Cincinnati vs. Appalachian State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 16, 2013

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Cincinnati vs. Appalachian State
Fifth Third Arena
Postgame Quotes

University of Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

On Ge’Lawn (Guyn) injury:
“He hurt his knee on Tuesday when he got bumped and he got bumped on one of the other days in
practice and I asked if it was bothering him and they said yeah so I told them to hold him out because
there was no point in him playing and hopefully, he is fine.”

On Troy Caupain playing majority of the game at point guard due to Ge’Lawn’s  injury:
“Troy had his best practice of the year yesterday, so I was really glad to see him carry that over. He has a couple of weeks until his 18th birthday, so I told him he is getting old and he needs to play like a grown man. He is younger than all three of our (signees). He is younger than most seniors in high school. So it’s going to be a process with him but the sooner he gets comfortable the better our team will be. So I was really happy to see him get his offense going out there today and he also had four assists.”

On Troy being posed for his age:
“Troy is really intelligent and sometimes he tries to think too much, but I just want him to be more aggressive and play hard. But he has one gift as a guard, he is usually always under control. The key for him is to play with strength and intensity all the time and that is the biggest adjustment for him and for other kids it’s slowing down. But for Troy that isn’t a problem for him, he has great pace to his game.”

On UC only having two transition points:
“Well, two things, obviously, we had some steals and lay ups so it depends how you look at it but a concern would be our defensive rebounding and even when we’re not rebounding the ball the other team is knocking it out bounds and it stops our break. It’s an area where we definitely have to improve, our defensive rebounding and our ability to transition quicker to offense. Some of our guys need to realize that Justin (Jackson) and Titus (Rubles) are maybe 6-foot-8. So our guards need to get in there and get some rebounds which I thought Troy did a really good job of today. He had three defensive rebounds. But again, we spent a lot of time lately on our press and it was something we wanted to work on today. It’s all about where you’re going and who you become by January. You have to continue to develop as a team you can only be so good at so many things right now.” 

On Kevin Johnson making his first field goal of the season:
“Yeah, the poor guy can’t make a lay-up, but to me, Kevin made a huge difference in the game today because his ball pressure in the front of the press is better than anybody on our team. He is by far our best guy on the ball defensively with Deshaun Morman red-shirting. With those two someday guarding the ball, teams may never get it past half court. Three years from now, maybe but hopefully sooner than that. Those guys are great athletes,  great on the ball and I don’t equate things to the stat sheet the way other people might. Kevin is doing great to this point in his career being three or four months past his 18th birthday. He is a high level defender right now and that’s why you’re seeing him get the minutes he is getting and his scoring will come.”

On if he was happy with the way the team approached the game:
“What I am trying to preach to our guys; I talk about our opponent and I use their nickname and their numbers of their players. Their name really needs to be irrelevant whether we’re playing the No. 1 team in the country or we’re playing Campbell on Wednesday night. It’s the preparation and it’s the process. You’ve just got to stay focused and the minute the other team does stuff better than you, you will lose regardless of your name or their name. Last night Columbia did a great job, I watched that game and I was happy that Titus (Rubles) paid attention to that. It shows you that his mind is on basketball and that’s why he is playing so well. He is in a really good place mentally right now.” 

# 2 Titus Rubles, F
On how Troy Caupain played:
"I think he did a real good job. He plays like that in practice, but he hasn't transitioned it into a game yet, and today was really the first time it really started showing the games. So it is just a good sign that he is stepping up with the injury to Ge'Lawn, we are going to need that."

On Troy Caupain not seeming like a freshman:
“In high school, he averaged 30-something points, and double figure assists, so this is really nothing new to him, it's just a transition into a game where the guys are faster and stronger and you have to be more of a real point guard. I think he is doing a real good job adjusting to that. Because he has the talent, it's just making the adjustment.”

On getting off to a fast start:
"We knew that their bigs play behind a lot, so Coach (Cronin) told us to feed the ball down low. They are going to play behind. We just have to make our layups, Jackson and I, and Jermaine Lawrence especially."

#3 Shaquille Thomas, F
On not scoring a lot of transition points:
"I think the transition points will come with time. With the press, it's up and down, so sometimes we just try to get set up in our offense. I think it will come when everyone starts playing together, because this is the first game that Troy played a lot of minutes with (Ge’Lawn’s) injury. So I think it will all come together eventually."

On struggling to get rebounds:
"At halftime coach came up and told us we needed to do a better job rebounding, especially with the defensive rebounds because with the press, it's a scramble. So it is hard for us to rebound because sometimes I'll be on a bigger guy, or Titus might be on a point guard. So we need to just focus on boxing out and getting rebounds because we are so athletic."

Appalachian State Head Coach Jason Capel

On the outcome:
"Give a lot of credit to Cincinnati. They are big; they are long; and they are very disruptive on the defensive end. I thought we did a good job of getting the ball across half court. We got some good looks. I don’t know if I have ever been a part of a team where we had more offensive rebounds than field goals. We had opportunities and we didn’t convert them. They did. The offensive rebounds that they got, they did put in. They are big and aggressive and absolutely took it to us. We will regroup. We will get better and get back on the court next week.”

On how his team dealt with the press:
“I thought we did a decent job of handling the press. I know those numbers are skewed a little bit because us coaches keep track of deflections. We only had 14 turnovers, but they probably had 35 deflections. When we execute what we worked on in practice and are able to get the ball in the middle of the floor, we got looks at the basket. The problem was not getting looks because we got looks. We got layups and got open jump shots. On road especially, you have to shoot better than 30 percent.”

On what you do when the shots don’t fall:
“Just play hard and defend. They weren’t exactly making all of their shots either because they are not a very good shooting team. Their best offense is to throw that thing on the backboard and let their athletes go get it. That is just what they did. The offensive rebounds that they got, they were able to convert. They didn’t beat us on the first shot. They beat us on the second and third shot. On the other end when we had that opportunity, we didn’t finish. Those factors are obviously going to fall into the favor of guys who are tall and athletic. They came out and were very aggressive. It is something that we will get better from and definitely learn from. We will come back out next week and get a win.”

On how the team will bounce back:
“It is the third game of the year. I think if you talked to any coach in the country right now, not one would say they are satisfied with where their team is right now. Bouncing back just means that we have a chance to watch this film tonight and we have a chance to get better tomorrow and Monday. We will get back on the court Tuesday and get a win.

"It is a long year. It is a marathon and not a sprint. We are having guys having to step into roles that they have never played before. We have to continue to grow as a team. We will get better. We will hopefully have an addition soon and, hopefully, have our whole team together before long and be the best we can possibly be. The guys in the locker room are good enough. We have to execute and do the things that we work on. We have to have confidence to make plays and make shots. Getting 20 offensive rebounds against these athletes and not being able to convert them, you’re not going to win. We have to do a better job of finishing plays and go out and get the job done. It is a long year and we are going to keep plugging away and get it right.”