By Justin Renck:
Here are the key notes from Coach Pitino’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon. He talks about Gorgui Dieng’s injury, the Memphis game, and the upcoming FIU game and coaching against his son, Richard.
*Gorgui Dieng was supposed to return this Saturday for WKU, giving him a game to be ready for Kentucky, which is the following Saturday. Coach Pitino said that “Gorgui’s latest exam with the doctor didn’t go as well as my optimism was. The doctor’s estimates, which are usually conservative, were probably correct. It will more than likely be the 4-6 weeks than the 3 weeks that I’d hoped.” Pitino now sets the target return date for the Providence game on January 2.
*Stephan Van Treese has practiced sparingly, and he will be used if needed, just like the Memphis game.
*The team showed a great deal of heart and desire when winning the Memphis game, but the defense wasn’t good. He said the team hasn’t been as good on defense since Gorgui went down.
*Good passing and shooting covered up the bad defense in the 2nd half at Memphis. That formula won’t work in the long haul; the defense has to be there.
*Pitino joked that if Russ was playing great in that 1st half against Memphis, he would not have limped off the court. He called him an “interesting bird.” We agree!
*After saying that this generation does not handle success well, Pitino said that Chane Behanan getting Big East Player of the Week is “a disaster waiting to happen.”
*On his son, he said that “I think Richard has matured the right way. Nothing has been given to him. When he was an assistant here, I made him work twice as hard as the other assistants…He has always been very humble; always idolized Billy Donovan growing up.” Pitino said he told Richard to keep trying to be like Donovan, that he is the blueprint of who he wants to be.
*FIU will visit Louisville this year (obviously) and next year, and the Cards will play at FIU in the 3rd year of the series. Pitino said they also scheduled it like that so Rakeem Buckles can come back and play here next season.
*FIU’s offensive philosophy is more like Billy Donovan’s, and their defense is more like Louisville’s.
*Pitino said that Richard had a lot to do with the Cards making the Final 4 last year, as far as game strategy goes.