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Jan. 22, 2012

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No. 23 Louisville at Pitt, January 21, 2012, Petersen Events Center

No. 23 Louisville 73, Pitt 62

Quoting Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon:

Opening Statement:

“First off, I would like to thank our fans who were tremendous once again. I can’t thank them enough for coming out and creating a great environment for Gameday. They’ve been supporting us all the way through and I can’t thank them enough. Our players are battling, they’re playing hard, but we’re just not getting it done. Congratulations to Louisville, they obviously shot the ball well and really kept us from doing the things we wanted to do. We need to take responsibility defensively and obviously we have work to do. We will practice hard this week going forward as we get ready for Providence on Wednesday.”

On Pitt’s play in the second half:

“We just couldn’t get the stops that we needed and they caused a couple turnovers. There were far too many lay-ups and post-ups for them. We felt we had to win the battle of the boards, but we came out even. We had our opportunities, especially some transition plays that we didn’t convert. We need to continue working on that.”

On Tray Woodall:

“Well, eight weeks is eight weeks. You want him out there, you want him to play through it, but obviously his numbers didn’t line up with how he was playing at the beginning of the year. He’ll be better next time out. I told him afterwards ‘You’ll be better next practice, and you’ll be better next game’.  Eight weeks is eight weeks and that’s the situation we’re in.”

Quoting Pitt’s Tray Woodall:

On Pitt’s struggles against Louisville’s Kyle Kuric:

“We didn’t know if Kuric was playing today. He is a really good shooter.  Especially with his injury he took permanent jump shots and we should have known that. We should have closed out on him a lot harder. We tried our best to close out on him but he knocked down some tough shots. We let him get it going early and unfortunately he started getting it rolling throughout the whole game.”

On his injury and his readiness to play:

“I was ready to play and my injury is not an excuse. I’m back and I got cleared to play. I am all here but I just didn’t have it today. I tried to go out and give it my all but unfortunately it was nowhere near enough.”

Quoting Pitt’s Lamar Patterson:

On Louisville’s Chane Behanan’s physical play:

“We were expecting Behanan to play physical and we watched film on him. We saw before how tough and physical he plays down low and how he goes after every rebound but we couldn’t match him.”

On confidence level:

“I felt comfortable and my plan was just to do what I always do. These guys trust me to make plays and that’s what I what I planned on doing tonight as well as attacking the basket.”

Quoting Pitt’s Ashton Gibbs:

On Pitt’s play in the first half:

“Louisville took advantage of our turnovers. We made a lot of mistakes and unfortunately the turnovers we had they made into a transition bucket. Something we can’t do anymore is turning the ball over.  We have to do a better job on the boards and start defending more. “  

On having Tray Woodall back:

“He is a leader on the court and definitely a playmaker as well. It gives us an extra playmaker out there so we just have to continue to get used to him being on the court now. We also need to build our chemistry more and more which starts in practice and then carries over into the game.”

On consistency from the first to the second half:

“Us being unable to stay strong in the second half has been the story of our whole season. We have had leads in almost every game throughout this losing streak. It is something we have to maintain. We need to keep playing defense, keep rebounding, take care of the ball and maintain everything throughout the whole game.”

On losing momentum in the second half:

“We were not making shots or taking advantages of the opportunities given to us by the defense. We had turnovers that also set us back in the second half. We need to take advantage of what the defense gives us and do a better job of it. We have to go back to the drawing board and start practicing then try and carry over everything into the game.”

Quoting Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino:

On Kyle Kuric coming back from injury:

“We practiced him for only 20 minutes yesterday and I told him to ice it (ankle) down and you’ll be ready to go.  He gave us a big lift in the first half.  Offensively you are such a better basketball team with him and now I think we can play him a lot at the four position and that will help us.”

On the play of the game starting the second half:

“We felt that in order for the outside to be open, we had to attack them inside and we felt we could get to the foul line.  Even though we have lost games of late, our improvement started when we played poorly, we stopped fouling and we played defense and that is when we got better.”

On how Louisville won tonight:

“These guys are truly remarkable to me.  I have never seen a team have to adjust to so many different parts.  I equate it to a Broadway show when they have stand-ins.  We have had so many ‘stand-ins’ and our guys have been able to pick it up.”

On stopping Tray Woodall coming back:

“Our defense has been good the whole year.  I think once Chane Behanan starts to get our scheme a little bit, it will get better.  I think the key to the game was in the second half we executed and took good shots every time down the court whether they pressured or not.”

On being able to beat Pitt at home:

“I couldn’t put my finger exactly on why we beat Pitt.  We’ve always had close games.  We play well against Syracuse and West Virginia, but we always seem to go to overtime in Notre Dame.  I think styles dictate sometimes how a team plays, and their style is such that we can stay in the game.  They’ve struggled with their defense a little this year and we’ve struggled with our offense.”

On the turnout of the crowd and student section:

“I was very impressed.  It’s not easy to do, but I think that speaks to their great tradition.  They have an injury and every team has an off year.  That’s what great tradition is about when the fans come regardless of their team.”

Quoting Louisville’s Peyton Siva:

On coming into GameDay at Pitt and winning:

“It was crazy because Pitt is starving for a win right now, so you knew they were going to come out there and give it their all.  Their fans are crazy right before the game and the Oakland Zoo was down there yelling.  This is one of the toughest crowds you come up against.  It was tough to come in here and get a win but luckily our big men played really well tonight, the guards played well, and Kyle Kuric came up big for us tonight.”

On how Louisville won:

“Pitt is a well coached team.  They came out and played hard.  I think the biggest thing that we did that won us the game was evening the backboard.  They didn’t out-rebound us on the backboard and that has been our Achilles heel all year.  We battled on the backboard and that was huge for us today.”

On being able to match up with Pitt’s style of play:

“The Big East has different styles.  When we play Notre Dame, for some odd reason we always go into overtime with them.  With Pitt, we always stay in a close game with them.  They are rugged and like to get rebounds.  We like to run and master our pace and their pace.  I think different styles go with different programs and this just helped us with the victory tonight.”

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