Wright State at Cincinnati Postgame Quotes

Dec. 22, 2012

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Wright State at Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
December 22, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
Opening Statement:
“That was a great game for us today. Really hard team to play with our style because you can’t press them. They are too well-coached and they have too quick of a point guard. We couldn’t have trapped him with two guys. I may have been able to run three at him, but he may have gotten by all three of them.

"Their team defense is off the charts like I told you in pre-game preparation.  To be up 16 with 6 minutes to go and outscoring them by 22, our execution was off the charts to begin the second half.

"We played with a lot more strength. We’ve been talking a lot about offensive toughness, and we have to continue to get better at it and getting high percentage shots.  We are settling for tough shots and sometimes it is fool’s gold especially (Sean Kilpatrick) and (Cashmere Wright) because they are capable of making tough shots, but it’s fool’s gold at the end of the day. You aren’t going to beat quality teams unless you get quality shots out of your offense. At times this year, we have made some tough shots, but can’t you can’t hang your hat on that and be a contender in the BIG EAST Conference.”

On WSU Focusing on Wright And Kilpatrick:
“They weren’t helping off (Wright) or (Kilpatrick), and he’s the one guy we have that can drive the ball and finish with strength. We really struggled to finish in the first half. Titus (Rubles), David (Nyarsuk), Cheikh (Mobodj), Shaq (Thomas), and guys around the rim were struggling to finish 10 feet and in.

"That is one thing that (JaQuon Parker) can do is get the ball in the basket. It’s as good as I have seen at going at the basket as I have seen around here in a long time. It’s like he becomes 6-6 or 6-7 when it’s time to finish. That’s the way he plays around the rim. He did a great job. He really responded. We had to have somebody play with some strength and get the ball up in the basket around the rim. We weren’t being fouled,  they were playing solid, physical defense. We were just getting in the habit of wanting things to be easy.”

On Taking Bad Shots:
“You can’t attack if you take a bad shot. If you take a bad shot on a second or third pass, you are never going to break the defense down.  Where I was disappointed with Cash and SK, they know better. The problem is they are capable of making some of those shots. It’s a give and take because they are capable of making them.  The answer is to break their defense down. With Titus and Justin out there at the line, it’s the old adage of there is a reason they aren’t guarding you. It’s not that they can’t make it because trust me; Titus makes them in practice all the time.  When you are in Wright State’s position, you have to pick your poison. I have been them before when I was at Murray State and I was playing Pittsburgh when they were No. 2 in the country.  You have to decide, if we lose, this is how we are going down. We are going to guard SK and Cash, and make the other guys beat us.”

On Finishing with Authority:
“At times, but we have to understand that. We have to get what we want instead of what our opponent wants to give us. In the second half, we got what we wanted especially the first 15 minutes. We shot 55 percent in the second half. You have to get fouled and get to the rim. If they are going to deny those guys and not helping, you can drive to the paint and you have to finish with some authority.”

On Concern of Starting Slow in First Half:
“Huge concern. We only scored 29 in the first half against Marshall. What happens, when you win and your players are thinking but we are winning anyway, you haven’t had to learn. Last year we had to go through a painful first half of the season and learn what we had to do to win games: how we had to be tough with the ball, became a low turnover team, everyone do what they can do, get each other shots, talk a lot about taking shots that are expected. If we take expected shots, we are a really good rebounding team. If you take an unexpected bad jump shot, you aren’t going to rebound it and they hurt us on the run out. You do that against certain teams in the BIG EAST, it can become a dunk-a-thon especially on the road.”

On Resolving First Half Offense Issues:
“I’m coaching like we lost. But you know what happens is it falls on deaf ears because we are winning. Now the second half was tremendous, and you show film, but my leadership has got to realize that we have to get better. We can’t come out in the first half and shoot 24 percent.

On if the team has to lose before its realizes that:
"We shouldn’t have to. It would be a shame. We are too much of a veteran team. That’s where the disappointment comes in, and I get  upset with our guys at times.”

On Scouting Wright State:
“Darren Savino did an unbelievable job.  When you are in a position as a scout, in a normal league you play teams twice. Last year we scored 43 on Wright State in the first half, and won easy with seven or eight scholarship guys.  For the last three days, I tould the guys how solid Wright State is, they are 8-3 this year and how much better of a team they are. You are a player and it was 43-22 at half on the road (last year). So you see what happens. In the old conference, you play a guy twice. If you beat them the first time that is why there are so many splits in series because the mental edge goes to the other team. That’s where if you want to be a great team, your leadership has to know that coach isn’t saying this to con us.”

On New Mexico State Game:
“I don’t like playing this game on the 27th. We tried hard to get a non-conference home game against a top 25 team. We have a flicking hope on the horizon from a Midwest state school to try and get a series with. But this year New Mexico was the one team willing to do it, and we have to return it. This is the only time they could do it is because they are playing Saint Louis after us, and it’s the only time ESPN could. I would rather have my guys be able to go home for Christmas. I think it should be like that for all of college basketball, but there is too much money involved.  If it all makes sense, if everyone went home for Christmas. But our football team is in Charlotte for Christmas. “

On Practice during Christmas:
“We’ll take tomorrow off. Other than that, we will practice. We will practice on Christmas. We may go twice. Nothing else to do.”

Cincinnati Players
No.44 - JaQuon Parker, G
On seeing an opportunity because WSU took SK and Cashmere out the game:
“I kind of sensed that to tell you the truth, because I saw that they were basically denying SK the whole game, so that makes the driving lanes much easier for all of us.”

On the feeling of taking over a game:
“When you feel like that it’s kind of crazy because you don’t want to force nothing, so you want to take good shots. While you are making them all you just want to take good shots so all of them fall, so you make sure you don’t force nothing on the way.”

On if Coach Cronin said anything to him specifically at half:
“He said something to all of us, because in the first half nobody was attacking, everybody was just trying to stay back and shot threes. In the second half, we are just going to go off and just play how we play especially for me because I have to get to the rim.”

On having struggles in the first half compare to the second:
“We probably have to pass the ball much better in the first half. I mean if you look at the first half compare to our second half in the second half we played hard, passed the ball more, got more open shots.”

No.2 - Titus Rubles, F
On if Cronin said anything about not having a letdown after XU game:
“We’ve seen how major teams get beat on TV by a mid-major team so we’ve seen it for ourselves so we try not to be one of them. He didn’t have to remind us, but he still did.”

On if he has been working on attacking more:
“I’m just playing with what the defense gives me. I noticed that it was there so I took it. They were playing a little close on me, so I was just playing with what the defense gave me.”

Wright State Head Coach Billy Donlon
“We had an opportunity to be up 15 points at the half. There’s no question if you go back and look at the film. We shot 25 percent, you guys know basketball. We shot 25 percent in the first half, we shot 39 percent in the second half and we had much easier shots in the first half than in the second. When you come on the road and you have the opportunity to make some shots, you’ve got to make them. You have to make them.

“Even thought we were up six in the locker room at half, I didn’t talk about that to our guys, but I thought that was the big difference. If Cincinnati makes a run, or two, or three runs with a double figure lead it’s a little different. I was really proud with how we handled the press.

“It took me three years to figure it out, but we proved that we were not going to allow Kilpatrick to beat us. Two years ago we had one of the best defenders to ever play at Wright State in Vaughn Duggins, and as a redshirt freshman Kilpatrick put his career high on him up to that point for 25. Then obviously last year they did it with their entire team, but this year we said we were going to make other guys beat us other than Cashmere and Kilpatrick.

“If you told me that Cashmere Wright and Sean Kilpatrick were going to combine for 18 points and it wouldn’t come down to the last two minutes of the game I would have been shocked. That was because of Cincinnati’s defense, their switching, the fact that they don’t turn the ball over, they don’t make mistakes, and JaQuon Parker stepped up. He led them the first seven minutes of the second half. He just big bodied our guards down the lane and made a few threes and he was the difference. Give him a lot of credit, he stepped up and won them a game.”