Here are the videos of Rick Pitino, Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, and Trey Lewis following the loss against Virginia. The transcript for Rick Pitino’s comments are also below. He says he saw this day coming. Let’s just have a warning of it next time so we don’t get so amped up. Thanks.
(Opening Statement) Well you have to give Virginia a lot of credit, they played a great defensive game and executed beautifully on offense. Unfortunately I saw this day coming. I am not too pleased with it, but I saw it was going to happen, not quite as bad as we played tonight but I did see it coming just by the way we were playing defense against Virginia Tech and the way we played defense in practice. It was indicative by them shooting almost 58 percent for the game. We turned the ball over too much and you can’t do that against a Virginia team but they played like an experienced basketball team. We played like a bunch of inexperienced guys that did not know what they were in for.
You know at the end of the game two things really impressed me about them, they were up 20 and (Malcolm) Brogdon was yelling in front of our bench to his teammates, ‘just get one stop guys, just get one stop.’ Then on a sideline out of bounds play up 20, their hands immediately went up. Those are the little things that we are missing. Our mentality is to score and their mentality is to execute and stop. They deserve all the credit and obviously we got our brains beat in because we have that wrong mentality. It is not going to get an easier because (North) Carolina plays right into our weakness which is transition defense. So we have got one day to cure some of our ills but with such an inexperienced team, it is going to be difficult to do.
(On Chinanu Onuaku’s health) He is fine, he is fine. He had a stomach bug and didn’t practice and when he doesn’t practice, he didn’t play a lot in the Virginia Tech game, then got sick and didn’t practice a whole lot yesterday. He should be fine by Monday.
(On Virginia double-teaming the post player) They do that every game. They do a good job of it. In the second half, we did a much better job of finding people, but we didn’t execute that as well either. You know, our game plan going against Virginia is what I told them last year, or Wichita State and Virginia, if you are not close to them defensively, you have no chance of beating them. You have got to match them on defense and that is this team’s problem. Last year we could do it, we could match them defensively and against a great defensive team you have got to be able to do that but they just have so much more experience than us that they are better at it.
(On frustration of players when shots weren’t falling) Well they were taking the wrong shots. They were penetrating too deep against- the more ball movement and less dribbling you have, second half they saw them do a better job of reversing, screening, moving, screening, moving, and that’s the way you can get good shots; but they fell right into the trap, we didn’t want to dribble that much and Trey (Lewis) has a lot to learn about this game. It’s nights like this where he’ll learn a lot.
(On looking for anything particular in games like this) They were just much better than us at every position they were better than us. We can give a little excuse to Nanu (Onuaku) being under the weather, but not under the weather to not rebound and score and not catch the ball. They were just much better than us, we have to play them again, so hopefully we’ll do a much better job next time. I’m real happy we’re 17-4 and 6-2 because I haven’t seen a real good basketball team from these guys this year at the defensive end; and we’ve had some good offensive nights, we’ve had one good defensive game the whole year, Pittsburgh. We got to get it, we got to get that Brogdon mentality of yelling ‘one more stop’. We’re up 25 yelling ‘one more stop.’
(On whether the help on rotations defensively is the problem) I think it is an experience in physical weakness, lack of quickness in certain areas. But Damion Lee is inexperienced on defense, Jaylen Johnson is inexperienced, Anas (Mahmoud) is inexperienced, Quentin (Snider) is not the most athletic guy on his feet but tries hard, Trey’s (Lewis) inexperienced on defense, Matz (Stockman) is inexperienced, Ray (Spalding) is inexperienced, Deng’s (Adel) inexperienced, Chinanu should be much better, and Donovan is inexperienced. So, you know it’s going to show that way, unless you get the attitude of ‘one more stop.’
(On whether the concerns you have about transitioning the defense can be fixed in a month?) In a month? Yes, we can fix it in a month. But I don’t know if we can fix it by Monday. It starts with taking good shots. We got out-run at the four spot the other night. The four spot and the five spot were constantly getting out-run, and that was our weakness.
(On short break between games) No these guys don’t need to rest, they need to practice. Nanu (Onuaku) has had enough rest for a lifetime.
(On worrying about confidence heading into UNC game Monday) No, I don’t worry about that. I think they will be going against guys much more experienced and much more skilled in certain areas. But with that being said, we are going to give great effort. Tonight, we got discouraged by a much better basketball team. We are just going to try to get better and better, make the tournament, and see what happens come March. There is no reason to get down in the dumps because we are 6-2 (ACC) and 17-4 (Overall). Now that can turn around in a hurry, so each win is going to be monumental for us—we have got to get one game at a time and put all our effort in that one victory. We’ve got Syracuse coming in who is playing great basketball right now—you’ve got Pittsburg out on the road after playing great against them. You have to go down to Virginia—you’ve got to play Duke twice—you’ve got to go at Notre Dame, for one of our overtime games. And you’ve got some tough home games as well.
(On the physicality of the game and if it bothered the team) Well, it was called the polar opposite of Virginia Tech. Which is okay because then we can play that way and we didn’t. We didn’t. Yes, it wasn’t called the way of the new rules but it was called fairly for both teams. So we had an opportunity to be physical and we weren’t.
(On Deng Adel’s performance) If you look for a silver lining, and obviously you being the positive person you are, that was the only silver lining.