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Louisville-Providence Postgame Quotes

 



Jan. 2, 2013

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Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Opening statement)
“We’re continuing to win with offense, protecting the ball and not turning it over and scoring the ball well. Our defense is nowhere near where we want it to be. I think our guys realize that and they will continue to work on it. We got a good victory tonight, a good BIG EAST victory and once our defense catches up to our offense we have a chance to be a really special team.”

(On what the problem is defensively)
“Last year what we tried to do, because we were so injured, we tried to confuse people with a matchup zone and it worked with the exception of Florida in the Elite Eight, and Kentucky in the Final Four, it worked and confused everybody. This year, we’re playing a talent defense were everybody has to see the ball. Gorgui (Dieng) is nowhere near where he needs to be defensively, and that’s going to take some time. He’s getting it back but he’s nowhere near that. We have to get Montrezl (Harrell) playing better defense. We have to get Wayne (Blackshear) and Luke (Hancock) playing better defense. It’s just a matter of the way were playing now, it’s a talent defense not a camouflage defense, it’s not a disguise defense, it’s not a confuse defense, so that’s the basic problem.”

(On the defense in the second half)
“We played all man instead, we wanted to play a little zone and get after them. We played better, but that’s really bothered Gorgui inside. Gorgui will let them have the ball in places that anybody is going to score a high percentage. They’re a very talented offensive basketball team, this is the first time they’ve been healthy all year and they’re going to get better and better and have some good victories before the year is out. Last year there were nights where we couldn’t score when we were left alone, were not turning the ball over much and were doing a lot of good things. Gorgui’s passing is off, you know how good he was in the high post at finding people. He’s just very rusty but that will come around.”

(On Luke Hancock)
“I think Luke did ok. He just falls asleep a little bit in transition. He’s OK defensively but he’s bad in transition defense.”

(On Gorgui Dieng’s defense)
“The fact that he kept letting (Kadeem) Batts catch the ball and he was 8 for 11 is more evidence than the four blocks. I expect him to do that. He should have had seven or eight blocks. I’m not picking on him. He’s just coming off of four weeks of inactivity. It’s not his fault, he’ll get it. It’s just going to take some time.”

(On playing from the high post)
“We started passing high-low. Providence will give you the high low. They’ll also give you the corner if they take it away. In the first half, we got behind and last year we got behind also. Certain teams play other teams really well. There’s just something about it. It was a debacle last year and certainly they deserve the credit to it. They did a good job against us. They do a lot of good things against us.”

(On Russ Smith not starting and his overall play)
“I thought it could be a close game and I wanted to make sure those two guys (Smith and Siva) could play together towards the end of the game because of foul trouble. I also wanted to get Kevin Ware a lot of playing time. Those guys gamble a lot and I wanted to make sure they didn’t get into foul trouble. Starting is really irrelevant.”


Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley

(Opening Statement)
“I think our team just played the best team in the country. I’ve scouted every game that they have played this year and they have a lot of different answers, a lot of experience. They play a great style. Our team, this is the first time that this group has played together all year, including in practice. So we’re just not there yet. I think, without question, that Louisville is the best team in the country. They have a lot of different weapons. They play at a great pace. They use their depth. It seems like their player know their roles. They were fun to watch even to scout.

“Our guys are just learning how to play together. We are just not there yet. We did have some spurts today where we looked good. We had some spurts today where the ball moved and guys were getting shots in rhythm. The turnovers definitely bothered us. The whole scout today was (about) turnovers and transition defense. When you look at the stat sheet, that was clearly the difference. Credit Louisville, they played well and there’s a reason why they are ranked so high, deservedly so. I think they should be the No. 1 team in the country. That’s just my opinion.”

(On Louisville’s defense and his team’s turnovers)
“Let’s face it, their style of play, because they play so aggressive, there’s times where they get away with fouls that just can’t be seen. They get the benefit of the doubt by being aggressive, and God bless them. Hopefully our players can learn from that. Some of that (turnovers) is our lack of experience and our lack of cohesion on the floor. Whether or not they were fouls or not, who knows. It just was a lack of us playing together for a while.”

(On how he would assess where his team is)
“It’s been really hard - I think that’s an honest question. It’s been really hard because, that’s the first time I saw that group together this year. Other than... no, never. (Bryce) Cotton played with Vince (Council) before in the Rhode Island College game in the four minutes of the NJIT game, but other than that... that’s the first time. That’s the first time bringing Kris (Dunn) into the game and trying to slowly work our front court around. On the road, you’ve got to go with guys that know what they’re doing... Vince is just extremely rusty.”

(On their depth issues despite everybody having everybody back)
“We have everybody but experienced depth. That’s why we went with (Brice) Kofane first. We’ll bring our guys along. At the end of day, it’s our first road test in our league. We played against a very good team. We can’t be down on ourselves. We’ve got to pick ourselves up and get ready for DePaul.”

(On whether losing three games in a row is a challenge)
“It’s definitely a challenge. Going home, I’m sure that there’s a lot of people right now who are doubting us right now. We’re an underdog right now. We’ve got to go home and play with some character, play with some toughness and play with a sense of urgency and take it back to the ‘Dunk’.”

(On Vincent Council)
“Right now he’s trying to do too much, which is expected when you come back... a big challenge for him on the road, first BIG EAST game. He’s just got to let the offense come to him. Slow down and believe in what we’re trying to do.”


 

 

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