University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino met with the media on Friday, previewing the Cardinals' game this weekend against Syracuse. The tip is slated for 2 p.m. on Sunday at the KFC Yum Center.
Here are five takeaways from the press conference:
1. U of L not worried about seeding: Rick Pitino and Donovan Mitchell both said the U of L team isn't stressing over what potential seed it might be in the ACC or NCAA Tournament.
But Pitino said "our team knows" it missed a chance at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA and an ACC regular-season title with the loss to North Carolina on Wednesday night when he said they were "taken to the woodshed" on the boards.
2. Pitino might shake things up: Pitino has made it clear that starting isn't a big deal in his program and again said it really didn't matter who ran out first because "if you are in our rotation, then you are going to play."
But he said against the Orange he might "shake things up" in the lineup.
Sounds like Anas Mahmoud could be in the lineup when the game starts, replacing Mangok Mathiang.
3. Not much Tony Hicks - if at all: Pitino said he doesn't want to play Tony Hicks against Syracuse, noting he's "trying to get him ready for Wake Forest (on Wednesday night)."
Hicks broke a bone in his right hand on Jan. 24 against Pittsburgh and returned on Wednesday against North Carolina. But he only played four minutes and picked up a steal and two points.
"I just wanted to throw him in for a minute or two (at UNC) so that he could get the feel of playing again," Pitino said. "He may get a minute or two against Syracuse, but I doubt it, though."
4. Pitino was pumped at UNC: Even before the halftime incident with the fan at North Carolina, Pitino was charged up on the sidelines and was asked about his intensity on Friday.
A reporter asked Pitino if he was a little more upset with the officials than normal?
"Yes, because I didn't like the calls," Pitino said, noting one game they emphasis something and the next game it changes.
5. Free-throw woes: Louisville was 4 of 13 from the free-throw line in the loss to UNC and are hitting just 66.7 percent from the line during ACC play but Pitino said again his team works on free throws "all the time."
"We work on it more than anybody," Pitino said, noting players have to get into the gym on their own.
<iframe src="//widgets.boxxspring.com/MzAsNDE4MjUwODI" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>