Jan. 19, 2013
Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino
"It was a great college basketball game. They made some really terrific defensive plays down the stretch and that was the game. Give them credit, they made the plays; they made the shots when it counted and we didn't so you have to give them credit. Great college basketball game and they won it."
(On what he said to Peyton Siva)
"I just told him there's plenty of time to win this game. Get out there. We can make a 3, make a two ... stop hanging your head about the turnover. We can win this game."
(On defending Brandon Triche in the second half)
"He made a lot of really good 3s. He is probably the most underrated basketball player in the nation. He does an awful lot and he's very smart. He made some great 3s in the first half. They weren't easy."
(On the play following Louisville's final timeout with 39 seconds left)
"We ran a play to get Russ (Smith) the ball in the corner, and Russ didn't get to the corner. You call timeout to run a specific play and you've got to get there. We were going to catch them in a bump and if Russ didn't have the shot, he could drive to close out and he didn't get there. Gorgui is not the problem."
(On shooting 29 percent in the second half)
"I think we got some really difficult calls down the stretch. I thought Russ (Smith) drew an offensive foul. Things didn't go our way down the stretch, but that's the game. Sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don't. We've got to look at the film to decide. I thought we made some good plays there. It was a heck of a basketball game; they are deserving of their ranking. It was a matchup between two really good teams that will have to play each other again. It's not easy to beat our basketball team and they did it, so they deserve a lot of credit."
(On there being a rivalry between Syracuse and Louisville)
"I said this on my radio show, tell me where there's bad blood. Where do you think there is bad blood? We've never had bad blood with anyone. We don't have bad blood with Kentucky and they are our rival. So who do we have bad blood against? We praise everybody. We think the league is great. We think the coaches are great. We don't have bad blood with anybody, so why would anybody surmise that? We're not that type of program."
(On what the team can work on)
"Well, I think we played really well. I think they played really well. It was a really good college basketball game. We made some crucial mistakes down the stretch, but they made it, we didn't. We had some good plays and they raked the ball away from us. We're playing good basketball."
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim
"I thought both teams played incredibly hard. There were some opportunities where we could have gotten discouraged. Michael (Carter-Williams) turned it over there for a layup. He made some mistakes, but he is a big time player. He's got a lot of heart; he'll make plays. When he got the steal, I knew he had to dunk it on (Gorgui) Dieng, and he did; he is one of the few guys who can do that. Then he got back down and made another steal, you know he is a big time player that makes plays. Brandon (Triche) kept us in it in the first half, we really didn't have much going in the first half. We started good, but then we didn't attack their pressure and we turned it over, which they make you do, you're going to have turnovers you just have to fight through it and not let it get you down. I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards until right there at the end when we couldn't get a rebound. Brandon kept us in there; I thought CJ (Fair) was steady; Baye Moussa (Keita) gave us a big lift coming back in there. But, Michael made some plays down the stretch. It was a tough game, a very tough game. Louisville's very good. Dieng is a big problem out there for you. (Russ) Smith, he gets the ball in the basket. It was a great, but now we can forget about and try to get ready for the Cincinnati game Monday night."
(On Jeremi Grant's play):
"I probably should have said his name first. He was huge tonight. He's gotten an opportunity, and he's stepped up, he really has. I'm real proud of this team. They had an opportunity today with Louisville playing great and I think everybody, talking about the game, gave us no chance. You always have a chance, but I just thought we battled and Jerami, for a young guy, he made some really good plays out there today, real good...both games, the last two games."
(On Michael Carter-Williams' steal and dunk with under a minute to play)
"Well, he had to dunk it. I saw (Gorgui) Dieng coming. I was really hoping there was going to be a foul, because I didn't know if Michael had enough left to dunk. He can dunk and he can dunk in those situations, but that was the only way he was going to score the basket. Dieng would've blocked it had he tried to shoot it. It was a great play, great steal and a great play. And then he comes right back down and gets another one. Last year, same thing. Last play here, we stole the ball and we stole it here. Two steals to end the game. Unbelievable."
(On Jerami Grant's performance)
"Adrian (Autry) has done an unbelievable job with him. He couldn't make any shots. He couldn't make his free throws. If you noticed earlier in the year, he was shooting 40 percent. Adrian's done an unbelievable job with him. He's made I think seven of his last eight, maybe or close to it. He made a foul line jump shot, and you couldn't do that before. He made athletic plays in practice, but dunks don't count when you get into games. Most games you don't get too many dunks. But he's worked hard and he's gotten better. He's going to be a big time player. He's the most live athlete I think I've ever had. He's ready to go and a great kid."
(On the importance of this game in regards to the BIG EAST Conference)
"I told the players before the game, `this is one game.' It's going to count as one game and that's it. You can talk about it all you want, anything you want, but it's one game. That's all it is."
(On if he expects Syracuse and Louisville to be atop the BIG EAST at the end of the year)
"I have no clue. I don't think about that until the season is over. That's not something that you need to think about. I know Cincinnati has won three road games in our league and they're as tough as anybody. As I look around the league at all these teams, there's not a team that isn't capable of beating you if you don't play well. Not one team. You've got to be ready. We barely got out of Providence, barely. We were lucky almost to get out of there. It's a tough league. I think Louisville is the best team. I don't think there's any doubt about that in my mind. Today, we just hung in there and were able to get a couple steals at the end of the game."
(On both teams playing zone for most of the game)
"Our defense is pretty good and their defense is pretty good. Maybe more teams should be playing zone. They're an explosion (team). We started out the game playing great. I mean we played great the first few minutes. They turned it around with their defense. They got some steals and converted them and got back in the lead. We made a couple of plays and got back in it. We were in big trouble and Brandon (Triche) stepped up and made two or three 3's in a row. But we were in big trouble. I don't know what we were down, maybe eight or nine, and we needed Brandon to come back and make those shots. And he made them. I think he's capable of doing that every game. When he plays like that, we are a different team. We need him to play like that. We need our big guys to play better. I thought Baye (Moussa Keita) did OK in there. He battled. But we need our big guys to play better as we go forward. The only way we are going to be a good team at the end of the year is if those guys get better."
(On what he saw different in Michael Carter-Williams for the second half)
"Yeah, I saw that we had no one else. It was pretty easy ... He is going to play. You know, even with that, he made that 3 at the end of the half to get his confidence going. I think he had four or five assists, I am not positive of that...he had four. He had a shaky first half. Someone told me we had nine turnovers in the first maybe 10 minutes or less. I think we only had seven the rest of the way. It was just a very shaky start, but he is a big time player. He has a lot of belief for a 30 percent shooter, I am not sure how because I had some 45 percent shooters who didn't believe in themselves. He thinks he is going to make the next one and sometimes he does, but he is getting better. He will get better."
(On Peyton Siva taking so many 3s from the top of the key, and was that the game plan)
"I have watched him this year and I feel like he is making those, so we didn't really want him to get that shot. We really didn't want him to get in the lane was more of our priority. I think he has been shooting the ball better, so we really didn't want to give him those shots, but you are going to get some. There will be some of those, but he did not shoot well tonight. If he had shot well, it would have been a different story. For the most part, we got out to the 3-point line pretty good, we did have some breakdowns in the first half. (Gorgui) Dieng did a good job getting the ball in the high post getting the ball to the corner. We didn't guard that very well. We adjusted a little in the end when he got the ball and made some good defensive plays against him. It was a great game and now we can forget about it. I told them when we get on the plane, they can forget about it because we have to think about playing Cincinnati on Monday. Back to backs are tough in this league. The energy we had to go with today, it will be a challenge for us to get back and ready to go Monday afternoon not Monday night. We played four games in six days, then we don't play for a week, then we play two games in three days and it doesn't make much sense to me but it's what the schedule is. You got to deal with it. It was a great game and great atmosphere today, it really was."
(On why he believes Louisville is the best team in the league)
"Well I have watched them all year and I think they are the best team. I think if (Gorgui) Dieng had played, they would have beaten Duke and would be undefeated now. I just think they have great guard play. (Chane) Behanan is good; (Montrezl) Harrell is good. They have depth and their big guy is the best shot blocker. They will be there at the end of the year, and the team to beat. I think they will be the team to beat in the country when it all comes down to it in the end."