Nov. 22, 2011
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Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino Quotes
"The only difference between this and Butler is that we played great defense against Butler and we played great defense tonight, except tonight we didn't play great offense because we didn't share ball enough. You don't mind the freshmen making mistakes, it was our seniors, especially early in the game, who were making mistakes, especially Kyle (Kuric); he didn't play good team basketball and it hurt us early in the game. It got us in a rut. We broke down too much rather than stay with what we have been doing, shooting 51 or 52 percent. Our defense is confusing people; our defense is hurting people. We can build on our offense. Our offense wasn't there tonight because we didn't share the ball enough. Our defense is very good. We play two good teams coming up that if we play offense like we did tonight we will get blown out by 20 points. That is how good Ohio is and that is how good Long Beach State is. They're both terrific teams and I'm really impressed with Ohio. They share the ball. They run 100 pick-and-rolls. They duck in great. They it really well and their guards are lightning quick. You all know how good Long Beach State is. It will be a big test for us. We are coming off a big road win and you don't expect a let down, but you expect the type that is low tempo like this. We did play great defense. Our offense will get better. I thought Elisha Justice played really well. I thought Chris Smith played well sharing the basketball. Those two guys stuck out in my mind."
(On the defense being ahead of the offense)
"We are confusing people. We are pressuring people and that hurts them, and makes them shoot a low percentage. We have been playing great offense, shooting a high percentage. Tonight, we didn't because we kept breaking down and going one-on-one, but that's OK. We won the game and that's what counts."
(On holding Arkansas State to 27 points)
"We are playing awesome defense in every game. The only disappointing thing is we have been shooting a high percentage. We shot 51 percent against Butler and I know Butler isn't the same Butler, but they play awesome defense at home. We did a really good job of sharing the basketball and moving it inside and out, and tonight, we did not. We did a lot of good things defensively and that sticks out to me. Anytime you play good defense, you will have a chance to win and, with our guys, I think it's perfect to win a game. We have a lot of lessons to be taught going into the Ohio game with one day of preparation. That's what scares me more than anything else is the one-day prep. We have to take off Wednesday because of NCAA rules, so we have one day to prepare for Ohio, and that scares the heck out of me."
(On getting Peyton Siva back)
"I don't think Peyton is coming back. I mean, he is coming back someday, but he doesn't look good right now. Even if he does come back, I don't think he will be as good as the other guys we are using right now, but we will see. He has missed almost a month of practice because a lot of those have been doubles. We can use him as a back-up point guard for a little bit."
(On Angel Nunez and Zach Price)
"They are no different than Otis George, Larry O'Bannon and Kyle Kuric. They are lost freshmen. They get a little better and stronger as sophomores, they become better players as juniors and seniors. Like so many of our players who've gone that route, they aren't impact freshmen. They are freshmen that learn. They are weak physically, stamina-wise. They are going to be excellent players, but they aren't Chane (Behanan) and Wayne (Blackshear). I think it's totally irrelevant with the schedule we are playing. You aren't going to see those guys too much. Putting them in when we are up 20 is not going to make them better. They will get better in practice and weight training and stamina, and not putting them in with four minutes to go in the game to see what they can do."
(On the metrics)
"I'm happy anytime we play great defense. It's that the offensive tempo I want. I think it's a credit to Butler and Arkansas State. I think John Brady does a good job of controlling tempo and when some teams run, you have a high-scoring game, but you can't worry about that. Our communication verbally with switching, we are doing some awesome things to master our defense this early in time. You want to take under five challenged shots during a game, but when you take nine challenged shots in a slow down game, you're shooting yourself in the foot."
Arkansas State Head Coach John Brady
"Well, let me say something about that game. I have coached a long time, at all kinds of teams. I have never had a team that was so anemic offensively. I give Louisville credit -- you know they run an unconventional type of defense. They are extremely well coached and there is no doubt about that. They are a lot longer than we are and a lot more athletic than we are. We had some opportunities ... we had free throw shooting. If I wasn't the free throw coach, I would fire the guy. If we make a few free throws, it may be a 12-point game, maybe a lot closer. I told our team, if we were somewhat equal offensively -- let's just suppose if our team was somewhat equal to theirs, the effort we played with from a defensive standpoint and trying to rebound -- it was good enough to win the game. I know they don't have their point guard and he is a big part of their team. I don't know if Connecticut or Georgetown or anybody will come in here and hold Louisville to 37 percent shooting and 54 points. It wasn't like they weren't trying to play. I looked up with five minutes to go and he still has his starters in there. That's when he subbed them out. If we could have done anything offensively ... their defense is good, but it's not that good. We just don't have playmakers.
"Against that switching defense, they spread it out and they are smart with it. You have got to drive it and make plays; they force you to make plays. A team like ours that can't make freelance plays, it bothers us a great deal and to their credit, it did. Our team defensively tried to rebound, and we played hard and guarded really well. We thought scouting was fine, from that standpoint we were good enough to have a chance. Offensively, we just weren't good enough. Sixteen turnovers in the first half, we miss eight free throws and we are down 10. We have six turnovers the second half, can't make a basket and can't make free throws. It was a good a game for us in terms of the effort we played with, and I was pleased with our team in that regard. I just have to come up with something from an offensive standpoint to give our team a chance against really good teams like that. We won't face anybody like that anymore which is great. Once upon a time, I had some teams that could beat those guys. I don't have a team like that. I think where we play and who we are going to be playing against, we'll be ok. We're obviously not as good as where we were projected to be because we have one less player who we had to dismiss who was our first-team 6'9" post man. We have learned to play without him, but we aren't very deep. Offensively, we are just not where we need to be, but from an effort stand point and how hard we played from a defensive stand point, I think we will be OK."