Mick Cronin Quotes (Feb. 1 - Media Availability)

Feb. 1, 2014

Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin
Media Availability Previewing USF game
Feb. 1, 2014

On what the last couple days have been like in terms of reaction following the Louisville win:
“You have to insulate yourself. We expected to win the game. It is a rivalry game. It was at 7 o’clock on ESPN so everyone in the country saw the game.  It is exciting for our fans, which is great. That is the neat thing about being me, is being able to give something like that to the people that give to the program. For me, it is right back to work. I told Coach Tuberville in your sport, you have two days to get rid of it and then you can start working on the next game. We have a game on Sunday at Noon. I got a lot of text messages, not all returned.”

On if he is expecting another tough game against USF:
“Matchups are everything. To me, records do not matter. I think matchups are the key because that is really what matters. Their size bothered us. They were athletic enough and they had enough size to bother us on the backboard. They got out on the break on us in the first half, especially. We didn’t get back a few times and gave them some layups that we don’t need to give them. Foul trouble bothered us. Still no Jermaine Lawrence, so that is a concern because this is a team that if they don’t turn it over, it is hard for us to keep them off the backboard with their size and athleticism. It is a tough matchup for us in my opinion.”

On if when he recruits toughness if it’s the first thing he looks for:
“There is so many layers to recruiting. You have to find the guys that you think can play at this level. Then you have to figure out if they have academics. Then it is can you get him? Then it is who can I win with? At the end of the day, there are a lot of talented guys that are not winners. The talented non-winners will get you fired because then your fans think, well he is talented and some so called genius gave him four of five stars and you are the bum that can’t win with him. When the truth of it is, you aren’t the bum. You have to be careful. You need guys that have talent, but also have to get guys who are winning players. You can’t just run around signing a bunch of good kids. You have to be able to get the ball in the basket and you have to have size and athleticism. It is not an exact science.”

On if the key for him here has been him being able to sniff out the winners:
“I will give you a great example. I remember talking to coach (Bob) Huggins about Steve Logan. We argued and argued. I knew he couldn’t guard anyone, but the kid had an unbelievable chip on his shoulder and he is a great offensive player and he wants to be a Bearcat. He is just one of those guys that had a monster chip on his shoulder. Guys like that are going to prove that they can play. I just think that the higher up you go in life, in college basketball, the harder it gets. You have to have some ‘I’m not going to get denied’ mentality about you because there is going to become a point when it is hard. A lot of guys quit and go home. That is why 400 people transferred last year. Most guys that transfer it is because they want it to be easier somewhere else. To me, that would be 90 percent of transfers. That just shows you how it is.”

On if it is fair to say that chip on your shoulder defines the seniors in Rubles, Kilpatrick, and Jackson:
“No doubt about it. Those guys aren’t afraid. Another thing I tell our guys is that a lot of people are afraid of success. Therefore, they don’t give everything they have because they are afraid of success.”

On if it was one of his proudest moments when he recruited Lance Stephenson and Kilpatrick in same class:
“It didn’t happen that way because Lance was in June and SK happened in September. At that point, we were still in ‘gather enough talent’ mode. We were in one of best leagues in the history of college basketball. You had to have some talent. When you look back and realize you were able to have those guys in the same class, it’s tremendous.”

On if he looks back sometimes and wonders how he did that:
“I have to listen to other coaches at times and it is really hard for me to swallow. They pontificate on their genius of the whole thing. You put in a lot of hard work and I have a great staff, but a lot of it is good fortune because for every guy you sign that works out, there is probably one that didn’t. It goes in cycles.

“ I love horse racing so I am not going to start cheering at the quarter pole in Roll All Night is in front. To this point, he keeps quitting and getting beat. That is my horse. He is yet to win. It is just bad karma. I know the truth. We all make mistakes and sometimes you make good calls and you work hard at it, but sometimes you are fortunate. Obviously, hard work creates the opportunity. Larry Davis is the gold digger. On our staff, he is the guy that just keeps digging. I have to sort through his digs: gold, rock, gold. rock.”

On if they have noticed any of the positive feedback from the city:
“I live in a bit of a bubble, but I think it is great. I wish I could get out more to experience that. My message to the guys was that when you win, every game gets bigger. The minute you lose, they are not. You create excitement by winning, but you have to realize fame is fleeting. That can’t be what it is about for us. All it does is make the game bigger for our opponent and we have to make sure that we don’t embrace success. We have to stay humble and hungry. It is more of a challenge for me because the players are getting patted on the back everywhere they go. It might have been good if we would have stayed on the road so they wouldn’t have to embrace the success. But again that is why I have to rely on my seniors. They have to understand that that is in the past.”

On what they have to do to put the Louisville game behind them:
“We didn’t even watch it on the bus on the way home. I have a different group. They were singing and telling jokes for 30 minutes and then they wanted to put in a movie.

“For us, you at least have to put it behind you and move on. You have to rely on your seniors in moments like this. I think that is the key that your guys have to know that South Florida is all that matters. It is a good thing for us that our guys know that we were in a dog fight with South Florida. Hopefully, they understand that. To me, it is just a matter of energy level. Obviously, with Jermaine Lawrence still out, we have guys logging a lot of minutes. We need to try to keep guys fresh.”