2008-09 Cincinnati Basketball

Nov. 18, 2008

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Texas Southern at Cincinnati

November 18, 2008

Cincinnati, OH – Fifth Third Arena


Mick Cronin, Head Coach

Opening Statement

“Tonight was a tale of two halves. We came out with great energy in the first half. Our passing was excellent, and it shows by our 12 first-half assists. It is directly related to our high field-goal percentage. Our defense was great in the first half. We were about as good as we could be except for our free throw percentage. Our lack of maturity shows in the second half. We had some guys who lost their focus. It is a dangerous habit, and as a coach you don’t want that to happen. You saw what happened. Texas Southern came out of the locker room not worrying about the score. They came out competing. Other than Steve Toyloy and Dion Dixon, our guys didn’t have the same focus as they did in the first half. They really rebounded the basketball. Dion had six in the second half, and Steve had his share as well. It is nice to play a bad half of basketball and still win by 31. We still have things to work on and we are a young team. We will be off tomorrow and get back to practice on Thursday. We have to learn quickly because it gets tougher soon.”


On Winning By Large Margins

“I wasn’t in here the last few years talking about our performance but winning by 31. It says we have better talent. Anybody watching that game knows that our immaturity shows and our cohesiveness isn’t there. We have some defensive lapses. We don’t take care of the ball at times. It is all about who we want to become. What do we want to do? Do we want to win one or two more games than last year or do we want to become a contender? When January comes out, are we going to be on the contender or pretender list? To be a contender, we have to eliminate our mistakes. Before, we had mid-major players playing mid-major teams, but we haven’t had to learn how to manage success. That will be a process for this team. We have to understand that we are supposed to win these games a certain way, and we have to be able to handle it with maturity. It is going to get tougher, and we have some guys that understand that. I was hard on Deonta after the game because he has to send the message to our guys about what we are trying to prepare for.”


On Alvin Mitchell’s Scoring

“Alvin can make shots. He has to be able to finish a little bit better. He had some turnovers where he left his feet. He has to get better inside the lines. He is the kind of guy that if you leave him, he can make shots. He is still improving his shooting and rebounding. As long as he continues with a good attitude, he is going to be a good player. We have some guys that are going to be really good their junior and senior year, but they have to work hard.”


On Tonight’s Bright Spot

“The biggest bright spot tonight is Steve Toyloy. It doesn’t surprise me because he practices hard every day and never takes a play off. He is going to maximize what he has. He is a better offensive player than people gave him credit. Steve is producing without making a lot of mistakes, so he becomes a plus guy. Great teams have a lot of plus guys. We all have different plus-minus systems, but at the end of the day, Steve is a plus guy.”


On Guards Handling Pressure

“I knew it was going to happen so I let them experience it. I truly believe that they need to experience it a little bit. We had to get some real pressure under fire. I knew they would come with it. We had some guys that wanted to live on the sideline with the basketball.”


On Bench Outscoring Opponent

“Maybe I’m not starting the right guys. It’s good that we scored 82 and Deonta Vaughn only scored 12. That wouldn’t have happened last year. That part feels good.”


Alvin Mitchell, SO., F

On Game Performance

“They just came out and played a lot harder than us in the second half. We didn’t come out as aggressive as we should have. We kind of slacked off, and they came out with a lot of energy.”


On Having Shot Back From High School

“I don’t think my shot is back to where it was in high school. I have to keep on shooting and getting in the gym early. It feels better than it was last year. I have to keep practicing to get my repetition back and the arch back. “


Dion Dixon, Fr., G

On Having Ten Rebounds

“Before the game, coach told me to hit the boards. He said you are a good rebounder, and we need rebounds.”



Tony Harvey, Head Coach

Texas Southern University


On What Do You Get Out Of This Game

“Experience. We get battle tested. We have to learn from some of our mistakes. We have to learn to build on that collectively as a unit. We are trying to come together. We have to connect the dots. These kinds of hostile environments, prepare us for the journey. The team we played tonight was a solid team, but we didn’t play to the level we are capable of playing. They played well tonight, but we didn’t adapt how we should have.”


On Improved Second Half:

“We like to try to put two pairs together. The first half happened so fast, and I though they physically man-handled us. I thought we needed to do a better job of rebounding. Their best shot is their second and third shots. I didn’t think we did anything to that. For most of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to play on a big stage, and we need to be ready.”