Here are 5 takeaways from the Rick Pitino press conference previewing Louisville vs. Purdue in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.
The two teams will meet on Wednesday night at 7 o'clock in the KFC Yum Center.
1. Purdue's size will be tough to handle: Purdue (5-1) is one of the top teams in the Big 10 and Pitino said the Boilermakers size was going to be tough for the Cardinals - and any team - to handle.
And it's not just height.
Caleb Swanigan is 6-foot-9 and 290 pounds - down about 75 from last season - and averaged 18.8 points and 12 rebounds a game, while 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas is also 290 pounds and averages 16.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
The two are as strong - strength wise - as virtually any inside duo in the country. Plus, while Haas doesn't get a ton of rebounds he alters so many shots and is just a major force in the middle.
Pitino joked about starting 7-1 Matz Stockman to "get his fouls out of the way," but then said this is a game that Stockman will likely have to play. Louisville has Stockman, Mangok Mathiang and Anas Mahmoud to play in the post, but all three are physically weaker than the Purdue tandem, which could be a major factor in the game.
2. Trust the depth at guard? Pitino said he's trying hard to trust his depth at guard and is "getting there" with David Levitch but noted he needs Tony Hicks and Ryan McMahon to keep improving.
"I don't have a lot of confidence yet," Pitino said of the reserves in the back court.
Pitino lauded the play of Donovan Mitchell but noted he's playing 32.2 minutes a game, while Quentin Snider is averaging 29.8 minutes a game. He said Hicks has to "learn the culture" of U of L basketball.
Hicks - the graduate transfer from Penn - has only played in three of the first six games.
3. Steals, steals, steals: Pitino said Mitchell is so good off the ball and he's hoping some others watch how he's getting steals.
Mitchell has a team-high 18 steals, while Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spalding are next on the team with four. Snider only has one steal in six games and Pitino said that needs to improve from the guards.
4. Urging the crowd to get louder: Pitino wasn't complaining about the crowds this season, noting there was nothing anyone could do about the 4 p.m. start time of the Long Beach State game on the same day as the Houston football game.
But he said this team "needs the crowd to be a home court advantage."
Louisville has several really good home games in the coming weeks, including this one and the Yum Center should be rocking.
5. Everything Better in the Bahamas? Pitino said he loves the Battle 4 Atlantis but with the format the way it is right now wouldn't return with Louisville because of the scheduling of the games.
Pitino said he hopes the tournament organizers will not let the two TV networks dictate the times and then he would return. Louisville played at 9:30 on Wednesday and then at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. He said the organizers originally told him the only time for a walk through before the Thursday game was at 8 a.m. - just six hours after the team went to bed.
"They have to work something out with that before we go back," he said.
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