Pitino: Practice habits led to WKU loss

Louisville fans weren't the only ones disappointed with the Cardinals ugly 68-54 loss to WKU Sunday in Nashville. Louisville coach Rick Pitino sounds none too pleased with his team's performance and he says the Cardinals practice habits are to blame.

"Before victory is achieved, you earn it through practice," Pitino wrote on his website, Rick Pitino, on Monday. "We had five practices to get ready for WKU. Although we had only five practices, only one deserved victory. That's a shame.

"Was it the arrogance of mild success? Or the ugly side of ego coming into play? In the twelve step alcohol and drug program ego is described as edging God out. In sports, ego is edging greatness out."

Who knows? What we know is this: Louisville threw up a lot of clunkers against the Hilltoppers. The Cardinals shot just .268 from the field, a measly 15-55 overall.

"Our offense was to create ball movement and attack inside," Pitino explained. "Keep our challenged shots under five. We were 0-12 on challenged shots and our assist total was 8. I've had disappointing losses but none more disappointing than this one. Let's not take a single thing away from a better team that night. Western played with great purpose."

As upset as Pitino was with his team's offensive performance, or lack thereof, the eighth year UofL coach sounded most concerned that the Cardinals were out-rebounded 48-36 by Western Kentucky.

Rick Pitino says his team will practice better
starting 'now'.

"Their 1,2, and 3 men totaled 27 rebounds. Four of our guards Andre, Will, Edgar and Jerry totaled 61 minutes and grabbed 0 rebounds," said Pitino. "They beat us 48-36 on the glass. Without question that is our most glaring weakness. The only real rebounder is T-Will. We must collectively do something about this weakness."

So why did Louisville shoot just 26 percent and get out-rebounded by 12 against the Hilltoppers? How could the nation's third-ranked team lose by 14 to a team that lost by 28 to Murray State late last month?

"In other seasons we could point to injuries or suspensions early on which led to our demise," Pitino said. "Now it is very simple. Practice habits create a winning formula. We did not earn the victory. WKU earned that one. They should be congratulated.

"Very few players can practice without purpose or intensity and suddenly bring it game night. Although Iverson may be the exception from what is rumored. But then again his record since joining the Pistons is 6-6 and there are no Allen Iversons walking through the YUM! Center."

You can bet that the practice session Pitino puts his troops through this week leading up to the three game Marques Maybin Classic won't be for the faint of heart. The Cardinals play three straight days beginning with Saturday's game against Indiana State. Louisville will play Ohio on Sunday and Lamar on Monday night.

"We will improve our practice habits immediately," Pitino vowed. "We have not sustained our intensity on a consistent basis. That all changes today. We apologize to the fans who paid hard earned money and had to witness such poor execution."

The Cardinals are 2-1 on the season.

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