantage. We know that come December 30 for our BIG EAST opener (vs. Connecticut) he can’t play at the four.”