Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pitino's Postgame Quotes

Here are some postgame quotes from Pitino, who seemed quite giddy talking to reporters after his Cards beat the #1 team in the country, PITT, last night 69-63. From

Opening Statement

"I would have been extremely proud of our guys if we didn't win the game because they showed unbelievable heart when things were not going well. We shot 29 percent, we pressed great, and in the second half, when started shooting well, things picked up. I thought our guys played with tremendous effort and it has been that way since the Kentucky game. I am really proud of our guys because they are a great basketball team and are very deserving of their ranking. Edgar Sosa making the charge on a crucial play of the game, that is unbelievable."

On Louisville's start

"Great defense on their (Pittsburgh) part and we gave up the three. During halftime, I told them don't be down.' When it is 21-3 from the three point line you are supposed to be down a good 15 points, but we played really good defense. We took good shots and we executed, but our press was the key to the game because we were able to wear people out."

On Earl Clark's last second shot

"He didn't know the time and I kept yelling shoot. The fans were yelling so loud he couldn't hear it. We made great plays. This is the fourth game in a row right now where we did really smart things going down the stretch."

On Louisville's mental toughness

"I think we have it because we are a defensive team. If you rely on your offense and you get down, then you will get down more because you cannot come back. We are so good on our defensive efforts we can come back and we believe in that."

On Louisville's recent achievements

"Once the effort got to the level we wanted it to be, I think we became a good basketball team. I think everybody picked it up, each and every one of them. Edgar's attitude turned, Earl's attitude turned, and practices have been great. Our practices have been competitive. We talked about the `what ifs' in the world and you cannot look back and say what if we would have done this. The time is now and our guys have picked it up and played well. They played very good basketball team tonight because of that."

On BIG EAST playing style

"It is called both ways the same, but in the BIG EAST, it is just called more than the other conferences. It's very difficult to officiate in the BIG EAST because if you stop the play on every play, then you have a boring product. On the other hand, you have to understand when we get into the NCAA they will make those calls. It is very tough to officiate in the BIG EAST. I wouldn't want the job. They were doing the best they could. I did not always agree with them, but they are good officials. It is very tough in this conference. It just doesn't stop."

On Louisville's maturity

"The only place we messed up tonight was underneath out-of-bounds plays. We lost a game in the Garden during the BIG EAST tournament because of underneath out-of-bounds plays. They do a great job of screening and moving. It is very tough to guard them underneath out-of-bounds plays. Preston (Knowles) gave away a three right before halftime which broke our momentum. Another play they got a layup on an underneath out-of-bounds play."

On Louisville's pressure on Blair

"Our strategy tonight was to go at him. When he plays defense he likes to swat the ball away in the low post. We were going to go at him and then we were going to pass opposite when they trapped. Our guys did a good job on that."

On letting Twill play with three fouls in the second half

"We needed rebounding. Kyle Kuric , outside of T-Will, is probably minute for minute the best rebounder on the team. It did not bother me, we had to have rebounding. The thing that bothered me a little bit when he started the second half was that he wasn't playing defense, afraid to pick up the fourth. You can't play the number one team in the country and do that. It was a little risky but he is so smart I worry more offense with him in charge than I do defense."

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