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Jan. 17, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Pitt at Louisville, Freedom Hall, January 17, 2009


Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon

Opening statement:


"It's our first loss of the season so it's really disappointing. I think any loss is. We're going to learn from it, we're going to get better for it. We're going to get ready for Syracuse. That's what's it's about when we get on the plane we'll be getting ready for Syracuse. Give them credit, they beat us. We played well, they played well. They made shots down the stretch. We obviously had to battle through some foul difficulties. We had to struggle through that. We talked about staying out of foul trouble and that was the difference. We turned it over too many for us, they turned it over the same amount so that's a scratch. You look at the rebounds, it got even in the second half pretty much. When it got close, the biggest differential really is the free throws. We can't get outscored by 10 from the line. That's an obvious disparity, we've got to learn from that."


On putting Sam Young back in the game when he was in foul trouble:


"When we were up by two, I felt pretty good about that. In the second half, we got a big lead, the score got up to eight, I thought we were in pretty good shape considering. No one wants to be in the kind of foul trouble we were, but we battled through it, and still had the lead. We had an eight point lead in the second half. We took a couple good shots that we didn't knock down. They hit some tough ones to their credit. They played well in the second half. Five for seven from the three in the second half is a big difference maker - and that's what they did. That's the number that sticks out. I thought we defended well in the half court. We just let them get to the line too much. We did hold them to 39 percent from field on their home court and forced 19 turnovers so we did some very good things in that regard. They outshot us from the free throw line and that's a pretty big number."


On Louisville's defensive press:


"We really talked about the press in the backcourt, but also in the frontcourt as far as getting across and making decisions. We really emphasized that as much. When you press the whole game, you're going to have some turnovers and I thought we had too many. The ones that we can take care of were some of the decisions more so in the frontcourt. Teams that press usually are going to get a few more turnovers and give up other things and we took advantage of that. At the end of the day, 20 is too much. But I'm sure they're saying the same thing about their 19 turnovers. Again they're pretty much evened out."


On Sam Young getting frustrated about not getting calls:


"I don't know you have to judge those calls. I don't know which ones you're talking about. I think he played hard, he battled and competed. He did a very good job, it's hard to play in that situation with the fouls, but I thought he did a very good job. We were able to give him a lot of minutes in the second half. He battled and played and I'm proud of him. He did a great job defensively. He made some really big plays, the big three, gave us that steal and the lead. We had our opportunities."


Is it good that you don't have a lot of time to dwell on the loss before you play on Monday:


"Our guys always want to play. They want to play a game so I think either way, win or lose, they want to play a game shortly. We'll be ready to go, we'll learn from it. You learn from everything, you learn from wins, you learn from losses. We learned from our 16 wins, we've got to learn from our one loss. And I think we will. And that's something we've done. It's been a trademark of our team and I'm proud of how they played. We got great minutes out of Jermaine (Dixon), I thought Ashton (Gibbs) gave us good minutes, Brad (Wanamaker), Nasir (Robinson) gave us good minutes. We had a lot of young guys out there and they played well.


Some of the things they'll learn from this game:


"We've got to stay out of foul trouble, I think that's obviously a big thing. We have to do a better job of decisions, especially in the front court like I mentioned earlier. You've got to win the battle at the free throw line and we didn't."


Quoting Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino


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."

Post-Game Quotesheet

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