“I think you have to give Rick and their players a ton of credit. I thought we did a good job for most of the game and they made some big plays down the stretch. Obviously a couple of those threes were big for them. We had some defensive lapses at the end of the game. But again, I am disappointed in the result. That’s a tough one to swallow again. We played much more like we are supposed to play though in terms of the defensive effort, the energy that we played with, and in terms of sharing the ball and taking care of the ball. We ask a lot of Marcus [Georges Hunt] as a junior. He’s kind of a go-to-guy for us. And against this team, he’s got to handle the ball a lot, make plays and make shots. And on the other end, he has to defend their best perimeter player in Rozier. So he’s getting challenged quite a bit in every area. But he keeps coming back, which is good to see, in terms of his attitude and the effort-level that he is playing with.
“I’m as proud of this basketball team as any game I’ve ever coached because I’ve never seen a team have so many open looks from layups to wide open shots off good ball movement and (the shots) not falling. Earlier this year we had the same thing happen and we got down and we didn’t play good defense. But these guys kept their attitude and just focused on one thing: winning the game. You know Georgia Tech is just like us. We have two better players than them, but they’re just like us. They run great stuff, but the ball doesn’t go in. They’re not a good shooting team and we’re not a good shooting team. And that’s the most frustrating thing because they do so many great things offensively and so many great things defensively, and so did we. But when the shot doesn’t go in, you struggle. But they’re a team that played Duke to the wire and had them. Notre Dame in overtime. They’re young right now and they suffer the same things we suffer and that’s ‘you have wide open shots and they don’t go down.'”
Anybody know what the heck happened in those last 30 seconds? Wow! Louisville battles all the way back after looking so bad offensively and they finally get the lead back at 48-46 with 1 minute to go. Then with 25 seconds left Georgia Tech scores, and “just like that, in the blink of an eye” Terry Rozier gets a layup and the Cards lead again by 2 with 22 seconds left. After a turnover, a missed shot, and clutch free throws by Wayne Blackshear, Louisville held on to beat Georgia Tech 52-51. I plan on this being a few quick thoughts. We will see…
This team still has some fight left
“Sheldon said it very well, we played a terrific first half. At halftime, I was told by our trainer that our big guy, 23, Tonye Jekiri, had sustained a concussion when the ball was thrown at his head. They called for the doctors to check on him, we started the second half without him and I think our players’ minds were on Tonye’s health to start the second half. We came out and weren’t very sharp to begin with, and then Tonye came out and our trainer told me that their doctors, I assume the Louisville doctors, had cleared him and that he had a headache or I don’t know what the diagnosis was but they said he could play. Once he got back in there we settled down, we kept the lead for almost the whole game. We fell behind a few times but we basically played out in front for 35 of the 40 minutes. The last couple of plays, we just were not able to finish it. The shot that Angel Rodriguez got I thought was a great shot, he got it right in rhythm, right in transition, and he hits that shot a lot.”
“Well I’m buying beer because we finally got 35 deflections. And we needed it. Montrezl (Harrell) got 11. We needed the deflections tonight because our defense had to win it for us. The reason we got off to such a bad start- I haven’t seen our guys do this- on every drive to the basket, including Montrezl, we were trying to lean into the guy to draw the foul, and it was taking us out of our offensive rhythm by doing that. Then, when you have a start like that, the guys start to panic and they don’t want to shoot, as Chris Jones had a wide open three. But in the second half, I said, `Let’s just play defense every possession. We will win the game. Get our deflections picked up because we had 20 at halftime, and that’s what I want to see.’
There are 6 ACC games on the schedule today. The Cards will host Miami and try to end their two game losing streak. They are still fighting to get one of those top 4 spots in the conference and earn a double-bye in the ACC Tournament.
Nevermind the freezing temperatures outside. If you get on social media, the world seems to be ending and it has nothing to do with weather. It has everything to do with Louisville losing their second basketball game in a row. This game had plenty of storylines if you are a Cards fan, from a suspended point guard to a senior not exactly stuffing the stat sheet. Here are just some of my quick hitting thoughts after the 69-59 loss at Syracuse. I won’t try to paint a National Championship picture, but I also won’t act like we should give up the sport for good after this season. This will just be honest opinions from yours truly, a fellow fan of the Cards.
Chris Jones did it to himself
Coach Pitino comes on around 1:40:30 of the teleconference.
Well it’s (the snow) pretty bad for Louisville, KY. The only way we get rid of snow here is the sun coming out so we don’t handle it as well as Syracuse, where we’re heading. We know Syracuse has always been a tough place to play for anybody. They’re playing extremely competitively right now. Three of their players are averaging 38 or 39 minutes right now. So their best players are on the court, and we have to be ready for a very active 2-3 zone.
How would he do in a dunk competition? He can dunk with authority, but are his dunks flashy enough for a competition?
Here are the ACC men’s basketball standings entering Monday February 16, 2015. The ACC Tournament begins on March 10 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The top 4 seeds earn a double bye into the quarterfinals, so those spots are huge if you can get one. It looks like it will be a battle until the end of the season for those 4 coveted spots.
Louisville’s games this week are at Syracuse on Wednesday and home against Miami on Saturday.
Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon.
“Well, we obviously felt pretty good with about 12 minutes left. I thought we were doing some good things. I thought we came out of that halftime and really went out aggressive offensively, started getting stops, getting rebounds, getting loose balls and got going offensively with transition. We got going and finished around the basket and took good shots, but after that we didn’t get any stops. We didn’t get any rebounds. At one point we were up four on the glass, we end up losing by ten somewhere down that stretch of about 12 minutes we lost out on 14 rebounds, so you’re certainly not going to win in that situation and it got away from us in that regard. We had 10 turnovers for the game. We want to be just below that, but you’re going to have a few. A couple of them were key. I thought Louisville hit some tough shots too that we guarded pretty well. But it is extremely disappointing because I thought we came out and did some good things, especially some adjustments in the first half and at halftime and really were aggressive offensively and just played more aggressive attacking. But it got away from us the second half.”
Right after the game ended, Coach Pitino did a quick interview with the ACC Digital Network. He raves about Montrezl Harrell, and says they caught a bad break with Wayne Blackshear.
Here is the schedule of ACC games along with the league standings entering play on Saturday. I believe I saw that this is the first time in ACC history that there are two games where top 10 teams play each other in the same day. It should be a pretty exciting Saturday in college basketball.
Wake Forest (11-12, 3-7) @ Georgia Tech (10-12, 1-9) 12:00 FullCourt/ESPN3
(10) Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2) @ (4) Duke (19-3, 6-3) 1:00 CBS
Here is the full transcript (Courier-Journal) from Rick Pitino’s press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Opening statement: If you look at what they’ve accomplished this year. They way they’ve played on the road has been amazing. Apparently they’ve got one of the best arenas in the ACC and I’m looking forward to seeing it. This is a great basketball team that we have to play twice. Certainly, we’re going to have to really execute to come away with a victory.
There are only 3 games on the ACC schedule tonight, and Louisville is the only ranked team playing. As we know, any road conference game is a big one. So if the Cards can leave Miami with a win tonight, they will stay in the top 3 of the ACC with Virginia and Notre Dame. Here is tonight’s schedule, along with the conference standings heading into tonight’s games.