Quotes from Coach Pitino after yesterday's victory over #14 Kentucky
On his team's three goals against Kentucky:
We had three goals in this game, stop them in transition, which we didn't do in the first half because when you take quick shots that's the best way to break and the second thing we wanted to do was out rebound them, keep them off the glass. Third thing we had to win the three point war. Second half we executed, played great defense, did a better job on the backboard and in transition and we learned a valuable lesson tonight because we won and we learned certain things about transition and certain things about our half court offense.
Early game jitters:
I think our inexperience showed in the first 10 minutes of play with our shot selection. We didn't take bad shots, just quick shots. That got us behind because they are a heck of basketball team. We needed to pass the ball more. It wasn't because of selfishness, it was more because it was such a big game. We came out in the second half and shot the ball well." We didn't execute our offense in the first half. When you shoot a good percentage you get your press on. When you don't shoot the ball well, you don't get your press on. In the second half we were able to do that.
Second half philosophy:
What we try to do, I always equate it to a boxer going to the body, go to the body, go to the body, wear them out, wear them out and in the second half then play your best basketball. And tonight we did. We didn't play very well the first eight minutes but the next 12 and then the next 20 we played great.
This is as good a crowd, a Kansas crowd tonight and everybody was in a frenzy. I saw quite a few blue sweat shirts but you never heard them one time. We never heard them tonight and that was a big factor, strong home court advantage tonight.
His team's work ethic:
Guys focused and practiced well this week. We practiced hard and they enjoyed it. I love that in our players.
Ellis in the second half was a warrior. He knew he was not playing well. He was looking for fouls too much inside and I told him just go up at the rim. Tough people do great things at tough times and he's a tough son of a gun. He reminds me of a Danny Fortson type player. He has a heart as big as Freedom Hall and I'm as proud of Ellis Myles in his changes as a person and his change as a player as much as any player I've ever coached.
Marvin is such a good passer. The reason I am so high on him is because he is such a good passer. He is such a nice young man. He is always 'yes sir', 'no sir.' But I am so proud of all of our players
The Cards being ranked in the Top 25:
We want to be a top 25 program. I normally don't really care until the end, but I think our guys deserve it. We'll embrace this win for a short period because we have Ohio State next week. But this is a big win for us.
His team's play in the post:
We are very good low post team. When you have guys like Gaines, Dean and Garcia, they can make the moves off the low post.