Pitt Head Coach Kevin Stallings Opening Statement: “We were very happy to win. There were some things we would have liked to do better in the second half, going down the stretch, but also some things that we did pretty well. That’s a very good team, a very well coached team. Mike [Young] and Jamel [Artis] continue to play at a very high level and fortunately tonight, when they went zone Cam [Johnson] did what we need Cam [Johnson] to do. Our defense was better. It’s interesting as a coach, because we caused them to shoot a worse percentage, but had a bad night defending the three. Our games before this we’ve been outstanding defending the three but couldn’t keep them away from the hole. We need to find that happy balance in there somewhere, the happy medium, and we might have something. I’m pleased we held them to 40 percent [shooting], but I’m not pleased that we gave up 11 threes. I thought they got back into the game with energy plays. I thought we did a nice job at the beginning of the second half of building out the lead, running good offense, and getting stops. Then they started getting loose balls and offensive rebounds and the momentum of the game changed. When the momentum of the game changed then they really started to make shots. You give up the hustle advantage, we had the hustle advantage, they had two offensive rebounds in the first half. When you give up the hustle advantage, when they took control of the hustle game, then all of a sudden shots started going in on us. It’s something we can learn from. We would much rather learn from a victory than a defeat. Our guys made some key free throws there going down the stretch and I was proud of them for that.” On the slow start offensively: “We were just taking our first chance; I don’t even know if I want to call it a shot. Just the first opportunity to get it on goal. I felt like we were playing hockey, just trying to get it on goal. Taking off balance shots, not playing through contact. Going away from contact, shooting off one leg. It was like what is this? We have to learn what works for us and what doesn’t. In the second half, conversely, we took the ball to the rim and got them in foul trouble. We were able to get ourselves to the foul line and it ended up being the difference in the game. Good adjustment at halftime by our players, we need to go to the contact. We did a much better job in the second half.” On having redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Johnson as a three-point threat: “It makes a huge difference because it just stretches the defense out and spaces it. It takes a load off those two other guys [Young and Artis] who are doing yeoman’s work right now. Chris [Jones] didn’t have his best night, Sheldon [Jeter] didn’t have his best night, but Cam [Johnson] came through when they went zone. He did what Cam [Johnson] is supposed to do when they go zone, get open and in position to get off good looks at the basket. He did, and they went in.” On shot discretion when a player is on a hot streak as Johnson was, hitting threes on three straight possessions: “I don’t tell the guys this, but some guys have green lights, some have yellow lights, and we won’t go into red lights. If you have a green light, I don’t say much to you. Cam’s light is pretty green. Now, there are certain type of shots Cam [Johnson] should take. Going across the lane, off of one leg, he shouldn’t take those and there were a couple of those. Squared up threes, even from a little deep because he’s got range, those are his shots. We need that. I said to Coach Tom Richardson today, we have to get Cam [Johnson] loose more times than we are getting him loose right now. We have to get him open looks because his stroke is very good. We need to try to create opportunities for him.” On defending the three-point shot tonight: “These guys are 18 to 22 years old. If these guys were professionals, then some of these mistakes wouldn’t happen, but they’re college guys and they make mistakes. We have to help them learn and grow and get better and improve, and that’s my job. They’re good about coming back the next day and trying to learn and from their mistakes. They’ve been very coachable. We played better defense tonight, our three-point defense wasn’t as good, but our defense was better. We have to keep on trying to improve on it.” On the ball movement tonight: “After the first five or six minutes, pretty solid. It was just like we were trying to get shots on goal [at the start]. After the first five or six minutes I thought we settled in and ran good offense. I think they’re a good team. We played them a couple of years ago when I was at Vanderbilt and it took us double overtime to get it done. I think very highly of Yale’s coach [James Jones], I think he’s very good. When the ball moves, and guys are cutting, it makes everyone a threat. Not just those receiving, but cutting to the goal. As good of a passing team as we are, and I think we are a good passing team, we can run an effective offense. If the guy that cuts to the goal doesn’t get [the ball], the guy who steps back for a screen probably will and you will have something, whether a shot or a drive. Ball movement, the first thing I wrote on the board today was ‘relentless ball and player movement.’ We’re a work in progress, we’re not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. We asked them to get better and do some things defensively and they did. We have to be better guarding the three but we will.” Pitt Redshirt Sophomore Cameron Johnson On his three point shots: “I don’t think anything really changes, I have that mindset throughout the whole game. There was one possession after the third shot, I remember I had the ball at the top and I could have shot a contested three, but I passed it to Mike [Young] and he went in and got the foul. That play was better than a contested three.” On Yale moving the ball around the perimeter: “They [Yale] move the ball pretty well around the perimeter. They make some shots too. In the second half we went on a run and we could have pulled away, but they answered every shot we made with a shot they made.” On stepping up in his play tonight: “We believe anyone can get going at any moment, it’s just a matter of who gets the opportunity in the offense. It is not anything that we need to change offensively we need to get better at what we are doing. Whoever is open is going to shoot and we are going to play for each other. That’s just how it is going to happen.” Pitt Senior Michael Young On winning tonight’s game: “It was a big boost. They went zone and tried to keep it compact. We use the pass more than driving and dribbling which opened up space for us. We kept the lead and kept it at a place where we could get comfortable and manage the game tonight.” On the mood after the win: “The mood is great. We won, we’re very pleased. It is always good to win.” On preparing for Yale: “We watched film, and you could see in the film how good they were. They beat Washington, and we knew that Yale was going to be a good team. Watching film and scouting them we really learned a lot about them.” On Yale being physical on the glass: “Coach warned us about them being really physical on the glass. We were prepared for that.” On getting more players involved in the offense: “Our offense is really spread out. More motion action and working the ball around and keeping the paint open. It really doesn’t matter who takes the shot. I believe in anyone who takes the shot. It depends on who is open, who gets the shot, who sees their drop lane. Cameron [Johnson] might not hit a shot in a few possessions but then might hit a few threes in a row, that’s just how our offense works.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here