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NIT SEASON TIP-OFF


November 23, 2012


Jamelle Hagins

Monte Ross

Devon Saddler


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Pittsburgh テや 85
Delaware テや 59


THE MODERATOR:テつ From the University of Delaware, student‑athletes, number 44, Jamelle Hagins, number 10, Devon Saddler.
COACH ROSS:テつ Congratulations to Pitt.テつ I thought that that was one of the more astounding offensive displays that we've ever had against us, and we pride ourselves in being a very, very good defensive team.
One of the keys for us tonight was to make jump shots.テつ And we didn't do a good job of that in the first half.テつ I thought they got their confidence by getting a lot of points in the paint.テつ So congratulations to them.
I didn't think by the score that we played very well.テつ I thought the first half was probably our worst played half of the year.テつ But I thought in the second half one of the things we challenged our guys with at halftime was let's play.テつ Let's play.テつ I thought we did a much better job of just playing in the second half.
We'll go back to the drawing board, and you never want to have to learn from a loss, but unfortunately they do happen.テつ If we want to be the team I think we can become, we'll learn from this and get better.

Q.テつ Jamelle, against Kansas State the other night, you guys really established your defensive presence right from the git‑go.テつ Was that harder to do tonight?テつ Was that kind of, when you guys weren't able to do that right off the bat, did that mean it was going to be a long night for you?
JAMELLE HAGINS:テつ I think we just started off slow, a little slow.テつ They hit shots and, like Coach said, they got their confidence up.テつ So we were trying to fight back to hit shots, and it just got harder as the game progressed.

Q.テつ Were you confident in your ability to play with a team like Pitt from the Big East coming into this game?
JAMELLE HAGINS:テつ I think we're confident to play with anybody.テつ We're not scared.テつ It was just another step up.テつ You see where we were at, I don't think we played our basketball tonight.テつ But we were confident.

Q.テつ Jamelle, your legs feel better?テつ No cramps?
JAMELLE HAGINS:テつ They feel okay.テつ It's all right.

Q.テつ Devon, being that you're like the quarterback of the team also playing somewhat of a big media market in Philadelphia, how was it coming up here a little further north in the Garden and playing in a larger media market?テつ How was that?
DEVON SADDLER:テつ It was a great experience just coming up here, playing in front of a big crowd.テつ We just gave it our all tonight.テつ It's bigger than playing back at home.テつ So it was a lot for us.テつ We have a lot to learn, but as it goes on, we play Sunday.テつ But we can't think about this now.テつ We've just got to get back to the gym tomorrow and get to Temple.

Q.テつ Devon, given that teams from your conference have gone to the Final Four, how does that change your expectations for yourself and for your team?テつ What does this experience do for you getting ready for your conference?
DEVON SADDLER:テつ This is great for our confidence, because we play a lot of great teams, and a lot of the teams we play up here are not as good as the teams in our conference.テつ It's just a great experience being up here because we're not going to play teams like that in our conference.

Q.テつ What about like George Mason and VCU going to the Final Four?テつ What's that do for you guys?
DEVON SADDLER:テつ That just gives our conference confidence that every team has the ability to go to the Final Four or make it to the tournament.

Q.テつ How serious is Josh Brinkley's injury, and how did it maybe hurt you guys not having him available tonight?
COACH ROSS:テつ How serious it is, we're not sure.テつ It's his ankle.テつ It's not his foot, which is good.テつ He's had some history with his foot.テつ But it's his ankle, and we're hoping with a couple day's rest that he may‑‑ there is a possibility that he may be able to play on Sunday against Temple.テつ We're not sure, of course.テつ But any injury is serious, and we're going to take the necessary precautions to make sure his long‑term health is what's most important.
How did it affect us tonight?テつ We told our guys, you have to step up.テつ Someone goes down, it's your opportunity to step up.テつ I'm not sure we did that as a whole tonight.テつ Josh has been a tough guy for us, a mainstay for us in the lane.テつ Of course we probably miss his presence down there, but we practice a certain way every day so that guys will step up when they have that opportunity.

Q.テつ Early on you guys came out pretty slow.テつ What do you attribute that to?テつ Do you think your team was awe struck by playing Pitt in the garden or do you think they were executing and you guys weren't?
COACH ROSS:テつ I don't know.テつ I asked them the question at halftime, are you Pitt fans or Big East fans?テつ Because you're right, that's how we play.テつ We play like we were watching the game and not participating in the game.テつ As to the reason why we started off slow, I think they might have caught us on our heels a little bit.テつ I think we had an opportunity to either go up 2‑0 or make it 2‑2, and we missed our first lay‑up.
That's sort of like‑‑ missing the lay‑up is different from missing the jumpshot.テつ When you miss the lay‑up, it's like a kick in the stomach.テつ It takes a little bit of the error wind out of your sail.テつ But I thought we did a better job of not being spectators in the second half.テつ We talk to our guys about when you step up a level, which Pitt is, you've got to be ready.テつ We were ready.
Just why the shots didn't go in, why their shots went in, well, that's the game of basketball.テつ But when I look at the stat sheet and some of the things that we've had ten turnovers.テつ I'm not sure how many we had at the half, so that's always a thing I look at right away.テつ How many turnovers did you have in a game like this, and turning it over ten times is okay.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts on Zanna and the how Pitt's been utilizing him here in the season?
COACH ROSS:テつ I think his ability, I think what they do is his ability is probably more face‑up than post‑up.テつ I think he's more comfortable face‑up than post‑up.テつ But he is a very physical player.テつ You don't get that combination a lot.テつ A guy that likes to shoot jump shots, can score inside, but probably doesn't favor that.テつ He's still physical inside there.テつ He's a long, athletic body that I'm sure is what you need in the Big East to be able to compete and be able to be a good team.テつ They have that in that length that he has.

Q.テつ Out of curiosity as far as teaching, how much of basketball from the teaching aspect did you learn from‑‑ how you say, Martelli are, and also the late games?
COACH ROSS:テつ I would say a lot of the basis for what we do and how we do, trying to do things the right way, trying to do things with class, trying to do things when the chips are down, there is a certain level‑headedness you must have about‑‑ the saying is, "It's never as good as it seems.テつ It's never as bad as it seems."テつ The reality lies somewhere in the middle.テつ I think that is the lesson that I've learned from both of them.テつ You have to coach your team.テつ There are going to be ups and downs, and trials and tribulations, but you have to coach your team.テつ You owe it to the gentlemen that you're in charge of to make them not only the best basketball players that they can become, but the best people that they can become, and that is on a daily basis.
So any opportunity you get to affect their life‑‑ an example.テつ We're getting our butts handed to us.テつ If I go in a shell and don't continue to coach them, what kind of message does that send to them in terms of, okay, something bad has happened.テつ When something bad happens, you don't do what you've always done.テつ No, it's an opportunity to show them, look, first of all, we don't have any fight.テつ I'm going to coach you guys until that buzzer goes off, so I need you guys to play until that buzzer goes off.
So it's little life lessons like that that I've learned from Phil, and Coach Bighouse Gaines that will stay with me forever.テつ Hopefully I can give a little bit back that's been given to me.

Q.テつ Temple on Sunday are playing their first game in eight days.テつ You're playing your third game in five days.テつ How difficult is it for you guys to play them any day, but just in this kind of situation?
COACH ROSS:テつ One of the things that I told the team is that there are a lot of teams that I've coached that would not be able to handle what we've put on them thus far.テつ I think they're able to handle it from a physical standpoint and being able to compete and have a chance to win.テつ They're also able to handle it from a mental standpoint and meaning, okay, we got our tails handed to us today.テつ Let's regroup and still have that same confidence that we had before this game going into the Temple game.テつ This is a group that can handle it, and we'll display that come Sunday at 2:00.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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