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Postgame Cincinnati Quotes

  • COACH CRONIN: Well, obviously wasn't our best night. Give all the credit to Louisville. Very happy for Coach Pitino, love him like a brother. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. So I'm very, very happy for him. I’m very disappointed for my players because we didn't give our best effort tonight. I take nothing away from Louisville. We have a tendency to get over-confident at times. I thought that was an issue for us.

    But I give Louisville credit. I don't like to say that we play bad. I hate when coaches do that.

    The other thing I would say was just from an X and O standpoint, our passing was as bad as it's been -- I'm sorry, our lack thereof. So I was very, very disappointed in that we dug a hole because we wouldn't pass the ball. We had one assist in the first half.

    Q. What do you think caused them to be overconfident?

    COACH CRONIN: Yeah, if you've followed us all the time complacency is an issue. It cost us a couple games early in the year that it shouldn't have because we're just over-confident. We have a tendency to be on cruise control. I would have been much happier if we had to play Syracuse again tonight where my guys would have thought that we had to have a great effort. The fact that we beat Louisville -- I said it to Bill yesterday, that was a big concern of mine with our guys.

    Q. The offense picked up in the second half. Was that because you passed better then?

    COACH CRONIN: We actually executed what was being called and passed the ball. But our lack of free throw -- the comeback was tough, but when you're making a comeback you have to make free throws. We didn't do that. 1 for 7 in the second half, you've got no chance to make a comeback if you do that. You're 5 for 7, and instead of being down four you'd be tied.

    Q. You had that 16-6 run that you closed the game out on. JaQuon really got a little more aggressive. Were you happy to see that they were executing what you wanted?

    COACH CRONIN: You know, this is a simple game. The team that executes and plays harder wins, and Louisville did that tonight. It gave us a chance when we started executing and passing the ball. But it's my job to get them to do that, and obviously I didn't get the job done with that tonight. So I always try to self-evaluate. You hold a team to 35 percent shooting, you should win the game. 50 points, you should win the game, with our talent level. But we didn't play team basketball on offense until it was too late.

    Q. You did talk last night about your fear of overconfidence. Did you sense going into this game that --

    COACH CRONIN: They just admitted it to me. They just admitted it to me.

    Q. That they were overconfident?

    COACH CRONIN: We just have a tendency to go to cruise control at times.

    Q. (No microphone.)

    COACH CRONIN: Well, you've got to be able to defend, you know, because when you get in the NCAA Tournament, 99 percent of the teams have a good team. They're there for a reason. You know, even if they didn't have a great overall record, they got hot late and they're playing well. So I think that if you can't get some stops, you can't win. And I think leadership -- if you were to ask me one thing, I think, that affects winning, especially in basketball, whether it's the pros or college, leadership from players.

    Q. Mick just said that you guys admitted to him that you were overconfident. Did you think that was a problem?

    Yancy Gates: Yeah, I was the one that said it. I could tell the difference in the way we was getting ready for the game today. A lot of people didn't have the same focus as we did when we first got out here, and I think because we won our first two games, they were so tough and we won them the way we did, we kind of felt like Louisville was going to come in here and kind of give it to us, but I think it was the reverse, we came in here and gave it to them because we weren't prepared to play a hard game until the second half, so we paid the price for it.

    Q. Cash, does this feel like an ending? Your season isn't over, but it's the end of this championship.

    Cashmere Wright: No, it's not the ending. We've still got games to play. We can't look back, we can't look at this game no more. It's over. We can't mope no more. We've just got to look forward and keep pushing in practice and get better.

    Q. The win over Syracuse, did that give you the confidence that you could beat anybody in the country?

    COACH CRONIN: Well, I try to impart to my team that I believe most teams that are good teams can beat anybody. But we're also capable of losing to anybody. You know, there's only one or two teams, I think, that can have a bad night and still win. And in the NCAA Tournament, I don't know if that exists. I don't think -- there's not enough NBA players stacked on teams like the '90s in college basketball, and I firmly believe whatever happens in the NCAA Tournament, you could replay it and have totally different results. There's that much parity.

    But I think for the kids, what I try to tell my guys is it's a great opportunity.

    Q. Cash, what finally got you guys going offensively the second half?

    Cashmere Wright: We started playing with our heart, and we came out thinking we were going to win like Yancy said. We weren't playing with our heart, and we were just playing off last game. Then in the second half we realized they weren't going to give us the game so we had to go take it, but after we started pushing, it was too late.

    Q. When Cincinnati came into the BIG EAST, you faced some adversity early --

    COACH CRONIN: There's the understatement of the press conference.

    Q. But you've reached this level in the BIG EAST championship. In the next couple years there's a flux of new teams that are coming in. Do you see the potential for some of these other programs that will be coming in?

    COACH CRONIN: I'll say what Jim Calhoun said six years ago. I wouldn't want to be a young coach trying to build a program in this league, and I'm glad I'm not anymore. But I will say, fame is fleeting, too. There's a fine line between 12th place and 5th place in our conference. There are teams that finish there with McDonald's All-Americans and talent. So you've got to make sure you've got winners in your program and develop winners.

    We're here tonight -- obviously you know, the guys know me, I'm a competitor. I wanted this more for them than for me because I'm where I want to be in life. I'm with who I want to be right now. But I know where they want to go. You've got to develop winners in your program, and we're here because these guys have really fought hard to rebuild our program. Coaches get a lot of credit. No coaches win without players.

    Q. Yancy, you were visibly frustrated a couple times in the first half, talking to some of your teammates. What were you telling them? What were you saying up there?

    Yancy Gates: Basically, when you're out on the floor you can feel that we weren’t playing with the same intensity as we did the past few games. I was trying to tell guys, we need to try to find a way to pick it up. Normally the way we started the game wasn't scoring, and the way we get going is with our defense and deflections. We tried to find a way to pick it up, and it didn't happen until late in the second half. Like we said, by then, it was too late. That was basically the frustration. It wasn't with any scoring or anything. It was just how we were playing as a team.

    Co-Owner and Senior Basketball Writer Follow me on Twitter @chbrendel

  • Pretty much confirming exactly what I was thinking. Its unbelievable to me this team after all 10 losses could still be overconfident, but they were.
    Not sure why we would learn from it now when we didn't all year, but we better or else it will be an early exit.

  • Overconfidence starts at the top with the players. Its the same problem they have had the past 3 years. At some point once success happens the leaders on the team need to keep everyone focused. You can't grow if you don't learn how to handle success. I don't get why this team doesn't learn from this routine lapse they have but it is has been a regular problem. Hopefully at some point a leader on the team breaks this chain. Being overconfident vs st johns in the regular season is a lot different than being overconfident in the BE title game.

  • Seriously...
    Syracuse has a right to be overconfident coming in at 31-1 and 17-1.
    This is the most mind-boggling thing I might have heard all year. Come on guys you are playing in the Big Freakin' East in NYC/MSG for the tourney championship not some rinky dink A-10 and you think the 'Ville is going to lay down because you beat Syracuse the night before??? Seriously...
    Yancy says he noticed the effort/focus wasn't there in the walk through, he should have ripped into them then, not the second half of the game. That's what a senior leader does.
    I take back everything I said in the game thread about fatigue being the reason they didn't play well and based off those quotes, that was an embarassing performance.
    **
    This team has the potential to make a deep tourney run in the next 3 weeks but if they still get overconfident after a little success, I can't see them getting past the Sweet 16 and I will not have them past there in any of my money brackets. They are now down to a lose and go home, hopefully they play with a sense of urgency in every remaining game, although I'm not overconfident they will and it really pains me to write that.

  • Louisville made us play at a pace that we didn't want to play and it killed us. They over-played the passing lanes and caused us to rush our offense and that is not our game. I also thought they looked fatigued, which is sad because Lousiville was not. Great season and looking forward to the tourney!!!

  • Bottom line shots didnt go in, when that happens, frustration sets in. Dixon and SK played bad, and JJ was so bad I wanted to punch the TV, Sometimes JJ costs us so many points on offense and defense cause he plays so dumb at times, he is hard to watch for me when he does those things. I watched the replay this morning and he single handidly gave them 15 -20 points.

    I understand fans dont see things coaches, players, and ex coaches see. JJ messes up so many times. Both Kurics 3 pointers were JJ 's fault. THe 3 free throws were SK stupid decision to double Dang for no reason. JJ dribbling act and then elbow killed us. His missed shots and stupid missed layups ..

    Not sure about the over confidence talk more then just bad plays and stupid plays, and shots didnt go in. You cant keep missing shots. Dixon down 5 drove the lane and got fouled and somehow missed the layup then walked up and missed both , we went from supposed to be down 3 to down 13..........

    THen we get back to 4 and Parker missed layup ad gets fouled and missed both.....UL was waiting for us to take it and we couldnt

    Oh well......great run just sucks we played so bad in the finals cause we are better then UL.

  • Agree on all points...

    Co-Owner and Senior Basketball Writer Follow me on Twitter @chbrendel

  • Great post. I didn't see the game but Mick is right this team gets overconfident or should I say they just lose focus and go into cruise control. It has consistently happened all year at any point in time when we've been having success. These players have come a long way this year and learned a lot but they still struggle to maintain focus and that killer instinct when things are going well for them. Mick has been trying to shake this from his players all year but it can't come from Mick it has to come from 1 or 2 players who step up and get everybody focused. I'm hoping the combination of Cash and SK grow into this type of leader next year but I have my doubts.

    If there is anything that scares me going into the NCAA tournament it is that if we are a 6 seed and play a team like BYU, will our guys be focused and desperate during that first round game. If we can win our first game I'm not worried about the focus after that because we will be underdogs the rest of the way.

  • We missed shots because we took bad shots in the first half. Killa had a bad three, Dixon had a bad three...that's the overconfidence they are talking about. They thought they could make those contested shots because they were hot yesterday. Those bad shots were basically turnovers, and lead to us falling behind early.

    Follow me on twitter @EricLilly7. Intimidate.Dominate.Celebrate.

  • I'm over it and have moved on and hope that the guys do learn from it but that was not what Yancy said in the postgame. Here is the part that bothers me and it's clearly not that they were overconfident in their shots going down...

    Q. Mick just said that you guys admitted to him that you were overconfident. Did you think that was a problem?

    Yancy Gates: Yeah, I was the one that said it. I could tell the difference in the way we was getting ready for the game today. A lot of people didn't have the same focus as we did when we first got out here, and I think because we won our first two games, they were so tough and we won them the way we did, we kind of felt like Louisville was going to come in here and kind of give it to us, but I think it was the reverse, we came in here and gave it to them because we weren't prepared to play a hard game until the second half, so we paid the price for it.
    ***
    Anyway if he or the team thinks that any team in the tourney is just going to "kind of give it to us", it will be a short dance this year. This team does not have the luxury of being on cruise control or coasting. As it has been said all year, this team just does not handle success all that well...

  • If anything good came out of that loss last night is that the team knows that if it focuses, it can come back, and it can compete with anyone, if the effort is there. This, to me, bodes well for the Tournament, unless they bury us in the Northwest and make us play tough games from the very beginning. I can think of our playing a UCLA in a 1st Round Game in which we lost in overtime despite a tremendous effort by Stokes, and a tough Missouri game.

    Rutgers Undergrad - UC Law School - follow me on Twitter @RUJerry for news about UC, RU and other sports information.

  • This could end up being the best thing that happens to us. The over-confidence/ focus whatever you want to call it is clearly out in the open. If they would of found a way to win that game it would of caried over to the real tournament. The loss although painful could come at the right time for a tournament run. Our defense is solid and when focused we can beat anyone. Have great practices this week and take that performance out on every team we face in the big dance!

  • '69, agree entirely. What I don't get is why Cronin doesn't substitute to play the guys that HAVE the intensity ? If your studs are lassiez-faire and flat then play the guys who aren't. - even if it's for a brief stretch, play the kids with the heart & emotion & guts you're looking for. Send a message. Sit the non-performers and trust your bench. If your top 5 can't play with the intensity you need, then bring in some guys that can. It's a team game. Not everyone's on every night. Get some bench players to pick up the slack. Mick should've known his top 5 would suffer some burn-out coming off of Syracuse and that he'd have to rely on some other guys to ignite the team. Saying that you were overconfident is BS and a cop-out. Anyone flattering themselves that much is insane. Saying you couldn't get "up" for a BE Title game just begs criticism.

    Then Mick says " I'm glad we're playing a BIG NAME program in the first round to get my kid's attention." Why Mick ? cause your guys can't get up for an NCAA Tourney game if it's someone lesser. ? What ? IMO, that comment is just as insane.