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Louisville-USF Postgame Quotes


Jan. 12, 2013

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Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Opening Statement)
“I think, as a basketball team, we had a group of young men start the Seton Hall game, and at halftime, they came out as really tough men. It is a type of defense that we wanted played. They came out the entire evening and played unbelievable defense, the type of defense we have been waiting for and wanted to see. We are proud of our guys and they did a tremendous job tonight. I am really proud of Peyton Siva obviously, and the way he is playing as well.”

(How many teams could shoot 38 percent and still win by close to 30)
“Well, we didn't shoot 38 percent in the first half. I think that is more just playing with a lead and jacking up shots. I think Peyton (Siva) took some ridiculous shots, and I think everyone was just trying to have a good time but still focusing on playing good defense. I am not going to look for a negative because we are making free throws, maybe the only negative I could find would be the turnovers.”

(On the team’s rebounding performance)
“It was excellent. I think Chane (Behanan) gave us a tremendous lift in the game, and Gorgui (Dieng) played his tail off. Chane had 12 rebounds at halftime. He wasn't supposed to play. The trainer was going to hold him out, but he told one of our coaches that he was ready to play. He said it is a little painful, but that he could play. The players make the decision on that type of thing and Chane really helped us this evening.”

(On what are the players doing better defensively than before)
“I have been trying to explain to them that defense wins you ball games regardless of what happens on offense. We had a real nice meeting at halftime during the Seton Hall game, and I think they understood it.”

(On losing to USF last year and how have they adjusted since then)
“Well, we allowed them to dictate the pace of the game last year with certain shots we took offensively, and we weren't very aggressive on the defensive end. This year, we are a little bit more physically talented and able to play man to man this year, so that helps us as well. We did a great job of switching, and a great job of playing their plays tonight from a scouting standpoint.”

(On out rebounding them and second chance points)
“The one thing we were preaching is in their five losses, it was double digit offensive rebounding was the main reason we lost. That was going to be one of our focal points tonight was rebounding. We played as if every shot was going to be a pass to somebody.”

(On Gorgui Dieng returning from his injury and when he is to being back to normal)
“I think he is getting better with each day. During this week, he will be reexamined again, but once he gets that soft rubber off his hand, I think he will block more shots with his left hand. I don't think it is bothering him; it probably gives him a little comfort. I don't think he is blocking shots with his left hand. I think he is doing a lot of really good things right now though.”

(On Peyton Siva’s career at Louisville as he surpasses 1,000 career points)
“Every now and then in life you come across a Billy Donovan, you come across a Peyton Siva. They are so few and far between, where they don’t have any of what we all have, the human frailties in life. I told him the other day that I only found one thing wrong with him and he said, “What’s that?” I said, “When you make a charge, you put your hands up like you didn’t do it.” And he says, “That is all you could come up with?” And that’s pretty much it. There are no perfect human beings, but he’s about as good as I’ve coached. Those two guys are just as wonderful of human beings as anyone I’ve ever encountered in my coaching career.”

(On the ramifications of a short turn-around)
“They (Connecticut) have the same things. It’s only a hindrance when the other team doesn’t do it and that’s not the case. They’re a great ball club, obviously snapped the long winning streak of Notre Dame at home. They’ve got arguably one of the best backcourts in the nation. Two great scorers; they both score great. (Shabazz) Napier, believe it or not, is the leading rebounder on Connecticut’s team. They are a terrific team, I’m really happy for them because I love their coach. He is a class young man and I knew he would do a great job. More so than any other person I’ve encountered in my life, I knew he would be a great coach.”

(On if he has any concerns about the next couple of games)
“The way we handle it, in the BIG EAST, is you just play one game at a time. This is like the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten. I saw Indiana almost lose to Iowa. They could’ve very easily lost to Iowa. And today they had a big lead against Minnesota. So the Big Ten, the ACC, the BIG EAST, just every single game is a war. Last year, we lost to this team, so we look forward to it. We’re going to lose, like everyone in this conference, you’re going to lose some games. The most important thing is that you get better and we’re getting a lot better at the defensive end that’s what pleases me.”

(On how his team as changed since the South Florida game last season)
“From the Seton Hall halftime to now, I can’t be any more pleased. We were focused on the defensive end, from a scouting standpoint, from a rebounding standpoint, from a ball containment standpoint, things that we didn’t see before that.”

USF Head Coach Stan Heath

(Opening statement)
“That was... wow! They’re really good. That’s a really good basketball team. I’m sure Rick (Pitino) had them fired up because we snuck out of here with one last year. They came to play. They weren’t going to let something slip up again. We caught the full wrath. We’re not a great team right now. We’re not a very good team at all. We’ve got to find a way to get better. When I look at these stats, I’m still marveling that we hold a team like that to 38 percent shooting. They’re getting offensive putbacks and getting layups in transition. I think we’re doing some things right, but we’re not doing enough obviously on the offensive end. And that’s a little bit of both. We had free throws that we couldn’t make and layups that... I don’t know if we could make them or not, because (Gorgui) Dieng is just such a presence. He just intimidates you in that paint. We also had some good looks and, against a team like Louisville, when you get those opportunities, you’ve got to cash in at a high percentage which we did. I told our team whether it’s two or 30, an L’s an L and we’ve just got to move on. Our schedule doesn’t necessarily get favorable. I’d rather not play Syracuse and Louisville right now or we’ll just keep it moving and get ready for our next game.”

(On Victor Rudd and Jawanza Poland coming off the bench)
“If you watched our last game, their effort really was not there. Their focus was not there. They’re two upperclassmen and it’s just not acceptable. It’s just not acceptable. So it was hopefully a wakeup call. Obviously that was a huge factor in the start of the game with two young bucks out there. It wasn’t a nice thing for me to do to those guys. We’re fighting an injury bug that’s incredible. We’ve got two starters that aren’t even playing. (Shaun) Noriega, a big-time shooter we could have used in a game like this, didn’t make a shot. We’ve got Kore White who is a starting five-man for us and he’s probably going to be out. He could have played a little this game, but he’s not quite 100 percent and this wouldn’t have been a great game to throw him out there.”

(On how this Louisville team is different from when he saw them a year ago)
“You just look individually at the improvements in a couple of guys and dang, they’re just so much better. (Peyton) Siva is making 3s and that was not the case in the past. You could dare him to shoot it and you’d be okay with it. So, those are two things, the improvement in the players and I think the depth they have to keep bringing guys in and bringing guys in and bringing guys in. I think they’re just really comfortable in their schemes in offense and defense - changing their defense from man to zone and zone to man. When you’ve got younger guys out there and they haven’t seen something like that before, it kind of takes them out of sync. They’re very good. They are legitimate. They keep improving, keep working, they’re legitimate to win it all.”

(On the 38 points being a team low and what will help them increase offensive production)
“You’ve got a lot of things here; you’ve got 10 points that are missing from the free throw line. Hopefully we get six or more out of that. We were 3 for 17 from the 3-line and we’ve been one of the top five 3-point shooting teams in the league. Even without Noriega, we’ve been among the top 3-point shooting teams. Normally, we’re going to hover around maybe 8 for 17 or 7 for 17, somewhere in there. I think if you just look at those stats alone, I think you come up with about 15 points that we just left on the table and I’m not even including some of those layups that we’re probably going to make against most everybody else. With (Gorgui) Dieng in there, I think it’s a little bit lower percentage, but I certainly think we can make 100 percent of those layups we missed today.”

(On whether it can be attributed to the way Louisville played defense)
“I think it’s a little bit of everything. I think we didn’t start the game the way we normally do with our starters. I’ve got younger guys out there and all of a sudden they make a mistake, they miss a layup, and they turn it over and guys get a little bit discouraged, they get a little bit down and so psychologically off the bat, it had a huge effect on them. It’s a combination of a lot of things, but we’ve just got to kind of move along and not worry about this game so much - it’s one game... pick up a win, feel good about ourselves and get a momentum run going.”



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