Opening statement:”I know throughout this press conference I’m going to reference my team and talk about our lack of toughness, our lack of execution and all of the things that played us because it’s my team. I say all that and I don’t want it misconstrued throughout the entire press conference that I thought Josh [Pastner’s] team… their guys were ready to play. I thought they were excited to play. I thought they took the fight to us, and I think sometimes coaches don’t credit the other team. They sit here and tell you guys how poorly their own team played. So as the press conference goes on and I talk about how poorly we played, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I thought their game plan was excellent. They played us man-to-man almost the entire game and we couldn’t score. It hasn’t been a huge problem for our team all year. I give tremendous credit to coach Pastner, his staff and their players for doing what they did tonight.
”On our end of the floor, we didn’t start the game with the proper mindset, the right energy, the right toughness level that’s required to win on the road. We’ve talked about it a lot: If you set the tone the wrong way and the other team has a lot of positive momentum to start the game, they’re going to feed off that. That’s exactly what they did. We fought uphill the entire game from what I thought was a lack of energy and readiness on our part.”
On Louisville’s struggles from the three-point line: ”We shot 24 of them, so I would say that a few of them were probably terrific defense, and I think we missed some open ones that I think we would normally hit. Regardless of whether the ball is going in or not, you can control your effort to get to the offensive glass. You can try to get to the free throw line [and] drive the ball in the paint. Do you need to make a few? Probably a couple. But it’s not like Georgia Tech banged in 10 or 12 to beat us, they made four. It was an ugly game. It was a muddy game, and we weren’t dirty enough to win.”
On playing a lot of zone defense:”We went into the game talking about having it ready and playing it, because they’ve struggled at times versus the zone. They don’t have a ton of guys that statistically are great three-point shooters. Michael Devoe is really the only guy over 40 percent that plays a lot. We felt like if we could tilt the floor and make sure he didn’t get one – again he got one – maybe we could get some deflections, get some runouts that maybe would help our offense as well. So it wasn’t just a defensive decision. We didn’t do enough in it even though it did get some stops.”
On Jordan Nwora’s offensive struggles:”They put a 5-foot-11, 6-foot tough kid on him. We run post-up plays and Jordan [Nwora] can’t figure out how to be tough enough to hold a guy off of him and lay the ball in.”
On Louisville’s offensive turnovers: ”That probably is the common theme. I would tell you that a large majority of our turnovers were in offensive transition which is astounding. We have three-on-two’s, two-on-one’s and we’re knocking it off our own knee and then pushing guys over. We’re getting the ball slapped out of bounds on our own knee. We’re missing layups. Our ability to convert when we had those numbered breaks was really poor. Even Dave [Johnson’s] blocked shot… we had a ton of those opportunities and we didn’t convert and that’s why we scored 58 points.”
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