U of L v. UK pre-game comments

University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, along with Terrence Williams and David Padgett, visited with the local media on Friday to discuss Saturday afternoon's big matchup with in-state rival Kentucky.

Rick Pitino

On Kentucky:

They are a very experienced basketball team. They are starting juniors and seniors, and one very talented freshman. They have a lot of experience. They are tough to defend because Randolph Morris has improved so much. We certainly have our work cut out for us defensively.

On the type of tempo he'd like:

We'd like to play fast all the time. I think both teams will look to fast break and take it when it's there, but try to run their offense when they don‘t have it.

On Andre McGee's return from injury:

He was a little sore. It'll take him a few games to get back, but he'll play in the game. He practiced this morning, but he won't play this afternoon.

On Derek Caracter:

He matches up great with everybody offensively and he matches up bad with everybody defensively.

We are not holding anything against him by what he did in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades and we're not giving him any credit for anything. We are judging him solely on what he does in practice and what he earns and deserves in practice.

On why Derek Caracter didn't receive more minutes against Massachusetts:

We were down in the game and we needed Padgett's passing and defense was a premium. When you are down by that many, you can't take a chance at the foul line and you can't take a chance defensively. You need good defense - that's the only way that you can come back in the game.

On the amount of concern displayed by the fans and media since the loss to UMass:

I'm much more critical of myself then anybody else is of me. That's the first point. I felt that the University of Massachusetts outplayed us and out coached us the other night. We broke down every single film and we developed a scouting plan to stop their interior because they were shooting 60 percent and give them a late challenged shot. They made the shots, got up and our scouting backfired. Very similar to what we did when we played West Virginia to get to the Final Four. We tore up our scouting report - it happens all the time. We changed it at halftime, made a great comeback, but we were just basically out of gas fighting for every little possession to try to come back in the game. We give credit where credit is due and they outplayed us.

Criticism does not bother me at all - at the end of the year I will evaluate it. I was more upset with the UMass game then just about any game around, because of the emotion of the game and not because we lost the game. That game bothered me from a personal and emotional standpoint. It bothered me, but I'm over it now and everything else. I understand this game. When I look at coaches and how unhappy they are sometimes, I say, ‘why stay in it.' That's not going to happen to me and it did happen to me in Boston, so there's nothing that you can write, there's nothing that you can say - to get me not to love coaching. I love coaching, I love teaching my guys and I want to see perfection. I want to see them become a great basketball team.

Terrence Williams

On the importance of winning against Kentucky:

This game is very important for us as a program to try to win a game. Three losses is too many to give to Coach P I feel, so we owe him this game and we owe the fans the game because we lost at home.

On the fans reaction to three early season losses:

I haven't got one bad comment from a Louisville fan, I get, ‘you guys need to keep your head up and you guys will be fine.' Sometimes at games you hear boo's and stuff like that. I've said before, I play for Coach Pitino. I don't play for the city of Louisville, I play for Coach Pitino. I came here to play for that man and do whatever he wants me to do - run through walls or whatever it may be.

David Padgett

On the important of getting a win:

Getting back on the winning track is the most important thing. Right now we are 5-3 and obviously the goal is to be 6-3 and then by try to be 11-3 by the time conference comes around. The Big East isn't easy, so we are focusing on each and every game and not looking past anybody or looking forward more to anyone more then the others.

On facing Randolph Morris:

He's having a great year so far. He's playing well right now and he's probably one of the better centers in the country. He's worked hard on his game. It's not going to be easy, but at the same time he has four guys around him who are just as good that we have to worry about. We have to worry more about the team then just one person.


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