Maryland Eastern Shore at Cincinnati Postgame Quotes

Dec. 8, 2012

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Maryland Eastern Shore at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
December 8, 2012
Postgame Quotes

University of Cincinnati Quotes

Bearcats Head Coach Mick Cronin

On Playing These Games:
"For me, I'm evaluating some of our guys. I was really happy with most of our veterans. I'm trying to evaluate and get minutes. Even though Cheikh Mbodj is a starter, he's a guy that needs experience. He didn't play much last year.  David, Kelvin, Jermaine, Shaq, Titus - that is my focus on days like this. Little things like I just stop talking for five minutes during the game to see if they will do the talking. We rely too much on the coaches. We need to talk on defense as players."

On Players Communicating:
"Once I talked to them about it, they did a better job of it. (Playing) this team the press wasn't going to be the answer for this because they were going to shoot it too fast. We didn't need to press them anyway. They were going to shoot an open shot before we came out of the press. There was really no point after a while especially after we had the lead. We got areas we have to improve.

On Grabbing Rebounds:
"We gave up 14 offensive rebounds and (there were) too many loose balls that we don't grab. In my opinion, we are too soft. We do a lot of things well and we have a really good team.  When I talk, I'm talking about things we need to do to beat Marshall next Saturday, a great physical team. A great early test for us with their size and their toughness. We have to rebound the ball better but it is just loose balls. You could look at the rebounding numbers and see what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about when you watch the film and we get our hands on so many balls that we get knocked away from us. We rely too much on our skill."

On Shaquille Thomas:
"He needs minutes. Trying to get him to a point where he can play in the Marshall game on Saturday. He can bring some things to the table for us. He has size and seven rebounds in a game where your lack of size is hurting you. When he comes in on the wing, you go from a smaller team to a bigger team. You are almost 6-7, 6-8, and 6-10. He has guard skills but he has great size. I was going to make sure I got him as many minutes as I could today."

On Cheikh Mbodj Improving:
"It is a comfort level for him. Not about playing basketball but about being in the right spot on offense. Is he doing what he should be doing, remembering where to go and what to do. It happens to freshmen when they are out there.  It happens pretty consistently when I put him in. He gets the deer-in- the-headlights look. At the first time out, I say `listen, will you just play basketball on offense and quit worrying about what I want you to do.' In our style, I just want you to make the right play, shoot it, drive it, pass it. It isn't that complicated. If you are playing zone and you aren't open, move to the open area."

On Cashmere Wright:
"We've talked a lot with him and we met with him. Coach Davis showed him film about his concentration. I've been around him five years. When it comes to him, I'm an expert. He's probably an expert on me too. He's a wonderful kid and he's just too nice sometimes. He has to stay mentally focused at all times. Great players aren't the nicest people on the floor. You need to be arrogant and in command at all times. A great example for our guys is how Oscar Robertson was as a player. You didn't take the ball from him. You might not have had teeth left if you attempted."

On Wright's command leading to fewer turnovers:
"Just the toughness and the focus. He has great talent. I was really happy with him today. Belief that I'm the man and I'm not turning the ball over. There is nothing you can do to make me turn the ball over. That has to be your mentality as a great guard. He's always been a confident shooter. And there is a difference."

On Sean Kilpatrick Being on Lists and Recognized:
"I don't (read those things). I'm sure that knowing him he reads that stuff. I don't. I'm oblivious. The only thing I read is children's books and Sponge Bob.

"I get questions. Yesterday, I did a live show with Doug Gottlieb (on Rome) and I get asked if SK is a candidate for player of the year. Well, we'll see. We are going to get our opportunities. We play in the BIG EAST and play multiple ranked teams. You have to win big games. Some ask why Louisville is ranked ahead of us in the preseason. Well, they won a BIG EAST Championship and went to the Final Four. We had our chance to beat them and go to the Final Four. We will have our chances. SK is going to have his chance. You have to have opportunities. You want recognition; you have to get the job done. I'm just trying to make sure our guys are prepared for that. Because who is ranked now is completely irrelevant. If you want recognition, play great."                                                          

Bearcats Players

No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G

On Cincinnati's fast start:
"We are just trying to get ready for the big games like the Marshall games. We're just trying to get everything in order, get the offense flowing. Make sure everybody knows where they're supposed to be at and just play hard."

On if the team accomplished that today:
"We feel like we took a step. We still need to take another step, keep the momentum going to the next game."

On three-point shooting:
"I think honestly it's the same. Coach Cronin is giving me the green light to shoot. It's like, `if you feel like you're open, take the shot.' My teammates are telling me if I'm open to take the shot. This is what we worked on for the whole summer, so don't get in the game now and don't shoot it."

On how the team gets motivated to play pats of their non-conference schedule:
"Coach Cronin believes in the fact that it doesn't matter who we play, they can beat you. That's how he approaches practice. That's how he approaches walkthrough. We had walkthrough like we were playing Syracuse today. He was yelling and he was telling us that if we didn't play well they would beat us. A team that hasn't won a game yet and has nothing to win. They're going to come in here ready to play."

No. 23 -  Sean Kilpatrick, G

On the Bearcats' half-court defense:
"It was decent, but it can always get better. We're still finding little ways to find easy baskets with backdoors and everything. That's something that we have to continue to keep progressing on. Today was a little better than last week."

On if he's happy with the team's play tonight:
"Kind of. We're not quite happy with this win today. We won but I think we can honestly do 10 times better than what we're doing. Especially with rebounding and more deflections.  Today we didn't have as many deflections as we did (in the UALR game). We had like 70 last game and we ended up with 36 tonight. That goes along with the legs and everything, but we have to continue to keep playing hard."

Maryland Eastern Shore Head Coach Frankie Allen

On his thoughts about the game:
"They killed us on the boards with their size, their strength, their athleticism. We were playing really shorthanded; we only had seven or eight guys available to even play. (Cincinnati) shot the ball well. Guys like Cashmere Wright, (Sean) Kilpatrick; they shot the ball pretty well against our zone, but they just manhandled us once they shot it and missed it. Their rebounding and their strength were just too much for us. They are going to be a solid team in the BIG EAST obviously, ranked in the country like they are.

"I thought we got out of this unscathed (in terms of injuries). I haven't gone downstairs and talked to them in the locker room yet, but I hope our injury report is not any worse. One of our kids only played three minutes, a big kid, T.J. Kosile. That was the only other size we had. Ron Spencer had to kind of shoulder the burden, so I was playing with a guard back in the small forward position, power forward position sometimes. It is one of those things.

"All in all, it was a good outing and our kids played as well as they could and they battled against a team who, for the most part, is going to be one of the top teams in the country."