Cincinnati-USC Upstate Quotes

Dec. 3, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

USC Upstate vs. Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
“I thought for 40 minutes that was our best collective effort of the season. South Carolina Upstate is an extremely well coached, veteran basketball team. We were able to wear them down defensively and eliminate a couple of really good scorers in Torrey Craig and Ty Greene. Those guys can make shots. They combined 0-3 from the three-point line. I just thought the cumulative effect of our pressure and our defensive effort, keeping fresh guys in the game with nobody playing over 26 minutes, was the key for us.

“Second, I would say is our passing was as good as it’s been all year. In trying to become a good offensive team the key is patience in the five-on-five setting. We can’t care about who scores. We’ve got to make the pass based on how the defense is playing against us. The open man has to be the go-to man. We shared the ball. I thought Justin (Jackson) started it early throwing some good passes out the post. Unselfish plays are contagious. Just like selfish are contagious in the basketball, unselfish plays are contagious. We’ve got to continue to embrace sharing the basketball, reading the defense and making sure that we are finding the open man, and getting the high percentage shot. When we do that, we’ve got a chance to be really good offensive basketball team. That is the key. We have enough people that can make shots and we aren’t relying upon one guy.

“We’ve just got to make sure we continue to try to read the defense, make the right pass and really try to execute whatever we are doing out there and playing together.

“With that being said, our first half rebounding hurt us. We gave up too many lay ups. They had 31 points on lay ups and free throws at halftime. In the second half, they struggled to get to double figures in scoring until the last three minutes of the game. We had them sitting on 39 until seven minutes. They had five points in the first 13 minutes. The kids did a really tremendous job with their defensive effort and their commitments on the defensive end. These guys have been great to deal with their effort. For our fans coming to the game, I appreciate you. It’s not easy to play as hard as our guys play on defense - 94 feet. Everybody doesn’t do that because it takes tremendous effort on the players’ part. I appreciate it as their coach.”

On the performance of Ge’Lawn (Guyn) and Troy (Caupain):
“Excellent, they can’t play any better because their ball pressure was excellent on defense as well. They got 30 points, six assists, and four rebounds out of the point guard position. I feel great about that. If we keep getting that I like our chances.

“But that being said, I think SK did a great job passing the ball to those guys and (Jackson) out of the post inside-out was a big part of that as well because they had 10 of our 19 assists.”
On people wondering who the point guard was going to be after Cashmere Wright:
“Everybody wonders that all the time. Everybody was ready to bury me next to my mom in cemetery out in Mt. Healthy when Lance (Stephenson) and Deonta (Vaughn) graduated. I told everybody we were going to have a better team, but they said, ‘who is going to score? You lost your two leading scorers.’ It’s hard to judge kids until they get a chance to play. It’s almost like trying to judge a guy that’s a pinch hitter. Until he gets enough at bats to play (it’s too early). (Ge’Lawn)  has never really had a chance to play consistently, so how can you expect him to really get comfortable until he gets a chance to play. Now he is getting a chance to play. Obviously, it’s important to get Troy (Caupain), Kevin (Johnson) and Jermaine Lawrence a chance to get out there. You can’t get comfortable as a player if you don’t play. It doesn’t surprise me. Those guys have talent.”

On if Troy is coming along faster than he thought he would:
“One thing I don’t do is - and it’s the difference between me versus the fans and the media - one game doesn’t mean everything. I am worried about their effort, attitude. What they are doing during practice, taking instruction and coaching, because you’re not going to play great every night if you’re a freshman. Freshmen are going to have their ups and downs. You just have to coach them through it. You shouldn’t get too high or low on a guy. You’ve just got to keep coaching guys, keep developing your players and as they get older, they are going to get better if continue to work hard at it. They have toughness and they can compete. That is what our program is built on. It’s been like that for a long time around here, before I got here.”              

Sean Kilpatrick, Sr., G



On forcing at least 20 turnovers during the last four games
“It’s deflections really. And playing hard. The other team isn’t going to just bow down and let us turn them over, so we need to try and make everyone turn the ball over by knowing their plays and knowing what they are going to run. I think we did a pretty good job of that today.”

On the team’s performance in the second half
“It was mostly that everyone was taking their time. We have a lot of talent, we can really shoot and are really athletic – which helps us getting to the rim a lot. Being able to take out time and hit the first open guy and take good shots, that really helped us a lot.”

On Shaquille Thomas’ defense on CSU Upstate’s Torrey Craig
“He did a good job. It was actually him and Jermaine Sanders. They played tremendous, that was the best defense I have seen them play all year. Knowing that (Craig) is one of the top players in their league, shutting him down and being able to take everything away from him and have him shoot the way he did, I applaud them and tip my hat off to them. We know he is the main ingredient to their offense, he and number five (Ty Greene). So taking them away and not letting them run their sets really helped us.”

On only scoring six points in the paint
“We knew that they would going to be digging hard on Justin (Jackson), so being able to get the ball to the corner helped us a lot. We have great shooters in the corner – Jermaine (Sanders), Ge'Lawn (Guyn), Kevin (Johnson) and Troy (Caupain) – I was trying to get the ball to them because I knew that they would be helping on Jackson.”

On Ge'Lawn Guyn settling into his position
“He works so hard during practice with his energy. He has come a long way with his energy and being able to get guys going. He is somebody that even if he is hurt or injured, you hear his voice and it lights you through practice. With him being aggressive and being another option, that is great for us because we know he can score but everyone else doesn’t know that.”

On replacing Cashmere Wright at the point guard position
“We just worry about what is going on right now. This is a better team and we are focused on the task at hand. We want the younger guys to follow the older guys’ lead. If we do that and get everyone on the same page, everything else should fall into place.”

On his career-high seven assists
“I give all of that credit to my teammates. I am just trying to do my job and facilitate the team and be the leader that I am. My teammates are making the baskets so I give the credit to them.”

On the importance of the win heading into a tough three-game stretch
“This is the beginning of a journey. We are trying to take it a day at a time. We are going to have to go out to New Mexico where there is a different altitude. We will have to get adjusted to it, so it is a good thing that we are going out there a day early. We can practice and get our breath. Getting the win today was something good for our journey.”

Ge'Lawn Guyn, Jr., G
On his fast start to the game
“I have been feeling good offensively all year. Like Coach was saying, it's like laying bricks. It is building off of practices. Having good practices and just building, getting comfortable.”

On taking the ball to the basket and opening up the perimeter
“With that new foul rule, taking it to the basket is the best thing to do.”

On his performance tonight
“I am looking to build on every game. It is all about practice. If you practice well it will carry over into the game.”

On the pressure to replace Cashmere Wright
“I didn’t look at it like that. At the beginning of the year, we knew it was going to be a team effort, and it has been.”

USC Upstate head coach Eddie Payne
On the difference of the game:
"Well first of all, Cincinnati was terrific. They played extremely well and they were ready to play. Our team has played good this year and Mick told us that they prepared for us like a conference game. They were ready to go. They shot the ball well. They did a lot of good things. After about five or six minutes in the second half, we just fell apart. We got in a rush offensively and tried to do too much individual stuff and it just snowballed from there."

On the difference in the second half:
"We played selfish for awhile and didn't move the ball. We didn't get the ball to change sides on the floor and we didn't get the ball inside. We did a lot of things wrong.  Cincinnati pressured us out of it a little bit. I think we responded in a very inappropriate way. They are a good team, so they took advantage of it."

On Cincinnati's press:
"The press was effective particularly early. I thought we settled down a little bit and climbed our way back into the game. To be honest with you, our half court offense hurt us more than the press."

On what they can take from this game:
"This was obviously a real awakening for us. We just got done talking about all of the specific issues, but we have to regroup and get ourselves prepared to play some real good teams (that) we have ahead of us. We got it handed to us by a real good Cincinnati team."