Nov. 11, 2011
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Louisville Head Rick Pitino
"It was a good opener for us because we played very intense defense, with our man, with our zone, with our press, and you want to start out the year playing very intense defense. I thought we did a very good job sharing the basketball. We got to play a bunch of people because we've got a totally different situation coming up on Sunday. We have a team that has starters back, has four seniors and has everyone back. So we only have one day to prepare for total motion offense and obviously you know it's Bobby Knight's son, Pat. But this was a very good intense first game and all the guys were very active defensively. We are trying to learn on the fly with some of our people but guys like Chane are giving great effort. I'm real pleased with the effort tonight"
(On whether or not he demands assist from his team)
"I think we demand it. You look at Bellarmine and they take away the extra ball fake and the movement. That's what we preach. I think Russ Smith tries to deviate from that system. It's OK to have one guy who is a little bit different from everybody else. Because there are going to be nights when the jump shots aren't working and we are going to need somebody to beat you off the bounce. He can certainly do that."
(On how the team took his advice)
"I think the whole team played really well. We got a little bit sloppy at the end with all the turnovers. The turnovers you don't like are the unforced ones like the one Gorgui had or the one Bullet had. It's because the defense is not forcing them and you are making those mistakes."
(On Gorgui Dieng's fouls)
"You know what I told Gorgui, `Gorgui to be honest with you has been giving us average practices.' And tonight I told him `you are going to reap what you sow. You have been very average in practice because you are going against Zach who is a rookie and you are playing to the level of your competition in practice.' He's not hustling, well, he is hustling but he is giving a very average performance. He develops habits and tonight he developed a habit where he didn't have a defensive rebound and he was very complacent, the same way he was in practice. From a statistical standpoint he got what he deserved because he was not practicing very hard. This is a great motivational tool for us to get him to practice much better and not to the level of competition.
(On Gorgui Dieng's blocks)
He is doing a good job. The one silly foul he had I was putting Swopshire in for him, he had three and he was running down the floor and there was no reason to foul. That's called post up defense. When (Stephan) Van Treese comes back we will be able to breathe a little easier because he will know the offenses and know the defenses. He is coming back on Monday so that will help us a great deal.
(On Tim Henderson coming in before Elisha Justice)
"Well he has been hurt. He hurt his leg and Tim is a better defensive player. It's only because Bullet is missing a lot of practices because he is hurt. Tim is bigger and stronger."
(Thoughts on the video)
"I'm glad I lost a lot of weight. I've had so many great memories here. I'm so appreciative to Tom Jurich because he hired me. He's been very loyal to me and you always want to reach milestones coaching great people and that's been the case here. I hope we get to 700 in a short time and we can have another nice night like we did tonight. It is great looking at videos like that and seeing great comebacks.
One thing I am proud of is having the chance to be able to coach for great athletic directors. The three criteria I look for in an athletic director before I take a job is can you recruit great player's team wise. Is he going to be loyal in the good times as well as in the bad times? I've had so many great ones C.M. Newton and maybe the greatest of the greatest in Tom Jurich. The third thing I look for is that you want to be in a town that you love. This is a great town, it's really enjoyable, and the people are enjoyable. Whenever you go out, the people respect you and your space. My family loves it here in Louisville. It's great to experience milestones, not only for yourself but with your family and friends. All the coaches here have been very, very lucky to have Tom Jurich as our athletic director. This is a great environment to coach here, and we all feel very honored to coach here.
I've coached a lot of great places, but what make this the greatest of them all is the people that I work with. This is the best environment that I've coached here, there is no jealously between the teams. We live and die with every touchdown in football, we root for our women in volleyball, lacrosse, field hockey, and we want them to win. This is a unique place because Tom Jurich supports all of us the same way. I'm very thankful towards him and also for the media coverage. I want to win a championship here badly. It's just not a Final Four, we have the character, and we have the discipline. We just have to keep recruiting the Chane Behanan. If we have freshmen like that, there will always be a chance to make it the Final Four and win a championship. We have to keep improving Gorgui and get Blackshear healthy."
(On Jared Swopshire)
"The guy I'm most impressed with and who made the most improvements is Jared Swopshire. In a short period of time he is over injuries, grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and moving without the basketball. We need that because Chane is a freshman and he is going to get into foul trouble and make mistakes, and we need to come in with someone who doesn't slip up. Jared is playing the best basketball I've seen since being his coach. We are going to get Buckles back in a short period of time. So it's been a fun run, and I think this team has the makings to be an outstanding one. Tonight was an indicator because the effort was fabulous, we made our mistakes, but the effort was there."
UT Martin Head Coach Jason James
"When they turn the heat up they're pretty good. They have a few guys who are injured, but the guys who did play are very active. They are long and very deceptive. It'll look like a passing lane is open but because of their athleticism it's really not. They were getting to spots quickly and making us panic a little bit. When you panic you turn it over and they are able to get run outs and now we're trying to catch up."
(On what a game like this can do for his team)
"Any time you can take guys who have only had one year of Division I basketball and have them play in front of 20,000 people it's a good experience. More wins are expected and now they are getting through it. We'll take that and try to learn from it and try to get better. We try to get our guys to slow down a little bit. We try to get them to play with a little more purpose."
(On Louisville's pressure defense)
"They want to get you to play a faster pace than you're used to playing. They want to try to get you to make decisions at a faster pace than you're used to making decisions. When that happens, you throw the ball all over the gym and that's what happened tonight. We kind of got sped up at times when we didn't think we were sped up. You'd almost rather take a shot clock violation or wait to until the shot clock gets down to three seconds and punt the ball in the stands. That way you have a chance to set your defense. When you're taking bad shots because you're panicked so much, they get long rebounds and run outs and now they've got easy lay ups. They are like sharks. They smell blood and it's over."
(On whom he was impressed with on Louisville's team)
"How long you got? I could probably go player by player. They've got the different pieces and everybody does something well. Peyton controls the tempo and controls the pace for them. With him they are a lot different than they are with the other guards. Kuric is good at making shots and he's gotten a lot better putting the ball on the floor and using one or two bounces to make a shot. I like the freshman (Chane Behanan). I think he's got a chance to be very, very good. Chris Smith was good. Last year he made a couple of open shots. They do a good job of doing what they do and being in the right spots, running their offense, and making plays. You don't see too many times where guys do things that are out of the norm. I think that makes them a great team."
(On who played well for UT Martin)
"I thought our managers were really good. I thought they handed out water very well. They got the stools out on time. We'll start there and try to move on. We showed our spots. In the second half, we got a couple of easy looks and executed well but we just couldn't make them. Again, that is part of their philosophy. They try to wear you down and now when you do get an open look you rush it or you're short with it. We threw the ball inside a couple of times to Corderio (Maclin) and to Myles (Taylor). We had good opportunities but you've got 6-11 in there and we don't see that very often in the OVC. We did some good things offensively in terms of getting the shots we wanted but getting them and knocking them down are obviously two different things."