Postgame Quotes: New Mexico at Cincinnati

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Men's Basketball |

Dec. 27, 2012

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New Mexico at Cincinnati

Fifth Third Arena

December 27, 2012

 

Postgame Quotes

 

Bearcats Head Coach Mick Cronin

Opening statement:

“Well obviously, (it was) a hard fought game. Congratulations to New Mexico. Kids really responded to a loss the way you expect a great team with a great coach to respond regardless if we had executed on the last play and pulled the game out.  I thought that their physicality bothered us. I give them a lot of credit for that. Things have been too easy for us, and we were going to get taught a lesson sooner or later. It manifested itself in many ways. We had one second chance point in the second half; seven for the game. We were 9 of 38 from two-point range and our inside finishing is beyond soft. You hold a team to 55 points you should be able to win the game. You have to be able to get to the foul line with more strength and be able to put the ball in the basket.”

 

On controlling the game:

“We can sit here and analyze this all you want, but I knew we were in trouble at halftime because we weren’t going to hold them. You are up 26-22 and you should be up 36-22 at least.  Anybody watches sports whether it is basketball or football, if one team is stopping the other, controlling the game and getting easy shots… We had our chances and we let them hang around by ineptitude on the offensive end. Their kids are extremely well coached and a very tough team. They won a Mountain West Championship last year. They kept battling. And that’s why you keep battling.”

 

On getting the ball inside:

“We were 9 of 38; I don’t know how much more you can go inside. You have to make a layup, play with strength and put the ball in the basket.  We can talk about settling for jumpers but we were 11 of 26, shot 42 percent from three.  We got the ball inside, but we didn’t make it -- numerous times.”

 

On pushing the pace:

“It’s been a problem for us lately. Teams do a better job. They scout and they get back. We tried to push but they were back. You hit people with that and you can only hit them with it so much. Teams are going to scout. They are going to get back on defense. You play elite teams in the country and they are going to get back. We could never really get the pace going. That’s why you have to be able to dance to every song they are playing at the dance. This team is going to come in and try to play at their pace. They take their time on offense, break you down and get fouled. A lot of that is they take a lot of time with their possessions which wears you down. It’s a good strategy on their part. You aren’t going to be able to turn everybody over and speed everybody up.”

 

On New Mexico playing strong:

“They did a good job of not fouling and being physical. We play against each other every day and it isn’t like we are small. We have gotten soft. Success has made us soft and we think things are going to be easy. Mike (DeCourcy) is talking about transition and running up and down, but not everybody is going to let you do that. You run up on a team that has a guard or two that can control the pace with big strong guys and a good coach, you won’t be able to get your pace all the time. It’s hard to get your pace when you can’t make a layup because then you can’t get the press (set up) and get the pace of the game going.”

 

On the low scoring nature of the game:

“We were our own worst enemy tonight. We got taught a lesson. (When) you play a team like that and you let them hang around when you had a chance to put them away in the first half that is what is going to happen. I say this all the time when I talk basketball with people. If you are going to score in the 50s, you are going to be in a one-, two- or three-point game and anything can happen in the last minute. That is just basketball. I don’t care who you are. You score 70 points tonight and you win. It’s that simple.”

 

 

Bearcats Players Quotes

No.23, Sean Kilpatrick, G

On if he saw the defender for the last second shot:

“I thought I had him, I could have drove him left but I didn’t.”

 

On the options for the last play:

“If it was there then shoot it, but if you have a drive then just take it but I didn’t take the drive.”

 

On missing a lot of shots around the basket:

“Last two games we have been in a drought when it came down to that, but we’ll get through it. (You) can’t go undefeated throughout the whole season, so you got to keep coming into practice and just work hard.”

 

On their big guys making shots:

“It’s something that we’re not use to with rotating to the big guys like that, because they can shoot but we had to adjust to it for this game and they did a pretty good job with handling our defense with that.”

 

On having to be more aggressive to the basket:

“We need to be a lot smarter with attacking the gaps, because we know that a lot of people are going to reach in when we are driving, so we’ve got to play a lot smarter and hit the open guy.”

 

 

New Mexico Head Coach Steve ALford

On Alex Kirk’s play:

“We know we’ve got very good players and Alex is one of those guys. I just thought we had a tremendous effort. It was a tough deal. We had one practice the last four days and tough travel yesterday and I just thought that the guys really responded well. I thought we had great effort. I thought both teams fought and that’s why it’s such a good win for us because this is a Top 10 team and they hadn’t been beaten in here (Fifth Third Arena), very hard to play against. Then to come in here and hold them to 54 points on 31 percent shooting that’s pretty pleasing for a basketball coach. You really appreciate the effort your guys gave.”

 

On the physical play during the second half:

“You can’t really dictate that. We like to play hard and our kids are tough and play hard and fight. That’s been our style all year long. We’re sitting here at 13-1 and it’s not because we’re lighting it up. We came on the road and shot 38 percent so it’s not because we’re shooting 50 percent or better for wins. I think we’ve had one game out of 14 where we’ve shot over 50 percent, so it’s been our defense. It’s been our fight. We had that tonight and I think if you play Cincinnati you had better have that. You better come with that because they play hard, their extremely competitive and they’re very talented. So if you don’t come ready for that kind of a game you’re going to get knocked out pretty early. I thought we did a good job of staying in the game and staying away from runs and not letting them get away from us. We were always in striking distance and I thought what this team has done a very good job at is winning the last five minutes and we won the last five minutes tonight.”

 

On Cincinnati missing a lot of highly contested shots:

“It’s about not quitting. We probably did an average job of blocking them out, probably could have done a better job on block outs, but what I appreciated about our guys is that when they did get the offensive rebounds they didn’t stop. When you watch them on tape, they get offensive rebounds and dunk. They didn’t get too many dunks tonight. Our guys continued to fight and kept them in front. Even the two footers we were challenging them and fortunately they missed some of those and I think it’s because your players don’t stop fighting. Our guys did a good job tonight.”

 

On his thoughts at halftime:

“I thought being down two possessions and having the ball coming out of the half, we talked about that and our guys were pretty spirited at halftime because we just stood toe to toe with a team that hadn’t lost in this building and who is undefeated and nationally ranked. And we’re coming off a loss, a tough home loss. We don’t get beat very often at home and we didn’t play well and South Dakota State played extremely well and we loss a little bit of our fight in that game. I was concerned coming into the game if we could get that fight back and I was very pleased at half because I liked how we were guarding. I really liked the fight that our guys were giving.”

 


 

 

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