Postgame Quotes: Campbell University at Cincinnati

Nov. 20, 2012

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Campbell University at Cincinnati

November 20, 2012

Fifth Third Arena

Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin

Opening Statement:
“Obviously it was a tale of two halves, fortunately we dominated the first half. Second half, give Campbell all of the credit. Coach Laing did a great job. Their kids played with great toughness in the second half. We were unable to take them out of anything they were trying to do. They worked the shot clock, took care of the ball, made some tough shots, finished with strength around the rim. I can see why they were picked to win their league.

“Although I was disappointed in our defense in the second half, I was happy with the fact that we were able to get under some game pressure. Not good but maybe, maybe a little wakeup call that some of our guys needed as far as keeping our focus and playing 40 minutes. Playing a team that when you do break down can exploit you a little bit, put some fouls on you, put the ball in the basket the way they did in the second half. We rested on defense in the second half. We paid the price. We didn’t have any energy on the defensive end of the floor second half. I give them all the credit because I think they took a lot of our energy away from us with their toughness and the way they took care of the ball and worked their offense. Credit to them.”

On if he was pleased with how the team responded:
“There were a lot of things that we got to get better at. Again the fact that we’ve played four games and it’s November 20. It’s still unusual. You really start thinking about you really didn’t start practicing until Oct. 12. After I started watching the film on this team, I told our guys at the half I have great respect for their program and Coach Laing after watching film. They were never down more than 14 at Iowa State until the end of the game. Their kids compete. You got to give them credit. We need to play against that because things have been too easy for us. And when things weren’t easy our guys for a second there didn’t know what to do. But we regrouped and did what he had to do, but obviously offensively can’t complain too much when you shoot 50 percent and score 91 points. We took too many bad shots when they played good D. We didn’t do a good job of penetrating, getting fouled, especially when we were in the bonus. We were shooting tough jump shots. Just a lot of things we got to learn, a lot of it is because things have been too easy for us. Then, all of a sudden, they weren’t.” 

On Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker playing more than 30 minutes:
“I apologized to Shaq [Thomas], Ge’Lawn [Guyn], Jermaine [Sanders] and [Jeremiah Davis III]. They all played pretty well when they played. The problem is you can have one of those guys in, you can’t have them all in at the same time. It was good for the other guys to have to deal with some game pressure. You just get caught. You’re trying to get a rotation. You’re trying to get all of these guys in. The problem is Campbell doesn’t go away. I knew that was probably going to happen, so it wasn’t bad for those guys to have to get to the bottom of themselves a little bit and play through a whole game. But our other guys, I though defensively Shaq Thomas made some rotations he hadn’t made before and he made some really good plays.” 

On if he’s okay with Wright, Kilpatrick and Parker taking the majority of the shots:
“I don’t care who scores. I could care less who scores. What I would say is we took too many tough jump shots tonight for no reason. We settled. When they played good D and we have three four or five passes, we just decided that somebody was going to shoot. I give a pretty free reign to Cash and SK because they’re great players offensively. But you got to realize when you’re in the bonus and a team is, they’re spreading out on you and not giving you the wide opens, you got to go get fouled. Park did a great job. He bailed us out, but he’s the best. He’s as good a guy at taking it to the basket as I’ve ever coached.”

On Iowa State:
“I saw them play Campbell. I’m really impressed with Iowa State’s guard play. I know Fred Hoiberg is a good guy, but I never really watched him from an X and O’s stand point. They spread the floor out. They’ve got guys that can make shots. They got a couple guys that can score on the low post as well. They have a freshman that can score on the low post as well, obviously with the transfers, [Chris] Babb and [Korie] Lucious, veteran guys. Will Clyburn is a veteran guy. They have guys that have played a lot of high-major basketball. I like the makeup of their team. I think they’re an NCAA tournament team. They have too many weapons and as athletic as they are, as well coached as they are, they’re going to be one of the 68 teams.”

On if he sees this as a chance to see how good they are:

“No, because if you win them both, they say you’re great and we’re not great. If you lose them both, they’re going to say you stink and you don’t stink. If you win one and lose one, they’re going to say you’re just okay. And none of it means anything because it’s November. It’s just the truth. At the end of the day, it’s the truth. You need these kinds of games. You get to compete. Number one, I’m interested in us competing, being able to deal with adversity, make the adjustments that we need to make. Find out how to win a game, instead of worrying about how many we’re winning by. We need to win by one. That’s all you need to win by. You got to stay together. You got to make adjustments. You got to play to your strengths and everybody’s got to play within themselves. You got to be solid on the defensive end. Obviously, you play these types of teams. I think both of these teams are NCAA tournament teams and Oregon. Should say all three teams. Oregon, they got the kid from Rice, [Arsalan] Kazemi eligible. They have one of the best coaches in college basketball for years, Dana Altman. You’re talking about three teams that we can play that are all probable NCAA tournament teams. It’s good. We need it. Looking forward to it. But, it’s not going to say anything because if we don’t play well, we’re not going to quit. We didn’t quit last year. Things couldn’t have been much worse at 5-3 after the Xavier game than they were a year ago. But if you win both, you don’t hang a banner saying you’re 6-0 either. It’s November. It’s not college football. One win doesn’t mean anything. We’re going to keep on getting better.”

On if the players look it as a test:

“They’re excited. They’re ready. They’re excited. You have to understand, I don’t know if you asked them this but they’re sitting around. They’re watching all these other games on TV. They’re seeing who’s playing who and all this other stuff. We don’t always get excited to those big parties. Fortunately for us, Lon Kruger and I are friends and we did this four years ago. We put it together again. Dana Altman has become a friend of mine and so has Fred Hoiberg. It’s good for all four of us.”

UC Player Quotes

#1-Cashmere Wright, G
On what happened in the second half:
“I think our intensity level went down. We just got comfortable with the lead and got caught up in the moment of the game and just forgot our assignments.” 

On tonight’s game compared to the previous three games:
“[The Fighting Camels] are better.  You can tell they are a well-coached team, and like Coach Cronin said, they didn't give up no matter what the score was. They kept playing hard and kept going at us and did not let down.  It was good for us because I felt like with the team we had last year the outcome wouldn’t have been the same.  The way the team is right now, it’s just a little different we are a little closer and we realize what’s at stake.” 

On having a career-high scoring night but not being satisfied with the performance:
“It is what it is, but we still know the points don’t matter. We have to stop them from scoring.” 

On the concern of struggling free-throw shooting:
“I don’t think anybody is going up there and trying to miss shots.  We just have to stay in the gym and it will pay off; it has to.  The amount of free throws we shoot, sooner or later it has to pay off.  It’s not like we are going in there and not trying or not working hard for it.” 

On expectations of Vegas trip:
“I’m expecting teams to actually come at us. We have a bulls-eye on our back and people are talking about us being a ranked team so people are going to come out there and give us their best game.  We just have to come out there and stay focused for 40 minutes, play good defense and not let down.”


#44-JaQuon Parker, G
On expectations of Vegas trip:
“I definitely think we are going to find out how good we are, but as far as thinking what’s going to happen I think we are going to win.  This was more like a wake-up call for us and we are just going to go to Vegas and just not let down and just keep playing hard throughout the whole game.”

On if they are ready for tougher competition in teams like UNLV and Iowa State:
“I definitely think we are ready, we just need to go over a few things in practice and see how we are going to play.  I think the main thing is we just need to play defense better and talk more. That was our problem today.”

Campbell head coach Robbie Laing

Opening statement:

“I think the obvious difference in the game was rebounding, particularly from the wing players of Cincinnati. They’ve got 17 rebounds between their two and their three, which is pretty incredible. If you look at the assists for each team, we had to play a lot of one on one because we were taken totally out of our offense. This is the most imposing defense we have seen to date, so it forced us into a lot of one-on-one play - 29 baskets and only 14 assists. 

“On the flip side, if you look at Cincinnati, they only have 13 assists on 32 (baskets), which means unfortunately, for us they were sweeping and going right to the rim. We weren’t taking charges and they were finishing and what they didn’t finish they tipped back in. It was a game where we weren’t tied together like we needed to be early. When you’re playing a team that is a little bigger, a little more talented than you are you really have to be a cohesive unit to try to counter that. We weren’t early, made a little progress in the second half and I was really pleased with that and that bodes well for our team’s future I think. We were just playing a superior opponent I think this evening.” 

On what the team did well in the second half besides Darren White making shots:

“We did get some fast break opportunities that we cashed in on. They weren’t as good in defensive transition in the second half and we stepped up and took what they gave us; mid-range jump shots, and we actually made an adjustment where we tried to play through the middle, meaning, with our four, five and one, from the top of the key or three-point directly to the smiley face up under the basket, that’s where we were trying to attack. By doing that, it eliminated a lot of the help side defense and created some situations where we could use our quickness as opposed to attack their length all night long and their help side defense.

On the comparisons with Iowa State who Campbell previously played and who Cincinnati plays on Friday:

“That is a very good question. We started the game at Iowa State very well. We had it in good shape, 20-19. They allowed us to run offense and we had a chance most of the evening. We were eight down at the half. We made some ridiculous turnovers to put ourselves in that position. The second half they ran it up to 13, I think we stayed between eight and 13 most of the way.

“Each game is its own separate entity, you all have seen that, but the two that I saw, Cincinnati is much more physical. I don’t want to give bulletin board material to Iowa State. Cincinnati sat on top of us tonight defensively, we didn’t see that at Iowa State. Cincinnati smothered us. We couldn’t reverse the ball; they forced us into one-on-one play. Cincinnati is too long for us to convert one-on-one baskets, Iowa State didn’t have that problem. Offensively, Cincinnati is a little tighter and executed awfully well. They haven’t had to execute from what I’ve seen early in the year on the tapes, but tonight when the game got a little bit tighter and they needed buckets, they had composure, they set good screens, they exploded off and they finished plays. Just my observation, they’re going to (Las) Vegas, there is a line out there somewhere I’m sure but I think Cincinnati is ranked where they ought to be in comparison to Iowa State. They’re a little bit further ahead right now. 

“Iowa State just added (Chris) Babb as a two guard. Our game was the first time he played anybody and he’s a difference maker, he’s a good player so that could change the dynamics of their team as well, but they are both very good teams. I think Cincinnati is going to guard a little better and that is going to give them a chance I believe, a neutral floor in Vegas, who knows.”