Nov. 26, 2009
2009-10 University of Cincinnati Men’s Basketball
Postgame Quotes – EA SPORTS Maui Invitational
Nov. 25, 2009
Cincinnati vs. Gonzaga
Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
“First of all, we want to congratulate Gonzaga. They showed a lot of heart tonight. They know how to win and their tradition is established right now. They have guys that understand how to step it up. They were never going to go away. They were going to keep fighting.”
“Obviously we’re disappointed. I will say our trip to Maui has been excellent. We want to thank everybody for inviting us. Hopefully we’ll be back.”
“We’re a better shooting team than we’re shooting the ball right now. That’s tough.
“At the end of the day this has been a great trip for us. Everybody can see that Cincinnati basketball is back on the map and we’re not going anywhere. I’m glad that my players are distraught. They expected to win the game, they expected to win the tournament when we got on the plane. You have to have that attitude if you’re going to be the program we want to be.”
“We would have loved to win this championship; it would have been great for our program. Like I said, we believe this is the best tournament in the country. Even if we were up there celebrating and we win, it’s still November. This is not the Big East, and we have to continue to improve because wins get a lot tougher to come by when you play in our conference. All you have to do is watch TV and look at the teams we play against and what they’re doing on TV every night.
Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few
“That was a heck of a fight and we survived it. Cincinnati is playing some great basketball right now. They’re incredibly tough on both ends of the floor. It didn’t go great early in a lot of phases of the game, and we hung with it and hung with it and stuck with the plan, and made both offensive and defensive plays at the end of that game to win it. Boy, Cincinnati is a tough, tough, tough team.”
“Obviously, this is the pinnacle and the crème de la crème of all preseason tournaments. This is the kingpin and any other analogy you’d like to use. And that’s why it’s so special. When you look up and see all those teams that have won this thing and then what they’ve accomplished maybe after they’ve won this thing, it makes you feel great for your guys. The matter in which we had to win it, we had to dig ourselves out of a whole against Colorado. We played a very, very efficient basketball game yesterday against a Wisconsin team that if you don’t play efficient you lose, and then we got in a backyard brawl tonight and won it that way. We won it in a lot of different fashions and that’s a good sign.”
Gonzaga Guard Matt Boldin
“That was probably the most physical game I’ve played this year. They were really physical. Rob (Sacre) has been delivering in there no matter who’s guarding him. We got to keep feeding the big dog, especially when he’s doing well. I was really happy for Rob and the way he stepped up against Yancy Gates.”
On the Co-MVPs… “I think it’s perfectly appropriate. I wouldn’t want to share this award really with anybody else. Steve has been playing out of his mind. His approach to this whole season really has been unbelievable.”
“(Lance) Stephenson did a pretty good job of denying me most of the time. I definitely didn’t have it easy trying to get a hold of the ball but that’s when the other guys come in and make plays.”
“I thought we had an unbelievable fan base. It felt like a home game there in Maui. That definitely helped us down the stretch.”
Gonzaga Guard Steven Gray
“Rob made it real easy, just set a screen and go to the basket.”
On Co-MVPs...“That’s my guy (Matt Boldin). When I first got here, he sort of took me under his wing, kept my head right. We just had a great relationship. It’s so much fun right now to come out and play with all these guys, especially Matt. To share the award is sort of the icing on the cake.
“Emotions get high, especially in a championship game. Everyone’s tired, and you’re giving it everything you have. That comes with two teams that are so hungry to win.