UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
COACH PITINO: Well, I thought the guys did a tremendous job of pushing the pace tonight, getting a lot of easy baskets for us. We tired a little bit in the second half because guys were playing a lot of minutes, and Marquette is more than willing to run with anybody. When Gorgui went out of the game, Jerry gave us a big lift, a tremendous lift. We didn't lose a whole lot. They maintained their poise, and we did a really good job of offensively attacking the whole night. Real proud of the guys. We got a chance to rest Gorgui in unusual conditions.
Q. You were really able to attack the offensive glass. Talk a little bit about your effort rebounding the ball.
COACH PITINO: Well, they're a big steal team, and we told Chane all night to go along the baseline, and they helped go to the glass. We were going to bring three guys back, but I said that because they're such a big steal team, we have an 0.2 rebound margin area so we were going to hit the offensive glass when we could but we were able to attack offensively especially with Gorgui out of the game. Peyton really tired down the stretch. I played him too many minutes but I had no choice.
Q. They had a season high of 26 turnovers that they finished with. Did you feel pretty confident that you would be able to turn them over?
COACH PITINO: Yeah, you never know, but sometimes it's not necessarily the turnover, it's the fatigue element. You get a lot of benefits by pressing when you don't give up lay ups. You get the fatigue element, affects their offensive shooting, and we were going to come into this game here I think some of you in Louisville don't understand that a lot of times the opponent dictates the tempo, and you guys don't pay attention too much to South Florida's play because probably they're not on TV too much, but they do that to everybody, and there's nothing you can do about it. Tonight we knew teams like Marquette and Connecticut and Syracuse if you choose to try it, will run. Other teams will not. So you have to pick your poison a little bit.
Q. I was wondering if you could just talk about the play of Peyton Siva tonight?
COACH PITINO: He played terrific, but I've got to somehow get him a few blows. Going into this tournament we were hoping he would turn it around, and he is, and we had a long talk. I used the analogy of the New York Giants, nobody remembers the regular season anymore when they went into the Playoffs, just matters what you do in the postseason. So don't worry about what you did in the regular season, just be a great player in the postseason, and he's doing that for us.
Q. Is this your best win of the year?
COACH PITINO: We've had a lot of great wins. We had a lot of great wins, but this was good for us to get back to playing the way we wanted with pressing and running and just pushing the pace. But we've had a lot of terrific wins.
Q. Talk about Chane's development as a freshman.
COACH PITINO: Chane is a young man with great pride, and he's a warrior. He won't back down under any circumstance at all. He's a terrific young man, and the sky's the limit to how much better he can get. But he's just a tough, tough kid, young man, and he takes on every challenge. He told me tonight in unusual circumstances, he grabbed me twice in the locker room, said, if Gorgui needs a break when he gets in foul trouble, I'll play that five, and don't worry about me. And sure enough, Gorgui got I don't know if Gorgui knows that a technical foul is a personal foul, as well. In Senegal I don't think they have that rule.
Q. Would you talk about when Gorgui went out they made a run but they never caught up their way back up and you were able to build a lead and then at the start of the second half, they came charging at you but you guys seemed to respond when they made runs.
COACH PITINO: Well, I thought we were playing beat the clock a little bit. And I told our guys, if you do that they're going to win the game. I said they are a great second half team. They have done it against Villanova, every team they've played, they've come back in the second half and beat them. And I they said if you're going to play clock run out that being said, I didn't want Russ to give a Magic Johnson look away on a three on one break. I wish he would have brought it out and maybe used a couple of seconds, but we wanted to keep pushing the pace.
Q. You had enough of a spread that it didn't matter, but are you concerned with some of the decisions the guys made at the end of the game?
COACH PITINO: I think that is fatigue a little bit. Peyton made some really bad decisions, but I think he's handling the ball the whole night. Chane made a couple poor decisions on back door timing plays. But I think when you see a lot of those plays, it's fatigue. We pushed the pace on every possession, and then we turned around and pressed them on every made bucket. So that a little bit clouds it, but we wanted to do we've got to give Peyton a little bit of relief, and Russ did it toward the end of the game. He gave him a little bit of relief.
But the answer is yes, of course, you don't want to turn the ball over.
Q. You've said often you want to see the extra stuff from Kyle Kuric. Was that tonight the rebounding and blocked shots?
COACH PITINO: I read his line and it said, no assists, no steals, no rebounds. We've got to have you step up some, and he did.
Q. You've gotten a look at Marquette now and knowing they play a specific style, do you think that smaller style can survive in the NCAA Tournament, or if they run into a night where the other team is really rebounding well, will they run into problems?
COACH PITINO: I think the big guy has to get rest from time to time. I think when he's in the game, they rebound fine. I think they're an outstanding ballclub because they put so much pressure on you with their shooting and their drives. We stayed at home and we tried to rotate at the end with our bigs, and we stayed at home. Look, every team, with the exception of Kentucky and North Carolina, I've watched every team in the country that I could this year, and we all this weaknesses. Kentucky and Carolina just seem to be they shoot a very high percentage. Kentucky is also a great team defensively. They have outstanding talent. They're well coached. Those two teams to me don't have a major weakness.
You know, they've been able to Kentucky has been able to stay away from injuries, and some people say their bench, but they haven't had an injury this year. I think Marquette is like everybody else. We have our blemishes and our warts.
Q. Jae Crowder never really got into any kind of offensive rhythm. Just talk about what it was like going against him and keeping him from being a major factor?
JARED SWOPSHIRE: I mean, it was fun for me. He's a great player, and me and Chane talked about it when I subbed in that we wanted to keep him from getting touches, especially in the paint area. So I feel like we were able to do that.
COACH PITINO: For you guys that don't know, that's Barry White's son. (Laughter).
Q. Talk about how this pressing style pretty much poses an advantage.
CHANE BEHANAN: The style, we go up and down. That's what coach wants us to do. All the teams we played so far in the BIG EAST, they expect us to slow it down. So now coming in, we agreed we were going to play up and down like we was in the Bahamas. We've just got to get used to it and attack everybody the same way in each game. That's how we've been getting up. That's it.
Q. Facing either Notre Dame or South Florida, they're going to want to slow the tempo way back down. Are you still going to try and force them into your kind of tempo?
COACH PITINO: Yeah, but I'm not going to win. You guys don't understand that in Louisville, you personally, you just don't understand that. West Virginia, nobody could do it with South Florida. If Notre Dame wants to slow it down, they will, because they have excellent ball handlers, they're excellent passers, and we have to learn to play both ways, and we have this season. But you know, sometimes South Florida has gone a long way with this style of play, so you've got to give them all the credit in the world. We have no problem playing it. We played it against Vanderbilt this year numerous times try and play fast but you've got to give the other team credit.
Certain teams will run, certain teams will not run. You've got to face that in the NCAA.
We're going to run into a situation I'm not happy that Gorgui got a technical foul. I was just as upset with the calls as he was, but the thing we've got to find out is can we play without Gorgui, and this young man stepped up, actually drew a charge tonight, which was like the miracle on 34th Street. So it's unbelievable for him to do that. He stepped up big, 12 rebounds. Now Chane knows when Gorgui is out that we can win without Gorgui in the game, and that was great for us to find that out tonight.
Q. Any real positives that come out of tonight's game, or was tonight one of those games you've got to get rid of right away?
JAE CROWDER: We got a chance to build on it going into the tournament. Look at the mistakes we made and try to learn from it, so it's a lot of positives can come out of a loss, no matter what point of the year it is. Of course it is for us.
Q. Talk about all the turnovers.
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: We work on our press like every day. Wasn't disciplined enough to get to our spots. I think they kind of forced us into turnovers with a lot of their pressure. They kept hounding us. They did a good job of forcing us into turnovers.
Q. Were you surprised by the type of pressure and how they were able to sustain it throughout the game?
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: I think we had an idea that they were going to pressure us. I didn't think it was going to be at a high level like that. That's why I think a lot of guys, including myself, we didn't get to spots like we were supposed to, and it caused a lot of tension on ourselves and a lot of stress on ourselves where we tried to make plays because of it, and we ended up turning the ball over.
Q. Is there an adjustment factor play with Davante after playing with Jamil for all those games?
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: Think everybody knows how Davante plays. We know what he's going to bring us, so I don't think there is an adjustment level for us. We're pretty close, and we pretty well understand our teammates.
Q. Jae, you went into the second half with three fouls or you went into the half with three fouls. What was your mindset coming into the second half?
JAE CROWDER: Told them to pick up a quick one. Wanted to try to get an easy basket, as well, but I picked up another one for my fourth foul. I was trying to make a play, trying to get some momentum for our team, and they called me on one. So I was just trying not to get one quick one, but it happened.
Q. Darius, talk about the two day layoff coming into this. Did you feel like you were a little bit rusty at all?
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: Not at all. We were here last year, the same spot against Louisville, and I thought everybody was mentally focused. We were ready. We didn't bring enough energy in the first half, and they just took us apart. A lot of it is on ourselves. We gave a lot of offensive rebounds, and 26 turnovers, just ain't going to do it. We have to learn from what happened.
Q. As far as the pressure goes, do you feel like it was their team speed that really kind of threw you off?
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: I think we knew that their transition was the key. We wanted to get them to score on half court D. We are just as fast, but we didn't do a good job getting back, and when you give up 26 turnovers, then it makes it easier for them to get in transition and score easy points.
Q. Did you think the last four minutes of the first half was key?
DARIUS JOHNSON ODOM: Yeah, I do think it was key, but it was a lot of little things that we didn't do that were key, also. We just have to learn from it.
Q. The NCAA Tournament, what do you think are the adjustments you have to make, not just from this game but from past games?
COACH WILLIAMS: I don't think we'll make any adjustments. It's ground hog day every day with them what we do, so when you get to tournament play, just like here, if you lose, you go home. We're fortunate that our body of work allows us to play another game, but from this point, you lose, you go home, and you don't get to play again until next November.
Q. You had eight turnovers today. Can you pinpoint that on anything?
COACH WILLIAMS: I did a really bad job. If your team has 26 turnovers, which is the most during my tenure as head coach, and if your team allows 26 offensive rebounds, which is the most it's allowed since I've been the head coach, it's on the head coach. It wasn't just Junior. Junior is our primary ball handler, but every player that played more than three minutes had a turnover. So it's not just Junior. Junior is going to have more because he handles it more, but if you play more than three minutes and you have a turnover, if every player has a turnover, then I've done a bad job.
Q. How do you assess the defense first half, giving up 50 points?
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, a lot of that, if you give up points off turnovers and if you give up points off offensive rebounds, and if you give up points off transition, I'm not sure how many points they scored in the half court. And if you were to divide that up throughout the game, again, I don't know what the total would be. Having said that, that's how they play. That's why they won. That's why they were playing us tonight. That's what they feed off of is points from their pressure, points from transition, points off, offensive rebounds. I'm not sure that they've had a better meal all year long than what we served them tonight.
Q. Is this kind of like a worst case scenario for a team that plays your style?
COACH WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think if you study our 31 games prior to now, we probably are just as good playing against teams that are like us. This is an aberration relative to how we typically play. Entering tonight, we were averaging 12 turnovers, and tonight we had 26. And entering tonight, 65 percent of our baskets through 31 games had been assisted. That was fifth in the country.
Our assist to turnover ratio was 1.38, points per possession, 1.09. If you look at all of our numbers, not being arrogant at all, they're pretty good. And so the recipe that we have through 31 games and 25 wins is pretty specific, and I think we've honed that. Our players understand that. And we never cooked by the right recipe tonight.
Any team, no matter their size, somebody said they were faster than us. I haven't heard that since I've been employed here. But I guess you are fast if you have 26 turnovers and 26 offensive rebounds. We probably did look slow, slow and poorly coached.
Q. When Gorgui went out with a third foul with nine minutes left, did you feel that was a turning point in the game?
COACH WILLIAMS: No, I thought we were playing from behind from the very beginning. It never seemed to be in sync. Seemed like we just kept passing the mic at a karaoke bar and I'm not sure of the words, you try. We were kicking the ball everywhere. They were taking it from us, just no good, never in rhythm, never in sync. I thought Gorgui was outstanding, but collectively, like if you look at their numbers, Kuric had 20, Behanan 12 and 8, Gorgui 8 and 10, Siva 18 and 8, Russ Smith, 12 and 3; Jared Swopshire, that's a career high for him, 12 rebounds in 20 minutes. They all played well.
Q. You said 26 turnovers and 26 offensive rebounds is on you. Is that not being prepared for it?
COACH WILLIAMS: I would say that however you could deduct what would lead a team that's had the success that we've had to 26 turnovers and 26 offensive rebounds, I think it's a variety of things. So you can Twitter, write, whatever you think it would be because that would be included.
Q. How do you guys bounce back after this and get ready for the tournament?
JAE CROWDER: You just clear your head, wait for the opponent that you're going to get matched up with come Sunday and find out what they like to do. But at the same time work on what got us to this point. I feel like we'll be fine once we get back to what we do and study the next opponent and get back to them, and we're looking forward to the challenge.