Dec. 3, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Auburn Coach Jeff Lebo
"It is frustrating that we couldn't win the game, but we battled hard. We didn't shoot the ball very well from the three, which we needed to do, or the foul line. They (
) shot the ball very well in the first half with 61 percent. We were right there in the game. We had some good looks in the second half; we just weren't able to put the ball in from the three. We can't beat a team like Pitt shooting 3-for-20 from three. We had some untimely turnovers. We battled hard and did some good things out there. We are getting better. The kids were ready to play and that is all I can ask from them." Pittsburgh
On the second half run...
"They went a long time without scoring. We pressured them and were a little harder with the quickness from (DeWayne) Reed because (Levance) Fields is fast. We got into a little bit of a flow. We changed defenses and kept them off balance I think. We just couldn't get back to get the lead. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do, being able to come back and take the lead. They made some key plays. (Aaron) Gray is a great player with his size and his offensive rebounding and free throws. I thought that our guys on the inside did a pretty good job. Korvotney Barber and Josh Dollard played pretty hard against those two guys inside who have size and experience on them."
On final minute shooting...
"We needed to shoot threes. We had some turnovers at the end that were more concerning to me. We had some looks at the bucket; we just couldn't put it in."
On moral victory...
"I don't think there is. I feel badly for our kids. We played well enough to win the game. There were just some plays here and there that didn't work. Some of it was youth and some of it was the situation. They are tough. What makes them good is that they don't beat themselves too often. They don't turn the ball over very much, but they turned it over more today. They defend you. Last year, we couldn't even get a shot. This year we did a much better job of executing to our strengths. We just didn't shoot the ball very well. This is the number two ranked team and you can't shoot 13-of-23 from the foul line. It is just frustrating to see us not being able to put the ball in the bucket very consistently. There are lead points there, three point plays that you don't convert. You have to be able to put it in on the foul line."
On playing well against strong competition...
"We have to earn the right to win one. We are getting close and we are looking better. I see bright spots, but we have to get one of those. You have to have pep in your step."
Forward Korvotney Barber
"It's frustrating knowing that we could have beaten the number two ranked team. Like coach said, we made a few mistakes here and there and we just couldn't beat them. Like he said, (Aaron) Gray is a pro."
On the matchup with Aaron Gray...
"We're a lot quicker than he is because he outweighs us by about 40 pounds, so we have to use our quickness to our advantage. We had a little jump hook, and he couldn't really block that."
close after last year's game... Pittsburgh
"It shows at times that we are getting better, and we are maturing more than we were last year. It shows that we can play with anyone on the map this year."
On Josh Dollard...
"We play well together, and we have good eye-to-eye contact. I think we are going to be a good combination down the road."
Forward Josh Dollard
"We are coming very close. Just a few mistakes here and there.
is a real good team. When they make a mistake, they are able to cover it real fast. They gel so well, and you can see that on the court. We came very close today. Just a couple of mistakes here and there, a couple of turnovers and free throws. We have to hit the open shots. We came really close." Pittsburgh
's success in the paint... Auburn
"They do have two big players. Aaron Gray is an All-American. Coach told us all week that he is a big body, but he is slow. We tried to use our quickness to get around him and outwork him. That's what we tried to do. Luckily, we got a couple of putbacks and couple of rebounds. We just weren't able to pull it out."
On his improvement from last year...
"I think I got a lot stronger. The coaches stayed on me to work and get in the weight room to go up against teams like
and people like Aaron Gray. The SEC is a tough league, so you know you are going to need that strength inside. I think I worked on my conditioning a lot to get back into game shape." Pittsburgh
Head Coach Jamie Dixon
was a very good team and a team I compare to us. They started with some young guys and they're battling through it. Later this year they're going to win some big games. They have a lot of big time players and they're a better team than we played last year." Auburn
"We battled through the game. It wasn't our best, but we shot the ball well from the three. I thought we passed the ball well and made good decisions. It would have been nice if we had made the free throws down the stretch. It would have given us a wider margin, but that's what happen sometimes and you have to do the other thing."
"Initially, we talked about a couple of different things with the coaches. Then we said hey, the bottom line is we've got to get the job done on the board and that's what we did in the second half. We're looking at 10 offensive rebounds in the first half and three the rest of the game. We took notice of that and handled that very well, and we did a good job in that area. Again, the margin should have been a little bit more at the end, but we didn't make the free throws. We did a pretty good job throughout."
"We had a little bit more trouble against their trap in the first half. We talked about it and we prepared for it, but they had a lot of good plays. We were letting them play. We've got to be a little stronger with it and step through. We need to get to the bonus. Once we got the bonus I thought we'd be fine, but that wasn't the case as we tried to pull away."
"There were a few shots that may not have been great, but really it started with our offense getting stationary I think. We didn't attack. We were feeding the post from bad angles, and not the right spots. They were really stepping it up defensively, and we weren't doing a good enough job getting open. We had to remember we were in SEC country and we were playing a very good team, a very athletic team. They got out there and pressured us and made it a little bit harder getting a catch. I thought we should have done a better job. We talked about it and it's my fault. We need to work at it more in practice and that falls on me."
Guard Ronald Ramon Pittsburgh
On if Pitt feels lucky to have won...
"I don't think we feel fortunate. We just went out there and tried to execute our plays late in the game and try to stick with our offense. We tried to make sure we moved the ball; make sure we got stops on defense, and make sure we came out with the win."
On the layup late in the game on an inbounds play...
"It was a great play. We practice it. We do it in practice almost every single day. It's a play we have been working on. It wasn't like it just came out of the blue. We executed and Tyrell was able to get the layup."
On Pitt missing free throws...
"We have to make sure we knock down free throws at the end of the game. We got into a little slump at the end of the game. We need to get back in the gym and work on it."
Aaron Gray Pitt Center
On his put-back with 1:04 remaining...
"The coaches told me to play smart. I think I had four fouls at that point, but I just wanted to keep playing hard. It was a very crucial point in the game. I think we were up three. I tried to give my team a little energy. They kind of figured it out in the second half and I wasn't very effective."
On being in foul trouble...
"I only had one foul in the first half, which allowed me to play some minutes. I picked two quick fouls (in the second half) just playing hard. I picked up my fourth foul playing hard, but things like that happen sometimes. I wasn't able to get into a rhythm in the second half. My teammates did a great job. Tyrell Biggs did a great job in the game, and in some aspects, we didn't miss a beat."