Nov. 4, 2009
Louisville Head Coach, Rick Pitino
"We tried playing the big guys tonight and it was good as far as the switching. We tried different things and got a lot out of it. I want to watch film. Bellarmine is a tough team to play. Our big guys will have to get used to it. I knew we weren't going to press tonight so we worked on what we needed to work on tonight. I wanted Scotty to get something out of it that is what friends and exhibition is for. We didn't want to play zone and work on man with different combinations. We have been working on Arkansas since day one. Arkansas before they had discipline issues on that teams. They were 13, 14-1 and beat Texas , beat Oklahoma, so they were a young team and now they are a year older. So we have been working on our man-to-man defense. We wanted to work on things defend off the dribble. We weren't interested in any other thing than that tonight."
(On Siva) "I thought Peyton really got it...pushing it. I wanted him to push it and create easy buckets . I have never seen anybody change ends like that in my life, just go by it. Those are two of the more spectacular plays I have seen with the block and the dunk not many six footers do that. I did it a few times. He makes mistakes but he is so darn exciting. And I have said this over and over -- that this is a good situation for him. But I always say that the greatest killer of potential is success going to your head. He is in a great situation and he has an opportunity to learn. And then have three the years to be oldest guard in the program. It is a great thing for him. He has a lot to learn. He doesn't look real good in practice but when the lights go on, every time I see that guy play big games he really does spectacular things. He definitely can start. He reminds me so much of Vinnie Johnson, the great sixth man for the Pistons. When he'd come off the bench, the offense was sluggish for the Pistons, then he'd come in and you'd get so much offense with him. But he is also great at getting you off on the right foot in the game because he is such an offensive threat. So I have no problem starting him at all. If he is the best three man in that position ok then we will do that then."
(On Buckles) "He has to go to the offensive glass all the time. I think I think the whole freshman class is terrific, I really do. And they are all going to be like a great stock, and they are going to rise up."
(On Samuels) "I would be guessing (about his rebounding) because he was going up against guys a lot smaller than him. Last year he didn't make the attempts that he is making at the glass now. We said at the beginning, `Samardo if you rebound five or six a game then I am the lucky one because I will get to coach you for four years.' And if you rebound 13 or 14 per game then unfortunately I am not going to have that great opportunity to coach you. He knows what he has to do to get his personal game going as well as help the team. He looks great. We noticed stats and whenever he is a having a good game we take him out (joking). We want him to have great nights and the opportunity. The thing about Samardo is that he wants the team to win first he is very very focused in on that. He deferred to a lot T-Will and Earl Clark last year. So he is one of our main guys this year and we want him to step up."
(On rest of team) "I know what Kyle can do. Kyle you don't worry about. I need to get Mike Marra going, who is a very nervous young man and he is from a prep school league and the largest crowd he has played before is 300-400 people. He is a great shooter, one of the best I have seen at that level. So we have to give him some time. We don't really have the best five but we have a really terrific 11-12 man roster that you can count on anybody. Once we start pressing and running and playing all our people then we can create havoc in the second half."
(On Delk and Buckles) "What is going to be our nemesis is foul shooting because we are going to go to the line so much. I told Reggie and the team that if you are not a good free throw shooter and I am not going to play when we get close to the bonus. The good thing about the Yum! Center is they have admittance without security without me and they can just live in the gym. I basically told them that if I was you, I would camp out until you become good foul shooters. Reggie is a really good shooter but the dilemma right now is that he shot 50-something percent at Mississippi State from the foul line. There is no rhyme or reason for it, confidence is built from repetition and he has to get into the gym and Rakeem has to get into the gym. Because we are going to be in the bonus. We drive. We pass. And two weeks into the season, this is an unselfish of a good shooting team I have seen. We really are unselfish. I think that is Samardo's biggest area of improvement is passing out of the post."
(On Jennings) "I think Terrence is the same as last year I don't think he had a great summer working on the things he needed to improve on. Footwork is key with him and I told him he has all the potential but has to use the God-given talents he has. For instance we all know what a wide body is and he practices hard but he played 18 minutes without a offensive rebounds against Bellarmine. Sometimes statistics are misleading because when you shoot a high percentage there aren't as many of them. But still he still is a guy who should have them . Look at Samardo, he had ten. We need him to rebound more especially on the offensive glass."
(On Bellarmine) "I think Scotty was very disappointed with his team's performance. The first time we came in here last week in the first half against Georgetown was up four, we were nervous as heck. His guys playing for him were nervous in the beginning. They got down and he was a little disappointed but I wouldn't be. They will be a very good basketball team and they are extremely well coached. He was disappointed I could see it on his face but he shouldn't be. We had to work every set to win this game and he has a terrific basketball team and I like his whole team and his ball movement and their scheme."
Bellarmine Head Coach, Scott Davenport
"I am happy. It's going to help us more than it will help them. All we talked about at halftime was keeping them off the glass. They averaged 13 last season; had 12 against Georgetown and 23 against us. Offensive rebounds lead to fouls, or a bucket and a foul. We were never able consistently to do that; got to nine twice in the second half and give up an offensive rebound or a second chance. Sosa hits three in front of our bench, so instead of down nine and with the ball and try to make a little run it's 12 and they're set in defense.
The game goes through moments like that where it changes, and when you've got a veteran team with four starters back you've got to understand that with every possession. I'm not upset with out guys. I really like that they (Louisville) come in waves and are relentless at the 1, 2, 3 position. Samardo (Samuels) is a manchild. You're going to see this all year.
I'm disappointed in our decision making. We got lost in the game of basketball. The whole last quarter of the game, Forrest (Smallwood) made a ¾ length pass that had no chance. We drove the middle, we could've have rolled the ball to the guy in the middle corner and we took a bad challenged shot, a floater in the lane. It's the game of basketball that beat us every bit as much as Louisville did. Louisville is a force. Coach always said great teams learn from losses, but extraordinary teams learn all the time and we're back in that boat. That's what we've got to do."
(On First Half) "I think it's a little bit that first game jitters. I think expectations, and we did think a little bit. It wasn't as much the shooting as it was we didn't cut with the purpose to get people open. We were a little bit hesitant one through five. I'm not a guy who gripes about people missing shots. Not good shooters taking shots, but keep shooting. Just the same with free throws; I didn't say one word about that. Not one guy walked up to the line to try to miss a free throw. I think there were a lot of situations where we didn't get the open pass made as quick as made in the past. Now, to their credit their quickness disrupted a lot of what we wanted to do, and when they turned the screws in the last 6-7 minutes, it knocked us back on our heels."
(Pitino's Halftime Interview) "He didn't tell me he was going to do that. At least he could've warned me about my tie being crooked. You're standing next to him, and he looked like he stepped out of GQ. That's not fair, and he hit me with these questions. I'm walking off, and I hear that "Scotty!" Well, I've heard that before. My head turns like the girl in the Exorcist. "Yes, sir?" "Right here." And, right there I went. I should have walked on to my locker room.
"I do appreciate it more than you'll know how much it will help our basketball team. It's impossible to simulate what we just saw in practice. We don't have that athleticism. Let's be honest. If you close out on Preston Knowles and your hands are dead, it's in the net. All that was great for us. I'm not ashamed of our guys' effort. They all wanted to play great. We lost a little bit of our intangibles in playing together. One thing about playing together that I preach to everyone in this room you look at the assists and say we played defense half of the game for us to be good we must play defense great together. In other words, I got your back all the time. If you don't need me, that's great but I'm there for you. On the transition baskets, you've got to deny Samardo right away. Our guy would get caught up top side of him on the line. He would ride our guys up and then went Siva and then went Sosa. He's a load to get around. If we get around him, we'll probably get around a lot of people in our league."