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March 21, 2013

Jamie Dixon

Dante Taylor

Tray Woodall


Wichita State – 73
Pittsburgh – 55

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by Pittsburgh.  We have student‑athletes Tray Woodall and Dante Taylor and Coach Jamie Dixon.  Coach, a brief statement?
COACH DIXON:  Well, first of all, congratulations to Wichita State.  I wish them luck in the tournament.  They played great and seemed to be far more aggressive than we were.  Hence, we lost the rebounding battle which we came in to win.  Extremely disappointed in the loss.  I know we're a better team than what we played today.
I'm sorry for our seniors to go out this way.  They had great careers, Dante and Tray, and won a lot of games for us.
But today was not our day.  We didn't play well in a facet, really, and sorry that it ended this way for those guys.  We will thank them again for all they have done for us over their career, but truly did not play the way we need to do play.
That was probably from the beginning to the end, even though it was a pretty close game, tie game, we were up.  We just simply weren't playing the right way from start to finish.

Q.  You guys, when you succeeded, it's always been based on defense and physicality and basically outworking people.  Are you surprised at the way they were able to be more physical at times than you were?
TRAY WOODALL:  No, we weren't surprised at all.  Coach emphasized that they were going to be real physical.  Those guys are tough.  They came straight from the beginning of the game and they were physical until the end of the game.  We weren't surprised, but we thought our guys.  We fought back.  We tried to fight back.  They got most of the loose balls and that was the cause of a lot of our team.

Q.  Tray, after a great career at Pitt, how does it feel to end a career with a game like that?
TRAY WOODALL:  It's a bitter taste in my mouth to end my career with one of the worst games I've ever played in my history.  I'm sorry I let my team down.  One of the worst games I've ever played.

Q.  Dante, could you justaddress why they came out more aggressively and knocked you back on your heels early, I guess?
DANTE TAYLOR:  That's just how they play every game.  They have a great program, have a great coach.  They were prepared for us and how we were going to come out.  They just got it done more than us, played harder than us, each possession, didn't give up.  Once they got the lead they knew what they needed to do to keep it, continue doing what they were doing.  We tried to fight back at the end, but it just wasn't enough.
THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, thank you.  Questions for Coach?

Q.  Jamie, given how this ended, a lot of people in Pittsburgh are going to be wondering, do you expect to be back at Pitt next year?
COACH DIXON:  Well, yes.  I just had my point guard break down here.  That's the farthest thing from my mind.

Q.  Did you have a hard time convincing your guys maybe to take Wichita State seriously?  Was that an issue in this?
COACH DIXON:  I don't think so.  They knew‑‑ we played them.  They have been ranked all year.  We played them a couple of years ago in Kansas City.  So I think we knew.  I don't think that was a problem.  I think they were far more aggressive than us early.  I don't know why that was, but we seemed to be on the heels.  I can't explain it.  One of the things we fought through, when we didn't make shots sometimes we get impatient offensively and that's something we have battled all year; I think every team battles it.  Maybe that got to us.
I think our guys were bothered by the flagrant foul call.  I tried to get them together on it.  It was obviously inadvertent, but it was a call and it changed something and it seemed like that play bothered us more than it should have.
In the huddle I'm saying, get ready, get ready.  We're playin'.  We're playin'.  And it's going to be a possession.  It's one possession.  Nothing was meant by it.  Obviously it was a guy driving and the officials told us that, but it's the rule.
I thought at that point‑‑ and it was only about a one‑possession game at that point.  I think it seemed like we didn't respond to that as well as we could have.  But they were more aggressive than us from the beginning.  There was no question.

Q.  Jamie, it seemed like?  Steven Adams really had a coming out game.  Didn't look like he was overwhelmed at all.  Do you think this could be a spring board to next year for him and the other guys?
COACH DIXON:  Well, it has to be.  That's what I told our returning guys, having our only it two seniors up here, they were our only two seniors.
Our first thing was talking to those guys and thanking them for all they have done for our careers and disappoint to go end this way for them, I know.
But for our other guys returning it's something we've got to learn from and for Steve he kept battling and kept going and was active around the glass.
We tried to get the ball inside to him more.  But it seems like he got touches, threw it back out and we didn't make good plays out of that.  But he's going to be a great player, there is no question.  I'm looking forward to watching these guys and coaching these guys and them being better next year.  I can't wait because I know we have a great group and I'm excited about it.

Q.  The 15 turnovers, seemed out of character.
COACH DIXON:  The ones early were unforced.  We threw one out of bounds.  We fumbled a couple.  We had guys‑‑ one of our strengths is low turnovers, and for people who haven't seen us play, this wasn't our team tonight that played.
At the same time, you have to give credit to Wichita State.  But we had five or six turnovers early that were not typical of how we play and that put us in a hole.  Seemed like‑‑ kept thinking we would get out of it and get out of it and we didn't.  Even though the score was close we were up most of the time early, we just didn't seem to get‑‑ ever get in rhythm.
Then down the stretch we started, I thought, doing a better job offensively; and our defense, we kept putting them at the free‑throw line, 41 free‑throws, 15 turnovers and we got outrebounded.

Q.  Tekele Cotton's defense on Tray Woodall seemed to be important tonight.  Can you talk about that?
COACH DIXON:  You give him credit.  Tray missed three layups there in a row at one point.  It's just one of those days for us.  But Cotton is a good defender.  We talked about him being their best defender and probably the guy that would be guarding Tray.  We've got a lot of guys that can do things.  Our balance has been our key, but really when you have not anybody shoot it well and you go 1 for 17 from the three there are not a lot of things you can point to.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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