Rick Pitino met with the media on Monday afternoon for almost 30 minutes to wrap up the season, which saddens me. It is about 8 days too early, but it happens. He said that Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell will both go pro, and also hints that a couple of players could transfer.
Since the press conference this afternoon, we learned that sophomore Anton Gill will transfer.
Transcript from Courier-Journal.com. Edited by me.
Before I leave on the recruiting trail, we had individual instructions and I missed you guys so I wanted to say goodbye to you one last time. You know, there’s good and bad in every season, and I’m not going to mislead you and tell you that it doesn’t hurt. Outside of the Christian Laettner loss, I think this was probably the second most-bitter defeat that we have faced, because, you know when Mangok made that first free throw which shouldn’t have gone in, I said, we’re going to win this thing and for a span of a short period of time all I could think of was, ‘We just have to play defense for four seconds.” At first there was three-point-something, and they changed it. And I said all we’ve got to do is play defense for four seconds and we’re in the Final Four, because I was positive the second one would go in after that luck. And it didn’t go in. And we missed a lot of free throws down the stretch, a lot of layups down the stretch, and that’s the bad.
Rick Pitino dropped some hints at today’s press conference that a couple of players could transfer out of the program. We have now learned that one of those will happen, and that is Anton Gill.
Rick Pitino held his end of the season press conference today, and laid out many potential storylines to keep an eye on. There are possible players transferring, players being added to the class, and more. We will post about that stuff later. What he did say on this topic wasn’t too shocking, and that is that both Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier are “100%” going to leave Louisville to turn pro.
If I had thought about doing this post sooner, I could have done more research and had more stats to give and really looked into how these guys played against Louisville. But since we play in less than 6 hours, I need to go ahead and post this…
Merriam-Webster.com defines “villain” in the following way:
: a character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things
: a person who does bad things
Over the years of watching UofL basketball, you always seem to have those players on opposing teams that you just don’t like. Maybe they are good kids, but they just had great games against the Cards and that bothers you. Maybe they acted like punks and pushed people around. It could be someone that only faced the Cards once, or faced them many times as a member in the same conference. You can have your own reasons.
A good 25 minutes of a Rick Pitino press conference. He talks NC State, “morons” that call into sports talk radio shows, and has a lot of laughter. Good stuff.
Well, we’re obviously excited to be in the Sweet 16. We took a day off yesterday because a West Coast trip knocks a lot out of you. So today I’m sure we’ll have a little bit of a sluggish practice trying to get our feet back, but I think the adrenalin is going to be very high and we’re looking forward to playing another ACC basketball game, and we know how good NC State is because they beat us by 8-10 points at home. Not too many teams do that and they did it. We also realize they’ve won 8 out of 10, their frontcourt’s playing extremely well and their backcourt’s playing outstanding and they’ve beaten some pretty damn good teams on their court. We know it will be a hard-fought game, it’s not only an outstanding team we’re playing, but there’s a lot at stake.
While I don’t agree with his final prediction, here is a little preview.
Pretty cool video here talking about Montrezl Harrell. You get to hear from Darrell Griffith, Denny Crum, and Paul Rogers. The highlight for me has to be Denny’s reaction to when they allowed dunking again in college basketball: Yayyy!
Transcript from ASAP Sports. Edited by me.
COACH PITINO: Well, I couldn’t be more pumped up, more excited because we beat such a great team. Sometimes I hate these press conferences because you listen to the other guys up here first and you just bleed for a group like Northern Iowa, who the reason we played so well tonight is the amount of respect we had for them. We knew they were a great team, statistically, five seniors, we know they’re beautifully coached, so sometimes it breaks your heart even in victory. We are so pumped and so excited because we know the feeling on the other end, but for us, this is the first time in history, according to go Kenny Klein, that this is four Sweet 16s in a row. And Louisville’s had a very rich tradition. So we’re very proud of that.
These two guys kind of amazed me, because I prod them the whole game because I can’t take them out. Montrezl was just working so hard and he was so dead, and I kept saying: You got to give us more, son. You got to give us more. You can’t tire. And I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t know how both of them do it, but they have done it the whole year. They have carried a team on their back that it has many problems and tonight we played our best game of the season. Defensively we did a lot of good things, switching from zone to man, back to zone, back to man. And then offensively, that’s the best we have executed with swinging the ball, east to west, and then attacking north to south. So I’m real proud of these guys. Two guys that are going to go on to — I won’t say greener — I could say greener pastures, because they probably will be, but they’re tremendous basketball players. It’s been an honor to coach both of them.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Here is a quick clip from the ACC Digital Network with some of the press conference with Rick Pitino, Terry Rozier, and Montrezl Harrell. I will try to get the full transcripts posted soon.
The Louisville Cardinals have opened as a 3 point favorite for Friday’s game against North Carolina State. Also, the over/under for total points scored is 131 1/2, which means the score is projected to be somewhere around 67-64 in favor of the Cards. A little too close for me. I would be fine with a 10 point margin and some comfort. But I know, I know…just survive and advance.
Go ahead and make your plans for watching the Cards this weekend. Before last night’s game against Northern Iowa, the schedule was already released and we knew when Louisville would play if they advanced.
With the win, Louisville will now face NC State and the game will be Friday at 7:37 pm ET in Syracuse, New York. The game will be shown on TBS and Vern Lundquist will be on the call. So we can only imagine how he will pronounce “Mangok Mathiang” and “Chinanu Onuaku.” The full schedule for Thursday and Friday is below.
The Louisville Cardinals will be making their fourth straight trip to the Sweet 16 after beating Northern Iowa 66-53 on Sunday night in Seattle. Their opponent in Syracuse, New York will be NC State, who beat the Cards 74-65 at the KFC Yum! Center back on February 14 of this year.
Terry Rozier had himself a game, scoring 25 points on 8-13 shooting while going 8-9 from the free throw line. He also dished out 7 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds and carried the Cards in this victory. This was the “first round draft pick” version of Rozier that we have not seen in quite some time. If he wants to continue to play like this, I will approve.
Moderator: We’ll go ahead and get started with an opening statement from Coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.
Pitino: Well, we’re very excited to move on. The first round is very difficult. We knew it would be a fight. These two young men down the stretch made big plays for us, and we have been calling it Madness for years, but out of my 20 NCAAs, I think this is the craziest I’ve ever seen it opening up early. There’s a lot of reasons for it. Give you just some examples, I thought Jim Calhoun on television today made an excellent analogy. He said, you know, if you limit Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, to a few throws per game and keep his numbers way down, then the possessions don’t go…don’t favor the Patriots.
This is just a quick clip of some of the press conference following the win over UC Irvine. I will try to get the full transcript posted at some point.
Don’t wear yourself out early on Sunday. The schedule for NCAA Tournament games has been released, and the Louisville Cardinals will be the last game of the night. Tip between Louisville and Northern Iowa will be at approximately 9:40 pm ET and be shown on TBS. The game will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of Gonzaga/North Dakota State vs Iowa.
The rosters for this year’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic have been announced, and fans of the Louisville Cardinals should be ready to buy their tickets. Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Raymond Spalding, and Ryan McMahon will all be participating in this year’s game.
Mitchell, Adel, and Spalding are all signed and McMahon is a commit. If you kept up with our recruiting notebooks a few months ago, a lot of these names will look familiar as Louisville was recruiting some of them.
The game will be played Saturday April 11, 2015 at 7:00 at the world famous Freedom Hall.
By Kyle Kuric:
It is Kyle Kuric from Spain! I wanted to thank everyone again for donating toys to my Christmas Toy Drive! Mangok and Anas had a great time delivering them and putting smiles on the kids faces.
I am currently playing for Herbalife Gran Canaria located in the Canary Islands. The team plays in 2 leagues the Spanish ACB league and the Eurocup league. I’ll talk about the Eurocup league this time.
The time and channel were announced earlier this evening for Louisville’s opening NCAA Tournament game against UC Irvine. The Cards play on Friday and will tip off 30 minutes after the Northern Iowa-Wyoming game, which starts at 1:40. So if that takes about two hours, and then there is a 30 minute break, you are looking at sometime around a 4:10 start for the Cards.
The game will be shown on TBS. Working the game for TBS will be Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), and Jaime Maggio (reporter).