Rick Pitino Post Game After Loss to Notre Dame

Photo: USA Today
Photo: USA Today

Opening statement

Well you are always disappointed when you lose but Notre Dame was the better basketball team. Even including Kentucky, I think out of all the teams that we scouted this year, we thought this would be our most difficult game especially when Chris Jones went out, defensively. They play four guards and they do things offensively that can really hurt you. Although we played very poor defense, we kept getting into, well we take the lead, get it to two and then we totally breakdown with a bad shot on offense and a bad play defensively.

So it’s just a matter of, you know, our philosophy tonight was not to show them that we are a great shooting team. Our offensive philosophy tonight was do what we did in the beginning of the game, get the ball high and look low, reverse the ball on the break and get dribble penetration, touch the paint, and we shot quick. We shot threes on the break, it was as if we thought we were Notre Dame the way we were running our offense. So it was very disappointing in terms of us quick shooting, taking ill-advised shots, and then our breakdowns defensively. We cannot play defense like that and expect to win, but we knew going in that this was going to be a very difficult game for us.

On containing dribblers being a problem this season

Well it’s one of the problems. Defending the pick and roll with running into screens was another problem. Look, it’s very obvious to see that Quentin Snider doesn’t play defense, but he wasn’t supposed to be in the situation. Because Peyton Siva was no good on defense as a freshman and neither was Russ Smith. He was supposed to learn, back it up, and get better. So he’s thrown into a situation where it’s not his fault. So he’s out there right now and you can see he’s making defensive mistakes, but he was supposed to have a year to learn that. So it’s not his fault.

On Terry Rozier and if he is pressing or not 

I think Terry is taking bad shots. He was 0 for 5 on challenged shots. So if you call it pressing, I don’t know why he’s pressing because if he thinks scoring 20 points is going to impress the pros, he’s wrong. So I don’t know the motive behind pressing. So it looks like he is, but he’s taking bad shots. If you take bad shots, you’re going to go 0 for 5 like he did on challenged shots tonight.

On Montrezl Harrell’s knee injury

He’s okay.

Other mistakes the team made

The other thing, when you’re in a close game, you’ve got to make free throws guys. You can’t go down, let them make two, and then you miss the front end of a one-and-one. You got to make free throws. And you know, it comes down to being very simple at times. You know, tonight it’s very simple. You’ve got to guard a pick-and-roll right. You’ve got to contain – no matter what you know they’re going to run – you’ve got to contain the dribbler from getting to the rim. And then if he does get to the rim your 7-footer has got to block the shot.

Team expectations

We can choreograph our defense against Florida State, to know exactly what we’re going to do and take away certain people. This team — there’s nothing you can take away you know. So, I knew going into it we were going to have a difficult time and I knew we we’re going to struggle. What I was hoping for was that we can score against them by reversing the ball, moving the ball, working high-low, going inside, and we quick shot. So, that was disappointing. It’s going to come down to, when we get in the tournament, matchups. We get the wrong match-up, we’re going to have an exit. We get the right match-ups, we’re going to have a chance of winning. Matchups are going to be crucial for us.

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