Quotebook: Cincinnati Game

Cincinnati defeated UConn61-56 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati Saturday. Here are quotes from both teams, courtesy Cincinnati athletics:

University of Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

Opening statement:

"It's always good to win. A lot of our guys were trying to give maximum effort today. I thought that our defense picked up today and our effort and energy was much better. That was probably the difference in the game because our offense continued to struggle other than not turning the ball over. It's always good to get a big win.

"That is who we have to be. Obviously, we can still do better. JaQuon can do better than 1-9 from the foul line. David gave us a big lift. I have to get Cheikh and Kelvin to do a better job around the rim of getting fouled. We overcame our offensive struggles today."

On if getting a technical is sometimes a good thing: "I don't know how you intentionally get one. I never want to get one. I want a fair shake. That's all I want.

"I don't know if I agree or disagree. I know that Georgetown is winning the league and rightly so because they have been the dominant team since their first two games, but when Buzz Williams got a T, all the geniuses in national media wanted to blame the game on him even though they trailed the whole game. Theyw ere never going to win, but everyone wanted to pound Buzz's T. Odds were they were going to lose. They were in deep trouble but they wanted to blame the T on him, which was ridiculous by anyone that was taking shuts at Buzz for that.

"I won't take any credit for the technical foul. I think more importantly we started making a few shots. Can I take credit for those going in because I got a technical foul? Some people believe in that but I don't. That is my first technical foul since two years ago. I'm not running around getting a bunch of technical fouls."

On double-teaming Boatright on UConn's second-to-last possession:

"I wasn't going to let him play it out. We were going to try and make him take his time and corral him, as our term. Obviously, when it got under 10, we were going to foul. We weren't going to let him shoot a three and tie. What happens, a lot of time in my experience with that, you have smart players and that happens. You get the steal and you don't even have to foul. I don't believe in letting the team shoot the three to tie it under 10 seconds. The kids executed perfectly. We were in a 2-2-1 press and the front 2 guys (Cash and JaQuon) did a great job with that."

On preparing this week: "It was no different than normal. I was a really good student and my sister is highly educated. I should have gone to law school had I wanted a normal life. I had my chances. My mom told me to study harder and I wanted a life in sports. If you can't handle the heat, you shouldn't have the job no matter the year or team you are coaching. You have to be able to deal with it, stay focused, try to get your kids playing their best, and get the best chance to win. I'm more worried about the kids.

"They were great this week. But make no mistake about it, they knew that they needed to win."

On his slip on the sideline: "I was just happy I didn't blow out my knee. I have a knee with no cartilage. I'm just biding time until knee replacement."

On Jermaine Sanders:

"He was great. I was really happy for him. He got into an offensive flow today. That was a big key that he got into the offensive flow. Making a shot, getting to the foul line and knocking down two shots helped him. He really got into an offensive rhythm. He could have gotten to the foul line a couple more times but it was that type of game."

On Sean Kilpatrick:

"The thing about him is that he has toughness. Someone was doing a thing on players and asked me about Kenny Satterfield that used to play here. We had a great team back then when you had him, Steve Logan, Pete Mikeal and Kenyon Martin. You had some really mentally tough guys on that team. Mental toughness and work ethic is the hardest thing to find in recruiting. You really don't know until you get a guy in practice when he gets elbowed in chest and he has to improve because it's not high school anymore. You don't know how they are going to react. I knew during his redshirt year that the way the guy attacked practice with the life and energy that he has, that if you could transform that to everybody, everybody would be a much better employer, worker, and player. He just has an unbelievable work ethic."

UC Player Quotes

No. 23 Sean Kilpatrick, G

On closing out the game being on their minds:

"We've been having trouble at closing games and today our main focus was defense and we knew down the stretch it was going to be a close game because that's how it usually is in the Big East. We had to not only try to get easy buckets but we have to defend and be able to stop them."

On stealing the deflected pass:

"I just saw the ball go up in the air and when it was in the air it looked very catchable so I just made the play."

On getting a victory:

"I walked in the locker room and I began staring at the ceiling saying to myself we needed this. It is about time that we got one that we really needed. It feels good to finally get the monkey off our back, because we prepared all week for this and we prepared for UConn to play the way did. They played great but I think we played great on the defensive end today."

No. 1 Cashmere Wright, G

On trying to foul UConn before the over and back:

"Coach said wait until the time gets down until about seven seconds and if he is still dribbling the ball then we should foul him

On outscoring UConn on points off turnovers:

"That was great and it shows that we are turning the ball over but we are still correcting our mistakes. We are getting points that we need instead of getting in our half court offense and try to make a tougher shot.

On getting energized after Mick Cronin's technical foul:

"When you are on the floor and you see your coach getting fired up like that it shows that he is playing for us, he is letting the referees know that it was a bad call. It's like your father is fighting for you so you have no choice but to fight for him."

University of Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie

Opening statement:

"We played hard and we played aggressive. I like the fight in our team and we just have to get through this. It's been a difficult last two games for us, but I can't question our heart. I can't question their fight."

On the difficulty of ball-handling without Shabazz Napier:

"I don't really want to talk too much about Shabazz. These guys played hard. Shabazz is going to get back to being healthy, but we played hard. We had 18 or 19 turnovers against Georgetown and we had 15 tonight. Our guys played hard and they put us in the situation to win. So Shabazz will come back healthy and fight for us these last two games, but for now everyone else has got to keep stepping up."

On Phil Nolan's play tonight:

"He stepped up and played very well. He played aggressive and gave us seven rebounds. We played with some energy, but I had to get on him a little bit in the first half. He took the challenge like a man and played very well for us. He's going to be a really good player for us in the future."

On the inbound pass at the end of the game: "They had a big center out on the ball and RJ tried to throw it over the top. We had been trying to get it over the top of them for most of the game, but he got a piece of it and we came up short. RJ fought for us. He's had a big guy on him all game and we had been getting passes over them with Ron getting it up near the top of the key, but they got a piece of it."

On their comeback down the stretch:

`"We just started playing with energy and knocked down some shots. We started rebounding and Boatwright made some plays and got to the free-throw line 15 times and made 14. It was a great job by him. We played good defense. We couldn't shoot well and neither could they. We had an opportunity at the end of the game and we just didn't execute. The last two games we've had a few turnovers in the final minutes of the games and we just can't have that if we want to win games in the BIG EAST."

UCONN Player Quotes

#2, DeAndre Daniels, F

On the effort of the team:

"We were down a leader in Shabazz. I feel like everyone stepped up and played harder. We prepared during practice and prepared like he wasn't going to be able to play."

On if it is frustrating not to win these close games:

"Yeah, a couple heartbreakers. We made a couple of mistakes with turnover there toward the end. I am proud of these guys because we fought hard and came back."

On getting some help down low:

"It helps a lot. Phil has been coming in blocking shots and getting rebounds."

On what they learned about playing without Shabazz:

"We just have to slow our tempo down a little bit. We were in a rush because that is usually where he steps up. We had too many turnovers in this game."

#11, Ryan Boatright, G

On what he takes from this game:

"Late game situation, we turned the ball over too many times."

On playing without Shabazz:

"I really wasn't worried about my play. I was just trying to get everyone going because I knew a lot of people would need to step up. I was just trying to get everyone going because I knew I could get to the free throw line or get a shot off whenever I wanted. It is what it is, we just have to execute at the end."

On losing games that come down to the end:

"It is very frustrating because you are right there every game. The last two games we have been right there. We had a chance to take the game, but we fell short due to turnovers or not getting a shot up. That is what is most frustrating."

On if he thought he was fouled in act of shooting on the goaltending play:

"Oh, definitely. What was I going to do, run out of bounds? Obviously I was going up for the layup. Once I went up, he obviously hit the ball out of the rim. It is what it is. Refs can't get every call right."

On the last UConn possession if UC got their hand in there at all:

"Cashmere definitely hit it. He touched it before it even went backcourt. I should not have even been in that situation in the first place. I am not blaming it on that. I should have made a better play or we should have ran a better play."

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