From the Locker Room: UL-Chattanooga

Louisville coach Rick Pitino talks about the Cardinals impressive 106-65 win over Chattanooga Monday night in the Global Sports Shootout. Also, notes from UofL's third straight win.

(Opening thoughts)
We knew this team [Chattanooga], from a transition standpoint, would try to do the same things we do--pushing the pace. We obviously have a deeper bench. We had a couple of goals tonight. One in particular was we had to win the 3-point line because they beat a very good, talented Marshall team by making 12 3s and shooting 36 percent. The 3-point line was a great equalizer. We wanted to make sure we negated the 3-point line. Our guys are a fun group to coach. They're a fun group each day because they want to learn and get better. They play with extraordinary effort, and this was exciting for them to play against a team that wanted to run with them. It was an exciting basketball game for us and for our fans. We're really excited.

(On coming out with a stronger defense in the second half)
We talked about coming out and making sure we did not slow the pace down. We played excellent defense the whole night. We got after them, pressured them. All those steals we made were because of the pressure we were applying to the basketball. Both Peyton [Siva] and Bullet [Elisha Justice] did a terrific job of trying to wear out a very good point guard [Keegan Bell] who has an outstanding range. He [Bell] transferred from Vanderbilt. Our guys did a terrific job tonight, we're getting better. As I said, we're taking baby steps every single day in practice, but the best part about coaching these guys is their attitude. They're a lot of fun to coach.


Terrence Jennings had another solid game for the Cardinals.(AP)
(On Kyle Kuric stepping up)
I knew he would. It's just a matter of getting the running game and getting a little bit out of the half-court. He's a good athlete, good player. Now, remember he came here as a walk-on, and we gave him a scholarship. Let's not read too much into when he doesn't have a great scoring night, he came in as a walk-on. I think he's exceeded that by leaps and bounds and given a lot to this program.

(On Pitino's feelings about his team taking their passing game to a higher level)
I wouldn't overrate us. It was two teams that wanted to play a certain style. We were at home, and we won the style. I wouldn't get too carried away, but I think we're in great shape. They've really embraced the style, it's really helped us. We're having a lot of fun with it, but it starts with defense. We said we want to play like Loyola [Marymount] of years ago. We want to play great defense, and that's the key.

Notes

  • Louisville's three opponents have combined to register just 12 assists--to 27 turnovers--in the first halves of games this season. Chattanooga had six assists and 13 turnovers after efforts of two assists and six turnovers from Butler and four assists and eight turnovers from Jackson State.

  • The Cardinals, on the other hand, have 31 assists and 19 turnovers in first halves of games (including 12 assists and six turnovers on Monday night).

  • The Cardinals began the game 11-for-11 from the free throw line, giving the team a streak of 13 consecutive free throws made counting the end of the Jackson State game. The streak ended with a Preston Knowles miss with 3:14 left in the first half.

  • Louisville finished the game 17-of-19 from the line, the Cards' best single-game percentage since March 27, 2009 (13-of-14 against Arizona in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament). The Cardinals last had a better percentage with as many or more attempts on Feb. 5, 2005, at UAB (19-of-21, .905).

  • U of L put together a 14-0 second half run, covering 5:11, to stretch a 16-point lead (58-42) into a 30-point cushion (72-42).

  • Louisville's 19 steals were the most by a Cardinal club since Jan. 29, 2005, at Tulane (20 thefts), while its 15 threes were the most since hitting 18 against DePaul on Feb. 15, 2009.

  • The Cards improved to 102-0 all-time when scoring 100 points or more.

  • The 106-point output was Louisville's largest since a 107-62 win over Southern Miss on Jan. 11, 2005.

  • The Cardinals' 29 assists were the most for Louisville in a game since Dec. 10, 2005 (31 in a 111-85 win over Akron).


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