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March 9, 2006

John Beilein

J.D. Collins

Kevin Pittsnogle


COACH JOHN BEILEIN: Pitt has a terrific defensive team. I admire the way they play, how hard they play, how smart they play defensively. I thought we had some good opportunities. We missed some easy ones and then made some tough ones.
But their quickness and their just great offensive rebounding was a big difference in the game.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What was wrong with Mike Gansey coming down the stretch?
COACH JOHN BEILEIN: When he dove for the ball, I think it was, what, the 10-minute mark, 8-minute mark, something, he ended up getting stomach cramps. Something cramped up in his stomach, and he couldn't do much after that.
Q. When you look at a game like this, a really close game until the end, was the rebounding --
COACH JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, you know what, yeah, in the first half our zone defense and our man were both very good. In the second half, you know, Gray just stayed really close to the basket. Kevin was out giving a lot of help and he just gets great possession. He's a big, big guy. Sam Young as well, having the 11 rebounds. I think he had several offensive, too.
Just two guys who traditionally get outrebounded like that, and just had a couple of extra possessions that were very important for them. We didn't get them to turn it over the way we did the prior two times we played them.
Q. Each of the players, can you address the run you were able to make here last year. It established you as a solid team. This year you came in a little bit different, not as hot as you were last year. Is it disappointing to be one-and-done?
KEVIN PITTSNOGLE: I think it was a little disappointing to come in and get a loss the first game, the bye and stuff. I mean, we worked hard all season to get what we got, that was the bye. To come in and get a loss, it's kind of disappointing.
But right now we just have to get ready for practice and get ready for the NCAA, whoever we play, and hopefully make a little run again like last year.
J.D. COLLINS: Like Kevin said, it's very disappointing. We planned on staying a little longer than this. We have to tip our hats to Pitt. They did a great job of just rebounding, going after it, playing tough defense. We just got to bounce back and get ready for our next game.
Q. John, can you talk a little bit about last year you came out here so hot. This year you're going into a tournament losing five out of seven. Talk about the difference.
COACH JOHN BEILEIN: Well, I think that we ended up playing really very well here. I think we lost five out of seven because we were playing lights-out teams, most of them on the road. I think our only home loss was to UCONN by a couple so sometimes it's a matter of the schedule.
I thought in our last three games - Cincinnati, Pitt and Louisville - we were playing as well as we had played all year.
But for whatever reasons, you know, we could not make some of the shots we made last year. I think we shot 40% throughout this whole tournament. We only shot 33 today. It was a bad matchup for us as far as quickness on the perimeter today. They got in the lane much too often. We had to give help and give up rebounding.
Q. You're not particularly concerned?
COACH JOHN BEILEIN: I mean, I've been concerned all year that we weren't as athletic as we were last year. D'or Fischer and Tyrone Sally are very quick, very good defensive players. Any time we lose, I'm concerned.
But we played a very difficult schedule. We came in here. We're probably the only 3 seed in the country that played a team that was 6 seed that was higher rated than us in the nation. It wasn't like we came in here and lost to Cupcake U; this was a heck of a team we just lost to that I think had a tremendous season. There's a reason why they're nationally ranked and ahead of us in both RPI and the rankings.

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