UC Head Coach Mick Cronin Quotes

Nov. 7, 2013

Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
Media Opportunity Quotes
Nov. 7, 2013

On how excited he is for the season to begin:
“When you love basketball it’s always good when the season rolls around, it’s a lot better when you have four seniors that are committed, hard working guys who practice hard every day. They know what it takes to win.”

On what the unknowns are for him during the beginning of the season:
“I think it’s a marathon not a sprint. What we have to do is try to continue to get better, adjust and grow as a team. You can’t panic. You can’t get too happy when you win and you can’t panic if you lose. It’s just a process. I’m fortunate to get another chance, in my eighth year, to be the head coach at UC. You have to enjoy it and enjoy going through the process with the kids. I’ve got a great group of guys and they’ve been very easy to deal with so far. But the challenge starts now because now the points count.”

On what he knows about North Carolina Central University and the problems they can create:
“They are a very disciplined team North Carolina Central. When you see a team that is 15-1 in their league, they’re extremely well coached. They play winning basketball. They are going to be a team that is going to be prepared. They are going to come in here prepared to take care of the basketball and play as a team. They don’t give games away. They figure out how to win and have a coach that has obviously built a winning culture. They have three returning starters and they know how to win. It all starts with taking care of the basketball playing with discipline and that’s what North Carolina Central does. Obviously, we should have some advantage as far as size and strength and we’re going to have to make sure that we exploited it.”

On if UC’s half-court offense will have to find Sean Kilpatrick or Justin Jackson on every possession:
“I think we have inside and outside scoring and are trying to be harder to guard, get to the free throw line more and have better shot selection. But the big key for us is Justin’s development on the inside and SK’s maturity as an offensive player that he showed in the first two games. Unless he fouls out, he is going to get 15 (points) and he might get 25 (points). It’s just about him taking his time and reading the defense and being an efficient player, not a volume shooter.”

On if it’s too early to say he is comfortable with the point guard position:
“I’m comfortable with it, it’s just a matter of inexperience. It’s no different when Jermaine Lawrence is in the game. He doesn’t have the experience. There are different ways we can go and the best case for me is Ge’Lawn (Guyn) plays great Troy (Caupain) plays great and guys continue to grow at that position and you will have a luxury situation. But both of those guys will be big for us and with our pressing style of play, they’re both going to have to play anyway.”

On what he likes most about this team:
“So far, their effort and attitude which are two things that we focus on. But like I said earlier, the challenge is when you coach basketball, especially at high major division I basketball with kids with professional aspiration, the challenge is to get them to realize that the trick to playing well is not focusing on scoring. It’s focusing on being a good basketball player. If your mind is on the wrong things you’re not going to be a good player. I think a lot of guys get it until maybe when they have 20 minutes where they don’t score. That’s the biggest challenge you face at this level versus coaching at Bellarmine. Scott Davenport my close friend will tell you with his kids, nobody cares who scores. That’s the way they play because they don’t have anybody dreaming of being a first-round pick. So it’s just a different dynamic at this level.

“My challenge to these guys is to realize that if we focused on scoring as a team and getting the best shots, then we will all score more and we’ll all resemble basketball players that know how to play. Which is what people are looking for, if guys know how to play and they already have an opinion of your talent level, pro teams and scouts of that nature. But that is the biggest challenge, but right now we have a bunch of good guys and I love being around my team everyday so that’s the luxury of being in your eighth year, being able to recruit and get the kind of guys in your program that we have now.”

On how important the non-conference games are so they can make the NCAA tournament:
“It’s huge, a game like this. This team is probably is going to win their conference from what I’ve seen, so it’s all about RPI points. It’s not about (us) just getting to the tournament, it’s about getting the correct seed or the best seed you can get. We talked about it with Dion Dixon here in practice a couple years ago. When we made the Sweet 16, we had the toughest draw in the history of draws. Even if we had beaten Ohio State, we had Syracuse then it would have been Kansas and Kentucky. So our road would have been ACC champs, Big Ten champs, Big East champs, Big 12 champs, SEC champs. That would have been our road and we opened with Texas. So that would have been our six games because we had a six seed because we lost to Marshall and Presbyterian.”