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Post Game Quotes: (RV/RV) New Mexico 63, (RV/--) Cincinnati 54
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/07/2013
Post-Game Quotes
Cincinnati vs. New Mexico
Head Coach Craig Neal
12/7/13
 
 
Opening Statement
 
“I’m really excited for my team; I knew that it was going to be a knockdown, drag out battle. I really have a lot of respect for Mick Cronin, I think he’s an excellent coach and they have a really good, veteran team that I thought was going to be a challenge for us, but our guys answered. I thought that game was what we have been working for defensively, from when we were in Australia up until now. We’ve been working with some different things and trying to use our personnel, but I think that’s the way we can guard. I think some of it was seen in the game against New Mexico State and you saw a lot of it today against Cincinnati. I thought Cam Bairstow was outstanding. His family was in town and that was a good lift for him. I thought Alex played really well, Kendall didn’t have the stats that he usually has, but he had to guard Sean Kilpatrick and he held him to 5 of 18 shooting and he did an unbelievable job. That’s going to go unnoticed, but he was able to really focus. There’s not anymore that I can say about Hugh Greenwood and how tough he is. He’s hurt and he was a game-time decision, probably shouldn’t have played but I can’t say enough about what he’s done for our team and what he’s done for our program.”
 
On the status of Hugh Greenwood…
 
“He got hurt during the New Mexico State game. I don’t think he re-injured it this game, I think it’s an injury, he’s hurt pretty good. He’s an unbelievable kid, he’s what our program is all about.”
 
On how Cameron Bairstow affects the game….    
 
“I always tease him because four years ago he was a scrawny 6’ 8” kid coming to play and now he’s a man. The thing about Cam, he’s supposed to come down here and do a press conference, but he’s up in the weight room lifting right now. He just does everything to get better. If I told him to go get better by eating dog food, he would eat dog food. He’s going to do whatever it is to get better. I can’t think of anyone else, aside from maybe Daniel Faris, who has improved as much as Cameron has in four years. He’s got great finishes, he’s able to put in on the floor, and he’s blocking shots and helping Alex. He does the little things all the time.”
 
On how this game prepared the team going forward….
 
“I think the deal is that we’re trying to find our identity. We have six newcomers and four guys that we’ve had and have been through winning situations. I think our guys are learning and really listening to the veterans. The veterans are really calming them down and telling them were to go and showing them to the right place and how to make the right plays. I think it helps them know that they can play at a high level. The last two games have really showed them how good they can be. I put it on the board before the game, ‘how good do you want to be?’ because I think they’re good, but it’s up to the 14 guys to decided where they want to go.”
 
UNM players Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow
 
Alex Kirk
 
On Cameron Bairstow’s game…
 
“It was big time, when I got in foul trouble he had to step up and he did that. Cam is the type of players who isn’t meant for the long drive, and playing 37 minutes is a lot, but when he hit the last jump shot I was impressed that he kept fighting.”
 
On the team they beat tonight….
 
“Cincinnati is a really good team. They’re aggressive; they’ll beat teams that way and with turnovers. For the most part I think we kept them off the glass and with how aggressive they are it was huge.”
 
On how two games in one week has affected the team physically…
 
“As a team, it’s two big wins for us. To be able to come home and beat them with someone like Kilpatrick is big. We have time before we play against Kansas and we fought through what we had to fight through.”
 
Cameron Bairstow
 
On the emotions this week with family being in town and having a birthday
 
“It was really cool. Back home there’s nothing like this so that aspect really blew them away. It was a good opportunity for them to see me live. They’ve seen games online, but to be in the atmosphere was great especially in a big game like this.”
 
On being able to exploit the Cincinnati defense…
 
“They played a lot smaller this year than they did last season, so we thought that if we could get inside we could hurt them, but they were able to deny us a little bit. I think Alex and I did a good job with the cross screens and being able to go around them.”
 
Cincinnati Head Coach Mick Cronin
On the inside game
“They got good players. Kirk and Bairstow are both really good players. Disappointed in our defensive effort in the interior. Too many layups, too many free throws. Kirk hit one tough shot. Bairstow, I think had one really good post move, the rest were layups and free throws. Disapointed, but they’re very good players.”
On the second half
“We tried to resemble a basketball team that practices and passes the ball a little bit. And actually runs offense and tries to execute. You can’t go on the road against a really good team and play as bad as we played. Don’t pass a ball, play one-on-one take terrible shots.Get down by 15 and they expect to come back and win. You made a come back but to think you’re gonna get over the hump against this team and this environment, in the middle of this arena, with their fans fired up to play against Cincinnati, it’s not gonna happen. Too big, it’s too big of a hole.”
On FG’s in first half
“We let it affect our defense. We should have been down by six or seven and we let our bad offense affect our defense. We lost focus defensively. Until we finally got down fifteen and we finally started playing it was just too quick.”
 
On Caupain
“Tough to say, I mean I’ll watch the film. Right now my mind’s on our team. So many things that I gotta correct. So many things I’m disappointed in right now but you know one thing we never quit. We never give up and it’s a miracle we only got beat by nine points. As bad as we were on offense, miracle. But we’re not going to win games playing offense like that. We’ve got to find a way to be a more crisp team on the half court. Pass the ball better.”
 
On defense
“On Bairstow we fouled him too much. I think we got fatigued a little bit against him. I thought he was just a tougher guy tonight. Sometimes that’s what it’s about. He was the best player and he showed it.”
 
On when Cincinnati closed the gap and UNM went to Bairstow or Kirk
“Not a surprise, you know I watched them play against SK this summer. From Australia, he’s one of the best power forwards in the country. It’s not a surprise what he did. He was so good this summer it was scary. He’s been that way and he’s carried it over another season. I think we got guys capable then doing a better job than he did against him.”
 
On whether the loss can be a good experience 
“It has to be. It’s a long year nobody’s going undefeated. They got beat early too so the road is tough. Especially early your first time out on the road. We don’t quit, we just gotta start playing a lot smarter on offense. We’ve got to execute better on offense. To be detailed about it, to play a good team, their initial reaction, their gonna scout you their gonna guard. You gotta get the two, three and four passes. Two ball reversals, second third fourth screen. And when we did get there, we did get good looks. But you’re only going to get half of them. The problem is the other half you wasted, played one on one and took bad shots. And then you can’t rebound bad shots.”
Saturday, December 20
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at New Mexico State
Tuesday, December 23
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Grand Canyon
Wednesday, December 31
5:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Fresno State
Saturday, January 03
6:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Colorado State (Alumni Day)
Tuesday, January 06
9:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at San Diego State
Saturday, January 10
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Utah State
Wednesday, January 14
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Air Force
Sunday, January 18
4:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Boise State
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