Louisville guard Terry Rozier also met with the media on Friday afternoon after Coach Pitino spoke for about 20 minutes. Here is what he had to say about the upcoming game with the Blue Devils.
On Duke: Lately I’ve been watching a lot of games. I noticed their togetherness. They’re together out there on the court. They always cheer one another on. Just because they lost the last two games, it’s still going to be a tough game for us. They have a lot of good players. I’ve watched a decent amount of their games. They’re pretty good.
On Duke losing twice in a row: Not really — because I understand the ACC and that anyone can go down. That’s a lot of conferences and playing in conference play. (Pitino) pretty much got it in our heads that could lose to anybody in the ACC. I wasn’t really surprised — it just shows you how real the ACC is and how you can lose on any given night. But it’s still a tough team and it happens.
On how much his offensive game is off pick-and-rolls: About 60-70 percent.
Duke seems to have a problem with that: (Duke center Jahlil Okafor) is … I wouldn’t say he’s slow, but if you bring him out, he’s not going to be able to stick with me and (Chris Jones) because, going downhill, we go pretty fast. Hopefully we can get into the paint and cause problems tomorrow knowing that he can’t move his feet as fast as us. We’ll just see how that works out. We know what we have to do. Our coaches do a great job of giving us the answers to the exam. We just have to do well on it.
On sensing Duke’s vulnerabilities and if it’s “like a shark smelling blood”: Definitely. For them, too. They see we’re struggling with a lot of things and not hitting shots against the zone. I don’t know if they’re going to zone us, but that’s part of scouting. You see another team’s weakness and try to expose that. That’s what we’re going to do tomorrow to try and get the win.
On Louisville needing three guards to win in March: They say we need three of them. We should go for four. We’d be real tough to beat. I know (Anton Gill), he’s been working hard. He’s been doing other things. (Pitino) has been trying to get him to do other things besides scoring. He’s coming along. You have (Quentin Snider), a hometown kid, and he’s doing well. He’s going against Chris (Jones) every day and that’s not easy. I went against Chris every day last year and that’s definitely not easy. He’s getting better. If we keep getting better in practice, we can make that run.
On the pressure of being the third guard: I didn’t really think like that (last season). I just thought that, when I came on the court, about things he wanted me to do. My job was to get the other guard tired, get steals, knock down open shots. I knew who I was surrounded by on the team. I wanted to come in and do what I could do.
On the Rozier/Jones tandem: In practice, whoever is closer to the outlet, we can just go. Chris has been a scorer all his life. He can be the 2. We both know the 1 and 2 — all the plays. It’s probably been looking like mainly he’s the 1 and I’m 2, but late game, we both have the ball in our hands. It all depends on how the game is flowing. We play off one another pretty well and it all starts in practice.
On his confidence level: It gives me a lot of confidence (hitting late-game shots). I’ve been doing a pretty good job of hitting shots. It’s all about opportunities. I’ve been doing well taking advantage of my opportunities. The coaches, they’ve been doing a great job of setting up the plays for me to make my shots and get open shots, and the players are doing a tremendous job.