The John Brannen era for the Cincinnati men's basketball program began with a 64-56 loss to Ohio State Wednesday evening at Value City Arena in Columbus.
Here is what Brannen said after the game:
On beginning the season in a hostile environment
"I was really proud of our guys in terms of coming out in an environment like this with a brand new coaching staff. It was the first time we've all been together in this kind of environment outside of a scrimmage. I thought they really competed, and unfortunately we weren't able to sustain it throughout the course of the entire game. Part of that is on us and a large part of that was Ohio State."
On coaching his first game against Ohio State
"It's a great honor to walk out in this facility and get a chance to compete against Ohio State on national television. It's why you do it and it's why our kids signed to the University of Cincinnati. I certainly enjoy leading this program and I felt like we were in position to win the game, but we weren't able to finish it."
On losing momentum in the second half after leading by seven at halftime
"[Ohio State] is a top-15 team in the country. That's what they do and you expect that. The expectation was that they were going to go on a run in the second half and they did. I felt like we were constantly in a one or two possession game, including towards the end."
On maintaining a flow on offense while dealing with foul trouble
"Whether it was the fouls or just the early season, it was very difficult to get a flow. I knew where we were at offensively — we're not there yet. Offensive basketball takes time and details. We now have tape to show that we need to be more detailed in practice."
On Jarron Cumberland's ability to take over a game
"I think for Jarron, he just has to get in shape right now. He's been off [with a foot injury] for so long, so he's just not in the shape you need to be in. He's super competitive and super talented. He makes the game easier for others and makes the right decisions more times than not to take the pressure off. Just got to have practice because practice will get us there. Players don't like to hear that. But the bottom line is practice is what makes you have success in games. Him and I are learning each other and it's our first opportunity to go on a stage like this."
On potentially playing Ohio State on a regular basis in the future
"I think it's a great rivalry. I'd love to play it. I'd love to play it. I'm not sure I want to do it the first game of the year. I think [OSU head coach] Chris [Holtmann] would probably second that. It's a tough challenge."