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    Jan. 18, 2012

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    January 18, 2012

    Connecticut vs. Cincinnati 

    Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun

    Congratulations to Cincinnati.  They certainly deserved to win the basketball game.  Mentally, they were the tougher team, and physically.  But more mentally. 

    I thought we would have a great advantage inside.  It didn’t look like that worked out very well, because we were jumping and throwing one-foot passes inside….We just didn’t get anything inside done.  And that’s very disappointing.

    I just had a little talk with Kemba about a couple of players that he played with and he said “it doesn’t look like them.”  And that’s exactly how I feel, too.  It doesn’t look like them. 

    When you get down 10, there’s a reason for it.  It’s because we gambled. 

    We gave up 11 three point shots…The one at the end happens. That happens in basketball.  I’m not worried about that.  I’m much more concerned with the two that we gave up when it had gone to a two or three point lead, and then we started gambling again.  The same thing that got us in trouble before.

    We weren’t very mentally tough today, and they were.  And that’s a credit to Mick and his team.  When it came down to it, they were tougher than we were.

    We had a run in us.  We were at home, we should have a run.  The crowd jumped into it – they were begging the whole game for us to have a run, and we never really did early. 

    I couldn’t be more disappointed in some of the guys on our team.

    When you start the game with a 6-10, 280 pound guy, and another guy 6-9, 245 pounds, and they can’t rebound, or you can’t throw them the ball, or they’re getting backed down into the post, you’ve got a problem.  That was our game plan.  And that didn’t work out very well for us.

    We had enough people, whether I got on them or didn’t get on them, they deserved me to get on them, as far as there total package what they gave us in the game.  Both defensively and offensively.  They weren’t very good. 

    On Napier

    Shabazz wasn’t great, but he was gutty.  I thought he was competitive.

    On Smith

    Roscoe played better the other night, but he worked hard.

    On Giffey

    Niels gave us a pretty good effort.

    On Lamb

    He’s the guy we want to go to.  He got 12 shots up, which is remarkable he even got those.  He wasn’t very good on either end of the floor.  He’s a very, very good basketball player, and he’s got play better than that for us to be good.

     

    January 18, 2012

    Connecticut vs. Cincinnati

    Player Quotes

    Shabazz Napier

    It’s really hard.  We came back.  We fought back.  It’s always a tough one when you lose at home.

    What happened tonight?

    We didn’t take care of the ball, especially myself.  We didn’t run our offense and we gambled a lot on defense.  And that’s something we’ve been trying to take care of during practice.

    They came out of the gate and hit shots… They have some great shooters over there and they gave us a run for our money.

    On Cincinnati’s 3 point shooting

    We gave a lot of looks in the first half.  And once you give a team like that some shots, they make a lot of shots and their confidence gets boosted…It started getting a little nerve-racking

    On Cincinnati’s game winning 3 

    I was super surprised when he made that last three.  I gave him a little nudge in the leg and that always takes somebody of their shot.  Jeremy touched his fingers – he played good D on him.  And for him to make that shot was tough.  We had another opportunity.  Giffey almost made a three near half-court.

    In games like that, it sucks because you fight back you’re supposed to win the game and someone comes down and makes a tough three.

    Niels Giffey

    It was a tough loss, especially because we just had 10 wins in a row back here at home.  And I feel bad we lost it that way. 

    What went wrong today?

    I think it was their three point percentage.  Especially in the first half, we didn’t put enough pressure on them and let them take a lot of threes.  Obviously, they made a lot of threes.  I think that was the key.

    Can you talk about the last shot (to tie the game as time expired)?

    It felt good.  It felt really good.  But it happens and you can’t win a game on a last shot like that.

    We have to rebound a little better and obviously contest these shots – all these three pointers they made.  It’s tough when you come back down 8 and then Shabazz takes two great shots and makes them. 

    Jeremy Lamb

    We were down and Shabazz hit some clutch shots and we tied it up.  They came down and me and Shabazz contested the shot.  He still made it so it was a good shot by him.

    I think I could have been more aggressive and take initiative with the ball.  I think we fought.  There were times we didn’t play defense, but I think we fought and wanted to win but we just dug ourselves a hole.

    They were hot.  They were hitting bank shots.  It was hard to guard them.  But we got some stops and brought it all the way back but weren’t able to finish it.

    January 18, 2012

    Connecticut Men’s Basketball vs. Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin

    What a wild ending.  My father just told me we were up eight, [Sean] Kilpatrick got fouled and [UConn fans] were walking toward the exits.  You just never know in this game. 

    Big win for our team obviously.  Coming into Gampel and getting a win is huge. Obviously, they have a great team and arguably the best coach in college basketball.  It’s a big win for us but you’ve got to win these kinds of games if you’re going to compete for the Big East championship.  Fortunately, we were able to get the win even though we almost let it slip a way at the foul line.  And you’ve got to give [Shabazz] Napier credit. He hit a couple of big, big shots at the end of the game.

    On game winning shot by Sean Kilpatrick

    I was watching just to make sure he or Dion [Dixon] had the ball.  That’s something you talk about as a staff when you’re in that situation.  It’s to the point with both of those guys with their ability to score off the dribble, and make shots…….Once I saw that one of those guys had the ball and UConn was back-pedaling,  I felt we were definitely going to get an open shot or we were going to drive it to the basket.  If [Kilpatrick] would have hesitated, I would have called a timeout.  But as he was pushing it up, I saw his mindset; he was going to be aggressive.