Rick Pitino And Russ Smith Talk Fairleigh Dickinson

Rick Pitino

--Jokingly asks if Russ wants to start off the press conference.

--George Goode was injured quite a bit during his time here and he's healthy and playing well at FDU now. He can score, he can rebound and he can block shots. Knew he'd get a lot playing time at Fairleigh Dickinson and is excited for him.

--Russ Smith probably will not play on Saturday because he slept on his neck wrong. He did not practice on Thursday and he's having trouble turning his head.

--Tim Henderson or Mark Jackson Jr. will be the backup point guard if Russ can't go, probably Henderson.

--Knows he hasn't had a 9-0 start since his '96 Kentucky team. Jokingly says this team reminds him of that team and that anything less than a national championship will be a disappointment.

--We'll start playing our style once we get healthy. In the interim, we're just doing whatever we can to win games.

--Preston Knowles practiced with the team the other day and he was by far the best player on the floor. The offense was outstanding with him, which made it really evident how much this team misses him. That said, he thinks the offense will be fine eventually. We're winning with defense right now because we're banged up.

--Tomorrow will be the first time Peyton will play at 100%.

--Gorgui relies more on his skill level than his explosiveness going to the basket. We're trying to get his jumping ability improved so he can score more around the basket.

--Swop had two really poor defensive practices before the IUPUI game, which is why he didn't play very much. He's practiced well since then so his minutes are going to go back up.

--Stephan Van Treese has the same injury that Festus Ezeli had at Vanderbilt. He's getting better, but he's going to miss a large part of the season. His loss doesn't hurt as much now that Rock is back.

--Was very mad after the IUPUI game, but after watching the tape thinks we played a really good game. We gave them outside shots because the stats told us that was what we were supposed to do.

--Was really mad at Russ after the game, but believe it or not, Russ played really well. He played excellent defense. The thing with Russ is that his mistakes are so glaring that they really stick out and make it seem like he's playing much worse than he is.

--There's no way a Louisville team should ever not be sky-high for a game when they're always playing in front of 20,000 people and always playing on television. You should be up for all games.

--Statistics don't really take on any meaning until you've played 12 games.

--Russ is a great kid. He's witty, he's hilarious and he's unlike any other player we have on the team; he's going to do the things you don't expect. We've just got to get him to find the open man when he's heavily guarded.

--Russ sent Pitino a three-paragraph text after the game apologizing. Pitino thought it was hilarious, but wanted Russ to think he was till mad so he just texted "OK" back.

--Siva is a lot like Tim Tebow. He's a great leader, puts the team first and he's deeply religious. He's one of the top three people I've ever coached.

--David Padgett knows the game as well as anyone, but he's got to make a name for himself as a proven recruiter because that's how you build a name for yourself as an assistant coach.

--Peyton kept calling out plays against IUPUI, and so of course David knew exactly what we were running and was telling all his guys. We've worked on some things to hide our offense on Saturday because both Chris Brickley and George are going to know what we're doing.

--Kevin Keatts and Wyking Jones don't want to to just do what their head coach wants, they want to be difference makers for this program. We haven't had assistant coaches like that recently.

Russ Smith

--I tell coach "I'm sorry" all the time. I usually just take his criticism to heart and try to work harder in practice.

--Can't believe Pitino told everyone about the three-paragraph text message.

--Was trying to go 2-for-1 at the end of the first half, but ended up taking a bad shot that Pitino was really mad about.

--The criticism was hard for him at first, but he's definitely used to it now, especially after last year when he was always in the wrong spot or doing something wrong.

--Playing different positions has really helped him understand where everyone needs to be on the floor.

--He's taken a lot of hard spills the last few games and it's really taken a toll on his upper back. He was in study hall the other day and he started to feel like he couldn't move, which is when he went to the trainer. Not sure if he's going to play on Saturday.

--The more he plays the better he understands what everyone is trying to do and the more comfortable he feels.

--Thinks he's getting better at penetrating to create shots for teammates rather than penetrating to create shots for himself. Hopefully he keeps getting better and really gets it in the next few games. It's easy to see what you're doing wrong when watching film, but its a lot harder when you're on the court and everything is happening so fast.

--Didn't get interviewed much in high school, so this is all still new to him.

--Being undefeated right now at this level and feeling like he's a contributor is the best feeling he's ever had in basketball.

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