UC-Mississippi Valley State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 13, 2012

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Mississippi Valley State at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Nov. 13, 2012

UC head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
"I was really happy that we got 45 points off our bench. My focus tonight was to make sure that we played better the last 10 minutes of the game assuming that we would have the lead and having the personnel and mismatches. I was happy that our guys off the bench scored 27 points collectively in the last seven minutes of the game. They extended the lead, kept their focus and showed their talent down the stretch. Second thing I was happy with Sean Kilpatrick's shot selection. It has been not great in the two exhibitions and the first game. With that being said, we have things to work on, namely free throw shooting. We have to get some guys to take their time at the free-throw line. We have to have better concentration. "

On Sean Kilpatrick's offense:
"He was shooting in the 20s from the three-point line because he was taking too many challenged shots. There was a day in his career where that was all he could do, but he is a complete all-around offensive player. He doesn't need to take challenged threes. When he drives to close out, puts the ball on the floor, makes people defend him off the dribble, and doesn't settle for tough jumpers, he's going to get 20 every night give or take. He's really developed as an all-around player on the offensive end."

On UC's bench performance :
"They knew I wasn't happy with it Sunday. Obviously, we watched film on Monday and the second part, we have a style and a system that we have been building since last spring to have a great team this year. A big part of that is our guys knew that depth was an issue. It hurt us in the Ohio State game and the BIG EAST championship game. Our veteran guys understand you have to have quality play off the bench if you are going to have an elite team."

On if faster pace is causing UC to commit more turnovers:
"You have to make the easy play. Justin's problem is he tries to hit the home run. He's a home run hitter. It's an adjustment for him playing more out on the floor. Cash's problem is he lets his guard down. My opinion is that he has as much talent as any guard in the BIG EAST.  I have to constantly challenge him to stay focused mentally."

On Titus Rubles:
"He was sick tonight. I told him part of being a Bearcat - this goes back to the last 23 years - you have to get sick after the game. He looked at me like I was crazy. He isn't feeling well. Titus has tremendous talent, but I have to get him to the offensive glass. I told you guys he is probably of our best offensive rebounders."

On UC's improvements:
"Yeah, I was just happy with our focus. You can only emphasize so many things and the things we tried to emphasize; the guys did a pretty good job of that tonight minus a couple of the turnovers. The little things, which don't show on the stat sheet, like our off-the-ball defensive state and our rotations in how we defend pick and rolls. There are things that other teams are going to run, and every team is going to run different variations of the same stuff. Our blocking out needed to improve and we need to get more people on the offensive glass. We need to improve our turnovers."

UC player quotes
No. 23 - Sean Kilpatrick, G
On opening the second half with the same intensity as the first:
"All I'm going to say is that it was better than the first game. Now that we know what our second unit, our bench, can do against other defenders and other teams I feel a little better than I did the other day."

On the how he opened the second half:
"I was just running my lanes and Cash was finding me. When things are falling like that, everything is good. But I wasn't even really worried about the points. I was worried about defense."

On if this team is better than last year's team on defense:
"Not yet. It's still early in the season to determine that. We have the capabilities and the athleticism to do better than we did last year. I think we can get there."

On how much more he's able to score in succession in this offense:
"When you have someone like Cash, you just have to run your lanes and he'll find you. He's smart enough to make the right plays. If you're not open, he's not going to throw it. If you're just running your lanes hard and he sees you, than everything else takes its course."

On if getting to 100 points is a big deal:
"When the other unit, the bench got in, I'd say that we were more so happy that they were making the right plays. We don't really look at the score, but if the score gets there it's a good thing. But we're just worried about our plays becoming more developed against other teams."

On if he had concerns about the bench coming into this game:
"I have to say our bench has to understand that they are starters as well. They aren't any different from us. If they play down to a level below what they are capable of playing, then it could hurt us in the long run because we do need them. They're all great players and I know all of them know that. They need to expect that we're going to be looking at them to play just as well as we are."

No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G
On what he's looking for when the ball goes into the post:
"That's just part of how we play. You move the ball without the ball. Hopefully, the ball finds you and they make the right pass and you make the right shot. That's just how it goes no matter who the person is."

On how much the team stressed cutting down on turnovers:
"A lot. Even today, we had turnovers that we can't make in a big game and we know that. We still have a lot of work to do and we're still improving."

On what the hardest part of trying to cut down on turnovers is:
"If you want to play, you can't. If you want to play this style and actually win games and make it to where we're trying to make it, we have to learn how to not turn the ball over. Make the right plays, make the right passes."

On if that's a matter of trying to be fast but also slow down at the same time:
"I think more so a matter of getting comfortable in the offense. We just have to realize what you can and can't do as a person, as a person in the offense."

No. 5 - Justin Jackson, F
On how much of an impact rebounding is with UC playing small:
"We've always been rebounding. It's just second nature to us. It's just second nature."

On outrebounding Mississippi Valley State:
"I'm just playing my game (and focusing on) getting rebounds."

On if he thought Cashmere Wright would bounce pass the ball to him on the fast break in the first half:
"Yeah, he looked at me before we started running. He did it the game before."
Mississippi Valley State head coach Chico Potts
On the game in general:
"They are a very good team, an experienced team. They aren't ranked 24th in the nation for no reason. I think they just out manned us. They controlled us on the rebounding. That is one thing that we definitely need to do a better job of. They out rebounded us 54-26. That's unheard of. We've got to do a better job of being tough and doing the small things like blocking out. Wanting to get a rebound takes a little more effort, but that's what one of the key things that I am preaching -- effort. Don't ever put forth less than maximum effort. Give me all you got until you get tired, then I can get you out of the game. They destroyed us on rebounding. That is the most discouraging thing for me because everything else we can deal with."

On improvements in his team from the first game:
"We shot the ball better. Against Ole Miss we were 0 for 10 from three in the first half. This game we were 3 for 7. We didn't shoot free throws good at all - 47 percent for the game is just not focusing. They've got to just concentrate and knock that thing down.

"I have all new players. Right now, I am just trying to get this team together. The thing that I just let my guys know is to be positive, to be more upbeat. I told them about last year's team. We started out 1-11 before we ran off 17 straight to win our conference (regular-season title) and conference (tournament) championship. We've just got to keep working."

On his impressions of Cincinnati:
"They shot the ball great from all around - 56 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3, and they shot free throws at 64 percent which was the low thing for them. They out manned us. They are a physical team. They are great at altering, if not blocking the shot, and they are going to get rebounds. They crash the offensive boards well and get back in transition. They did a good job. I respect Coach (Cronin). I think they have a great team, and they are going to be something to be reckoned with."

On how all of his new guys are coming together as a team:
"It is coming. Our first two exhibition games we got down fast, but we fought back to win those two games. Now, we have to go into a hostile environment. Playing on the road, it is going to be a lot tougher to come back from 20 down. I am just trying to get them to stay in the game early. Keep it close and give me a chance to put them in a situation where we've got a close two-point or three-point game. Give us the opportunity to coach them to a win."