Postgame Quotes - Cincinnati 68, NC State 57

Nov. 12, 2013

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NC State vs. Cincinnati
November 12, 2013
Fifth Third Arena Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

Opening Statement:

"Obviously, the second half defense was the difference in the game. We were able to keep them off the foul line for the most part and limit them to a lot of jump shots. We were much more solid in the second half maybe our press had a little affect on that, trying to not let them get set up. Hopefully, our press had a wearing affect. Although, we didn't create a lot of steals with it, we were trying to use our depth to our advantage, trying to wear them down and keep them off balance as much as we could.

"Mark's got a young team and they are only going to get better as the year goes on. This game is good for everybody and next year we've got to go to Raleigh. It will be much tougher in their place. But it's a good game for both of us and both teams can use this to get better. It's a great win for our team. Our seniors were the difference in the game Titus (Rubles) Justin (Jackson) and SK."

On Justin, Titus, and Sean getting into early foul trouble and the team able to stay in the game:

"That's what I was most proud of. I am looking forward to watching the tape of the way we were playing without those guys. We obviously were in a little of a deficit at one point and to get to halftime with those guys on the bench for a quite a while. Conversely, SK and Justin have to be a lot smarter with their second fouls. Their second fouls are what you think a freshman would do. So they have to be smarter than that, especially with the way the games are being called. Those were both bad fouls last year. This year, you might as well turn to the ref and say I want two fouls, sub me out. If you're watching these games now and you're reaching in on a guy you might as say, 'Mister referee, can you take me out of the game.' "

On the lift Justin (Jackson) gave the team emotionally:

"He gets a double-double in 25 minutes. He is a trained bearcat, much like many guys that have put that jersey on and gone out there and given their heart and soul for a win. I am hoping there is a day he gets a triple-double. If we quit fouling the dribbler as he goes to the basket, he would have maybe had seven or eight blocks today. There is a game out there maybe with 10 block shots for him especially now when he is playing against the other teams five man defensively. Instead of last year when he was playing at the four. It keeps him closer to the basket. We've got to learn when we're beat, we've got to run with the dribbler and let Justin block the shot and quit trying to reach and foul the guy low then wonder why they called a foul. They are calling every foul."

On if he was happy with the way they guarded T.J. Warren:

"You have to guard people as a team, and keep him off the foul line. Our goal was to not let him get to the foul line. We talked a lot about T.J. Warren, comparing him to Doug McDermott who shot 11 free throws against us in the NCAA tournament last year. You give a scorer 10 or 11 made free throws, now he finds his rhythm as a shooter because he is standing there making shots and he is also getting points.

"So we kept him off the foul line he was 2 of 2 and try to make me make free throws to beat us. We had some guys play some pretty good defense and we take a lot of pride in our defense. I think our press didn't let them get set up were they can get him the ball in his comfort zone. When he did get the ball in his comfort zone in the first half on the elbow, he was able to go to work on the low post. He had a great quick spin move.

"Titus (Rubles) has a lot of pride. Like I said Titus Rubles is Bearcat. When the game is on the line, he is denying the guy the ball. That's why you win games; players win games. You can talk about heart and scream and yell as a coach all you want. You've got guys like Titus Rubles that, when the game is on the line, he is going to deny a guy the basketball so he can't be you. You're giving yourself a chance to win."

On attributing their rebounding to having more of a will and desire:

"They had 16 offensive rebounds, five of those were team rebounds when the ball got knocked out of bounds. So, I thought that kept them in the game. They did offensive rebound and we went pretty hard to the glass. We probably did a better job of going to the foul line. If you look at the difference in the game, we made 11 more free throws than they did and we won by 11."

Cincinnati Senior Guard Sean Kilpatrick

On if this was a big win:

"Huge, every win is huge. Being able to protect home court against a team that's hungry like we are is big because we're going to be playing good competition throughout the season. Being able to protect our home court will help us especially when NCAA tournament bidding starts."

On the maturity of the young players playing with the three captains on the bench:

"I think their maturity is good because the three captains were on the bench and they were able to hold their own, especially in the rebound aspect. NC State's tallest player was 6-9 and being able to battle them down low was huge for us along with Ge'Lawn and Troy's back court play."

On if he feels the defense is starting to come together:

"I believe so. In the first half we fouled a lot and they got to the line often. At halftime we were able to watch film and see where we needed to make adjustments. With Justin blocking shots and Titus rotating to help, we were able to stop their penetration which made it easier for us to play their guards because they're quick. We were able to play off of them. If they got by us, we always had help, and then we could go get the rebound."

Cincinnati Senior Forward Titus Rubles

On shutting down NC State's TJ Warren:

"He's the catalyst and the best player on his team but that's for any team, if you can stop their best player and make the others players try to beat you, you have a good chance of winning any game versus anybody."

On playing a major role in the win:

"I approached this game the same way I do every game. With me being a senior, guys are looking for me to make plays on both offense and defense as well as bring energy. Now I have to be consistent and bring the energy every night."

Cincinnati Senior Forward Justin Jackson

On his first career double double:

"It's a honor to record my first double-double but I expect more to come."

On Jermaine Lawrence's play while he was in foul trouble:

"I expect that from Jermaine. He's a good player, top recruit, and very mature for his age and I expect nothing less from him."

On wearing NC State down throughout the game:

"We knew they only had eight players and our game plan was to wear them down and use our depth to our advantage and it helped us in the end."

NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried

On being in good position late in the game:

"Well, I think even when we went up 48-46, we had a lot of momentum and Turner picked up his fourth foul and I thought that hurt us. I thought he was playing well and I thought he gave us an additional offensive threat. I thought the biggest thing that jumped out to me where we have to get better is that we didn't have a lot of poise offensively under pressure. Late in the game, crunch time, we have to execute a little bit better and make hard cuts and good passes. I thought we started to look like a young team and froze at times. Guys weren't cutting and moving so we have to learn from that."

On what kind of learning experience this is:

"It's a good one. I like learning experiences better when we win a whole lot more than when we lose. We play against a team that pressed us for 40 minutes and we only had eight or nine turnovers. I thought we handled the pressure pretty well. We held them to 39 percent which wasn't bad. We did some things defensively pretty good. I thought the difference in the game was learning how to execute under diress. That is where you become a well oiled machine is when you can handle somebody's pressure and get the right shots and make shots. We didn't do that down the stretch."

On if he was okay with the looks his team got down the stretch:

"Yeah, most of the time we got the ball right around the rim. I think we went 3-9 from the foul line in the second half. We put ourselves in position a lot of times, but we just couldn't finish the play and get a basket. I also think we can execute better too, we have to find ways to get better shots. We had good shots, but we need better shots. That is going to come as this team really learns how to run this offense."

On the fouls:

"Well, the tricky thing is that it is hard for an official to stay consistent the whole game. A bump foul here is not a foul and a bump foul later is a foul. That makes it tricky. It makes it really hard and we ended up in some foul trouble tonight. We just have to learn and learn to defend better."

NC State Sophomore Guard Tyler Lewis

On handling the pressure well:

"I am really satisfied with that aspect. They pressured us the whole game. We took care of the ball really well. We just need to get our offense a lot better. It is still early and we still have a lot of young players. I am young as well only being a sophomore. We just need to know that we came out here and played hard and played with great intensity and almost won this game. We came very close."

On the last four minutes:

"We had good shots, we just didn't run our offense that well. We couldn't throw the ball in the ocean tonight."

On UC being a good defensive team:

"They are a very good defensive team. They are very scrappy, long, and athletic. Their press is very good. Even when they don't press, it still seems like they are pressing you because they always have another guy running at you. I feel like they love to play that type of defense and even though sometimes they don't get that many turnovers, they beat the offense up and make them take bad shots."

NC State Junior Guard Ralston Turner

On the turning point when he picked up four fouls:

"If I am not mistaken, I think my third and fourth foul came very close together. It definitely hurt us, but that is not the deciding factor on what happened tonight. There are a lot of things that we can go back to and things we could have done better."

On some of the fouls being a result of the new rule:

"I don't know. I just have to do a better job adjusting to the way they call things. They have some new rules in college basketball, but I just have to do a better job adjusting."

On what makes it so difficult to get open shots on UC's defense:

"I think a lot of it comes down to execution. I mean give them credit. They did a good job of speeding us up and a good job of being tough on us and we didn't execute well."

On where the team is chemistry wise:

"I think we can learn from tonight. Obviously, it is never good to lose, but I think there are a lot of things that we can take from this game and try to get better moving forward."

On if they got the shots they were looking for: "We got some good looks around the basket, but there were also sometimes where we didn't execute real well. Had the execution been better, we probably would have gotten some better shots."