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NIT SEASON TIP-OFF


November 23, 2012


Jamie Dixon

Tray Woodall


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Pittsburgh テや 85
Delaware テや 59


COACH DIXON:テつ I was really happy with how we responded, and obviously, we lost a tough game.テつ A game that we felt we just didn't finish the way we wanted to.テつ So how do you respond coming back Thanksgiving Day and getting ready for a 2:30 game.テつ So we responded well getting off to a 16‑2 lead.テつ We were fortunate, obviously, that they were missing one of their players.テつ He's a good player, and I think that was something that was a benefit to us.テつ But I really was happy with how we responded, the assist to turnover ratio, the unselfishness, the passing this week was a good week for us offensively.
We learned some good things about ourselves.テつ We got better, and I think it's something we can really move forward to and get away.
Really happy with how we played, how we responded.テつ I thought Tray played really well and really unselfish, and I think it spread throughout the whole team.
Excited about where we're at right now.テつ We thought we should have won that last one, but we didn't.テつ How you respond says a lot about this team and what it thinks about themselves and what they think they can be.テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ Tray, coach said how you respond shows a lot about what the team thinks of themselves.テつ But how would you guys say you think of yourselves after the test today?
TRAY WOODALL:テつ Yeah, the guys responded in a good way today.テつ We knew we wanted to pick the team up defensively, and we wanted to build on the game we had the night before.テつ We just wanted to respond and build off what we didn't accomplish in this game.

Q.テつ Tray, how does it feel coming back home?テつ I know you played locally here in St. Anthony's, did you have a lot of fans coming back to see you all play the last couple of games?
TRAY WOODALL:テつ Yeah, I definitely had a lot of family members come watch me play.テつ I saw people in the crowd from St. Anthony's also.テつ I was just happy to play in front of my family and familiar faces.

Q.テつ Two of the top freshmen bids according to recruiting rankings and all that stuff here in New York, Mitch of course at Michigan and Steven, I don't know what the expectations were of the player, but both are easing into things and developing.テつ In all the years you've been doing, this is it your experience that yes, there is Jared Sullinger, and DeMarcus Cousins and guys like that, but typically do the bigs take a little more time to develop?
COACH DIXON:テつ Every guy is unique.テつ Every guy is different and comes from different backgrounds.テつ I think Sullinger was a guy going to Ohio State from the day he was probably born.テつ He was working more towards the system, and he was a skill, undersized guy.テつ He just had a feel.テつ Every guy is different.テつ I'm sure what Michigan is going through with McGary and we're getting asked the same questions.
But usually it's the defensive thing that is a big adjustment.テつ It's the biggest challenge for them.テつ They have to guard on the perimeter and ball screens and 2‑3 zones and standing in the middle.テつ It's so different.テつ For big guys it's so different from what they've played against.テつ In high school for most kids, and then with Steve, he didn't play in high school.テつ So it's a whole different world.
I understand it.テつ I think Coach Beilein understands it too.テつ But it's just something that you can't stop the articles that are going to be written.

Q.テつ (No Microphone)?
COACH DIXON:テつ Yeah, it's usually with the big kids there's always something different.テつ Again, Steven hasn't played with‑‑ I don't know how all these things.テつ When he played in those games in L.A., those weren't games.テつ Those were pick‑up games with no structure.テつ He was the best player on the team, and he was playing with guys he just met from the Asian team and the Latin American team.テつ They just didn't know where New Zealand was, but they put him on those two squads.
That's all we've really got to base it by.テつ He's got, I think Mitch recruited for a long time too, so I'm very familiar with him and with Steve.テつ We're excited about that.テつ I thought this was a good day for Steve, and it was a good day for him.

Q.テつ You guys got off to a quick start today 10‑zip right before Delaware called that timeout.テつ Would you attribute that to a year of execution or do you think they were a little awe struck playing Pitt on a big stage like this?
COACH DIXON:テつ I think one thing was Brinkley wasn't able to play, and that helped us.テつ I think they don't have the depth that we have, and I think that was a big factor to what I think.テつ So, you know, that's a good team.テつ Obviously we could have won last night.テつ I guess it was very close watching the film.テつ It could have gone either way.テつ That is a big key.
If certain teams can sustain that, but a team, playing against a team like us with our size and our depth it becomes more of a challenge.テつ But I was really happy how our guys came out and played.テつ We were up big and stayed with it for the most part and did the things we wanted to do.テつ Field goal percentage, the rebounding was not where we wanted it to be.テつ Whatever it is, I thought this was going to be a good rebounding team.
But we haven't rebounded well enough from the beginning.テつ Even our big blowouts and 35‑point wins.テつ Obviously, the guys in Michigan point blank, we got beat on the boards, and that's why we lost.テつ No question about it.テつ With that said, we didn't rebound to the numbers I wanted to do, but offensive execution.テつ I thought the unselfishness was just a tribute to the guys and where this team could be offensively.

Q.テつ You've got ten guys here double digits and minutes.テつ No one's played more than 28.テつ I know you guys kind of ran away with it at the end.テつ But is this going to be something as a coach and a program that you're going to focus going forward?テつ Listen, we want to get 9, 10 guys, 15 minutes, not have to use anyone more than 32, 33 if we don't have to?テつ Is that something you're focusing on in the coming weeks?
COACH DIXON:テつ We'd like to.テつ Hopefully we'll stay healthy, and we had some things with Cam wasn't available for a couple days, and he didn't practice for us the last week, and Trey Ziegler didn't practice, so things occur, foul trouble as well.テつ But I do feel that we can play ten guys out there that are really good.テつ We have walk‑ons that are red shirting.テつ They get to play a lot of minutes too with the big lead.
So it's been interesting playing with these guys.テつ I think they know they're going to get minutes.テつ They know they're going to play.テつ I think it's a good feeling.テつ They can see it by the way we're passing the ball.
Offensively we're heading in the right direction.テつ We've got some things to address.テつ He the rebounding thing I'll go back to again, because it is just something that I thought was going to be a much better rebounding team.テつ But we will and we'll get to it.テつ But the guy's a rebounder.テつ The guys can play.

Q.テつ How important are playing in these preseason tournaments with top level competition with an early barometer for you guys?
COACH DIXON:テつ It was great.テつ It's something that we're looking forward to.テつ We've done them every year.テつ We've played in the best ones we can.テつ We get to play in the Garden, and we've been playing here now 44 times in 11 years.テつ So we do everything we can to play in this building. テつIt's great for our fans, great for our families.
But, again, playing we found some things out against Michigan and even Delaware.テつ Again, our rebounding is something that we've been known for.テつ It's something that we've done among probably the best in the country over the long hall.テつ Right now we're not.テつ So when you lose a game and get outrebounded by 12 in the second half and point to all different things and this and that, at the end of the day, that's what we do.テつ When we don't, we come up short.
So we've got to understand that and see that, and today we're playing hard.テつ Our transition defense is the other thing we found out about, even today.テつ We're back.テつ We saw it in the game against Michigan.テつ We were back.テつ They scored them three on five situations a number of times.テつ It's just not knowing what we need to do and understanding that guys are going to keep going.テつ Those are two things that we really learned this week.

Q.テつ Lamar scored a lot more in these two games up here.テつ Did you want them to be more assertive?テつ Did you want the ball in their hands much more?
COACH DIXON:テつ I don't know if he was more assertive.テつ He made shots and we were wide open.テつ Everybody was like why are you playing Lamar?テつ Well, he was our best player in practice for the first four weeks.テつ We just didn't see it happen.
But guys go through stretches where they don't play.テつ He played good basketball.テつ He didn't score a lot.テつ He was unselfish.テつ He had high assist numbers.テつ He played pretty good defense during those games when we weren't scoring a lot.テつ So I wasn't panicking.テつ Did miss some shots that were wide open for a stretch there.
But now he's making them, and he's a big part of what we do.テつ He's playing good defense.テつ I think we've got a nice rotation with Durand and Cameron that can play those spots.テつ And it's something that we can really build off of.テつ But he's a really unselfish player.テつ I think that was evident.テつ He took good shots and poor shots, and that's how he's been playing in practice.テつ Those are pretty good numbers, 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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