UC-Oklahoma Postgame Quotes


Men's Basketball |

Dec. 29, 2011

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Cincinnati vs. Oklahoma
US Bank Arena
Cincinnati, Ohio
Dec. 29, 2011

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Opening statement:
"When you are playing shorthanded, there is going to be a night where we don't make shots. We took some bad ones and we took a lot of good ones. We didn't make shots and we then we didn't make lay ups. We start driving and couldn't make lay ups. Early in the game we couldn't make free throws. Each season is new and trying to implement a belief in a style, a system and each other. We try to get the guys to try get to 40 deflections. They continue to play hard.  We needed to do a better job of passing the ball and get the ball moving more to make Oklahoma move and switch more to try to confuse them instead of settling for the quick shot. We're just really trying to believe in each other and keep digging and fighting. That is what you have to do in the BIG EAST. This is life in our conference.

 "I couldn't be more proud of our guys right now. We came from 10 down to win against a team with good players and a great coach. We had 16 deflections in the last eight minutes of the game. We end up with 33. The kids really dug deep. I thought our crowd was huge tonight. I thought it was a big, big factor. It felt like we had 15,000. It was a great feeling to be honest with you. It was something I'd love to continue to see that kind of energy from our fans and spurring us on."

On earning a good win:
"It's a great win. Whenever you are playing five guards, down 12, how did we win? That's what I'm really wondering. I have to watch film. In my business, you are only as good as your next win. Your last win goes out at noon tomorrow. It becomes kitty litter. I'm happy for the kids right now. These guys really are fighting hard. It's a big win for us in a belief standpoint in each other. Sometimes, in my opinion, if we had lost by one, our effort would have been tremendous. We took some bad shots. We didn't get the ball moving. I don't know how we were only down five at half. It was too easy the last four games offensively. Shots were going in and when they didn't go in, we panicked. But it was a good win."

On UC's play down the stretch:
"Making free throws helps. If you look at so many games in basketball, much more important games -- games in the NCAA Tournament -- making free throws, especially down the stretch. I'm guessing it was 13 of our last 14. It was 14-of-16 in the second half. You can't make a comeback if you can't go up and knock down free throws. Our older guys, JaQuon (Parker), Sean Kilpatrick, Dion (Dixon) and (Cashmere Wright) refused to give up. I should have gotten Cash a rest earlier in the half. A big key was when I rested him earlier in the second half. Ge'Lawn Guyn really got after it in the press, and really gave us a nice lift when Cash rested.

"I'd say two things:  tremendous effort by our kids and I think the crowd was really a huge factor. I've been coaching a lot longer than it looks like. I've been in a lot of arenas, and that crowd was tremendous down the stretch."

On Ge'Lawn Guyn's defense:
"He's got great toughness on the defensive end. He takes a lot of pride on defense. It's very rare and that's a credit to who he is as a person, his high school coach. He comes from a great high school, a storied tradition of winning in Scott County, where everybody plays defense. If you don't play defense, you don't get to play. A lot of that is individual as well, which is why he gets minutes. He does a great job on the ball. I'm still trying to teach him how to play defense off the ball. He cares. When you care about defense, you have a chance to be good at it. Most young guys don't care until they realize that if they don't play defense they won't play. Some guys, it takes till they get to the NBA. Some still don't play it in the NBA, and their teams don't win."

On UC's last two plays with Cashmere Wright:
"They are both set plays. I told him down the stretch that you can't hang your head. You are the leader of this team. The ball is going to be in your hands. If we don't win tonight, I'm not changing it. We have 18 more. It's your team. If I take you out, it's to give you a rest. You have to keep your head up and keep believing in yourself.  I think I did a better job later in the game of getting screens for him - or fake screens for him."

On the final play:
"The last play of the game was a fake screen. Whenever you draw up a play in a timeout, it's 50/50 when you are coaching young kids that they may actually do something close to what you draw up. Sean Kilpatrick sets a fake screen so when he slips out of there, Cash's man is expecting a switch but nobody is there to switch. Because SK's timing on the play is perfect, Cash gets a lay-up. SK gets no credit. Trust me when I tell you, we tried to play it two years ago at the end of the game against Marquette. It was done wrong, and we get a bad shot. People say what are you doing, and now it's a good play."

No. 1 - Cashmere Wright, G
On scoring on last two possessions:
"My teammates just told me to keep playing. My shots weren't falling. I was getting it the whole game. I was just missing the shots. When my teammates kept telling me, `it's your game, you are alright, make the next one, keep being aggressive and keep doing your things and everything will be alright.'"

On the play designed at the end of the game:
"It was one of the plays where you have to read the defense. He (Coach Cronin) told me if SK (Sean Kilpatrick) slips, look for SK but if he hesitates, go past him and make a play."

On struggles of the night being in your head:
"I have great teammates. They never let me get down. No matter how much I missed, how much I shot air balls, they just kept telling me, `don't worry about it, we work for this, you practice hard and it is going to come.'"

On struggles getting the ball in the lane:
"I think on the dribble-drive, the person who passes the ball has got to cut. We were just standing there watching the other person dribble. It was kind of throwing off the process of what we do."

On where this game-winning shot ranks in his personal history:
"I think right now it has got to be the number one for me. Especially with the game on the line and I actually came through for my teammates, that is the biggest deal for me right there. I actually came through and helped my teammates. I didn't leave them out there. They held on for me and I actually came through and made the right play at the end of the game."

No. 3 - Dion Dixon, G
On getting the same shots as the previous games on the perimeter but just missing them:
"We were getting some good shots we were just missing them. But they were also packing it in when we were trying to drive so that was kind of making things tough for us."

On getting a win versus a quality opponent similar to what the team will face in BIG EAST play:
"I think it will work well. When we are making shots, it is great. When we are not, we just need to grind it out on the defensive end, get rebounds, and stay together no matter what happens and we are doing a good job of that right now."

No. 23 - Sean Kilpatrick, G
On getting a career-high 10 rebounds:
"Throughout the whole week of practice, everyone was just talking about, `we need to rebound, we need to rebound, if we don't rebound then it is going to be a long game.' They are a lot taller than us and I think no one in our locker room is over 6-9. They say that we are the smallest team in the country but if you have heart, you can rebound with anyone."

On how the team won this game:
"Rebounds, deflections and heart. At the last six minutes, I think we had 18 deflections or something like that. If you ask me, that is UC history with deflections. We grinded out that win though. It doesn't matter if we win by 20 or we win by one, as long as we win."

On thoughts going through your head when Oklahoma had a 12-point lead with six minutes left in the game:
"There is more time left. If you have more than a minute left, that is like eternity. Anything can happen in that minute so with the support of my teammates and the support of the coaching staff, I'm proud. I'm happy that we came out and got that win."

On proving that this team can win by not scoring 90 to 100 points:
"That is what UC basketball is all about. We grind out any win any way we can. We scrap and we just run. That's all we are about."

On the efforts of Jaquon Parker in the game:
"Like I said, JaQuon, he is one of the guys on the team where his heart is a lot bigger than a lot of other people's. If you have him in your lineup and you have his energy every night, there is a great chance that you can come out and grab a win."

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger
Opening statement:
"Tough ball game, obviously you go on the road, and get an opportunity to win one down the stretch, you'd like to pull it off. You got to credit Cincinnati, Coach Cronin has done a great job with his club; especially the last four or five games. He's got them playing really hard and making a lot of good plays for each other. They didn't shoot quite as well as they have been, but they've been playing great, and they did what they needed to down the stretch to win a ball game. We had a couple chances to get a stop there late, and we weren't able to do it. We need to be able to do that, especially on the road to have a chance to win a ball game. We'll learn from it and hopefully get a little better from it."

On Oklahoma's struggles when UC went to five-guard attack:
"We didn't have positions there at the end that we would like to have. They were going back and forth between zone and man and doing a good job with that. We had a few good looks down the stretch that we liked, but didn't get those to go and as a result we didn't get the job done."

On how playing UC prepares his team for Big 12 play:
"Hopefully, it helps us for sure, especially when you get an experience like that on the road. We talked about being stronger with the basketball and moving the ball down the floor better in late-game situations. Hopefully, we'll learn from that and it will be an experience that we benefit from."

On the past two plays by UC's Cashmere Wright:
"Those guys are quick and you've  got to do a better job of working to stay in front of them and talking and communicating on switch opportunities. Again, they're very quick and did a good job on both plays to get to the hole."

On Oklahoma's success on bringing a wing defender in and cutting off the lane. Was there anything about what you saw from them earlier that suggested that would work as well as it did?
"Not necessarily, they're a club that shoots the ball better than they did tonight. We got lucky that they weren't shooting the ball as well as they have been. We did a good job keeping them out of the paint and driving and kicking for open opportunities. On occasion we did a decent job, other occasions we let them get good looks. We need to continue to work to improve that."




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