Feb. 4, 2013

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February 4, 2013
Coach Boeheim Quotes
Carrier Dome – Syracuse, N.Y.

Opening Statement:

“I thought that really the two keys for us in Pittsburgh were that Rakeem (Christmas) and Jerami (Grant) couldn’t score and you have to have other people, but they were big tonight offensively. Jerami (Grant) made those fifteen footers, like nothing – no problem and his defense was good. Rakeem (Christmas) was the best he’s played since he’s been here in terms of being active on offense. We need him to rebound better, but he was much better offensively.

I thought that our guards didn’t score much but they moved the ball well and got the ball to people. We had 14 assists, which I think is a big key for us. That number is important and an 8-1 and 6-2 turnover ratio – I think that’s a big key for us too. Even though they didn’t score, I think that they did what we needed them to do. Trevor (Cooney) gave us a big lift off the bench, but I think the key with Notre Dame is that you have to guard their three-point shooters – you can’t let them get set. That’s why we’ve had some success with them. We’ve normally done a good job on their three point shooters.

(Jack) Cooley dominated us down low last year. I thought we did a pretty good job with (Jack) Cooley and we got to their three point shooters. Defensively we played just a good of a game that we would’ve wanted to play. I think offensively we were a little more patient and we moved the ball a little bit better. Notre Dame is not as good of a team defensively as Pittsburgh is, so you get a little more freedom there. We attacked their man to man very well though and they got in their zone. We were not great against it, but we were good enough.

A little bit more about Jerami (Grant)?

“He was really good. He’s played really well. Pittsburgh was a little bit more physical then what he was ready for, but the other games he’s played, he’s played extremely well.”

Is 40 minutes out of necessity, trust or both? Is he (Jerami Grant) earning a little more playing time?

“Well we have no one else. What am I going to do? It’s not a hard decision. It’s not a decision. I’ve said it many times. Maybe in a really up-tempo game you’re going to get tired. You get a two minute rest every four minutes in college basketball. You should be able to play forty minutes – easily. We’ve played 40 minutes with no timeouts. We averaged 99 points per game and Dave Bing never came out of the game unless the game was over. You should be able to play that many minutes.”

“This was a big win. Obviously Notre Dame beat us last year out there and when you lose two in a row in this league you get nervous – everybody does. This was a really good bounce back win for us.”

Can you talk about the work on defense that C.J. (Fair) and Jerami (Grant) had to do in the zone from the corner?

They were good, they came up and the shooters got back. We didn’t give them any open looks. In fact, (Jerami) Grant’s three’s were really deep and other than that we kept them off the line pretty well.

Were you trying to get inside a little more, it seemed like you wanted to get the ball in and get any shot that you could get?

It’s not something we’re going to do a lot, but we’ll get it in there sometimes if we can. Jerami (Grant) broke open the game early, he got us off to a great start, but then they caught right back up. We went 10 and they went 11 and that’s sometime the way things go.

Michael didn’t have many field goals can you tell us why that was?

I don’t know why that was, I think he was good at getting the ball to people and he made plays. He hit probably what I thought was the biggest shot of the game, that three I thought was a very big shot. I think Brandon (Triche) made two layups and missed his other shots. Again, it’s good to win with those two guys not being able to score. You have to get three good guys who are going to score for you and tonight, we got three guys which is how you win these things.

C.J. Fair, Junior, Forward

Big game by you tonight, double-double. Rebounding was really strong for you. Can you talk about it?

“Last game, I didn’t rebound that well. This game I knew in order for us to win, we had to rebound well and I just wanted to have my mind set on rebounding and trying to get every rebound that I could. On offense, I was just sticking with my shot. Some of them were falling – some of them were not. My last three were falling so that kind of got me over the hump.”

Talk about your overall team defense tonight. Seemingly every shot was contested.

“I think this was one of the best defensive games we played this year. We were covering all of the shooters and we weren’t letting Jack (Cooley) get any easy looks inside. And that’s all you can ask for against Notre Dame.”

Can you talk about Jerami [Grant]?

“Jerami [Grant] is becoming a great player. He wasn’t getting any consistent minutes in the beginning, but now he is and he’s taken advantage of it and he’s doing well.”

Rakeem Christmas, Sophomore, Forward

Did you put in a little more effort to find him, [Jack Cooley]?

“Yeah we we’re trying to put more bodies on him and keep him down so he doesn’t get the rebound.”

Tell me about the jump shot you hit with the shot clock winding down. Did you see the clock?

“No I just heard Michael [Carter-Williams], C.J. [Fair], Jerami [Grant] and then the rest of the bench say shoot. I knew the shot clock must have been down so I just hit the shot.”

When coach Boeheim was talking to you after the game with the stat sheet, what did he say to you?

“Shoot more. If you’re open, take the shot. Rebound more and play bigger around the post.”

Jerami Grant, Freshman, Forward

You’re learning how tough this league is even with the two straight losses. Getting back in the win column and getting back in control must feel good for you.

“Yeah it definitely feels good to get a win after our last two losses. It was a great game for us. It definitely brought our confidence up.”

How do you feel you did in the battle of the brothers tonight?

“I feel like I did fine. I probably won it. We won the game, so that’s all that matters.”

Talk about what it’s like to go from playing sparingly to now playing 40 minutes a game?

“It’s definitely a transition I had to get used to. Playing 40 minutes for two games straight is definitely tiring but I feel like Ryan [Cabiles] does a great job in practice making me run and keep my conditioning up so I felt good out there.”