2008-09 Cincinnati Men's Basketball

Dec. 20, 2008


Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


University of Cincinnati

Mick Cronin, Head Coach


Opening Statement

Well it was a great win for our team despite what our Cincinnati Enquirer wants to say. EKU was 7-3 coming in. They have a good team and have won six of their last seven. They have guys that play extremely well. We blew up some assignments defensively. When you have six guys making threes and turning your offense the way they are, you have to give them a ton of credit. I am really proud of our guys. They made some shots at the end of the clock. We had many opportunities to go away. Alvin got the stomach flu hours before the game, and he is really struggling physically. It was a big win, and I’m proud of our guys. We won’t blow everyone out.


On Last Play



“Deonta was going to have three options on that play. We felt they would pressure him and keep the ball out of his hands. Mike threw a great pass, and Deonta made a great cut. You see how a svelte 187 helps him get done the court faster. Sometimes it works out and it makes a coach look smart. Believe me in coaching, players win games and coaches lose games. Our players won that game and that was a great individual play for all those players. We are a young team and we are growing up.”


On Game Preparation

“They have a great coach. He has big guys that can shoot, and they have guys that can run that offense.  When they make threes, they really spread you out and make it tough to guard. It isn’t an easy game prep when you prepare for them. Yancy Gates, Steve Toyloy, and Mike Williams struggled with it early on, and they exploited us early on. Our game plan early on was to press because we were going to struggle.”


On Mike Williams’s Performance

“Mike was awesome. I really challenged him. I got after him in practice yesterday. You can’t stand around and wait for the ball to come to you. You have to go back to why you were a McDonald’s All-American. The rap sheet on Mike Williams coming out of high school was that he was a relentless warrior, and that is what he has to be. Eric Hicks makes a lot of money being a warrior. You have to be who you are and maximize it. I thought him and Yancy played with a lot of passion and emotion.”


Yancy Gates, Fr., F

On the Tying Play:

“Me and Deonta made good eye contact on that play. I knew if my man showed, Deonta would have made the pass. I thought I had a chance of making the play. I didn’t really think about it; just dunked.”


Mike Williams, Sr., F

On Rebounding

 “We wanted to focus on rebounding because we knew with the type of offense they run that it was going to be a tough offense to guard. We had to crash the boards.”


On Quick Preparation

“Playing against a team like that with one day to prepare is pretty tough. All the guys stayed focus and stayed with the game plan. It was a lot of film.”


Deonta Vaughn, Jr., G

On the Last Play

“It was exactly how (Coach Cronin) drew it up. He told us just to play solid. We didn’t expect them to play defense like that, but that is how he drew it.”


On Being Down 15 to 30 Early

“We had to just keep playing hard. Good teams come back. We feel that we are a good team and we know how to dig in and fight. We have players that know how to fight. They are a good team, they have won six of their last seven, and they came in to win.”


Eastern Kentucky University

Jeff Neubauer, Head Coach


Opening Statement

“I just told these guys that I am incredibly proud of their effort tonight. Our guys did everything they could to win. We played with great energy, and they were good enough to win the game. Cincinnati is a very well coached team, and they finished the right way. We couldn’t be more proud, and they played with great effort.”


On the Final Dunk

“They got the ball to Deonta Vaughn, and they are obviously well coached. That wasn’t the main problem. The problem was the big guy by the rim. We didn’t guard him well enough. If we do give up a floater to Vaughn, it is something easier to live with. But you don’t want to give up a dunk.”


On Changes to the Environment

“When you come into a BIG EAST environment, you know they are going to make a run. You know you aren’t going to walk into Cincinnati and win by double figures. We knew it would be a close game in the end. They gave us the opportunity to win in the end.”


On Defending

“We do change defenses a lot. It is a part of who we are. They are obviously really talented. They have great shooters and inside players. They are also a very good shooting team. We knew we were picking our poison there. We wanted them to take perimeter shots.”

On What it Would Have Meant to Win

“A season is a long journey, and I believe in leagues like ours you have to be successful early if you will be successful later. It would have been another great step. We will learn from this, but we will be a better team from it.”