Rick Pitino Talks Kentucky Loss, St. John's Game

Video available via the C-J


--The Big East is so unpredictable because of all the different styles. Any team can beat any other team on a given night. St. John's is young and talented and if you let them play the way they want to play then they will beat you.

--Kentucky is the No. 1 defensive team in the country, and that's the reason our offense looked so bad on Saturday. Our offense is fine. We passed up some shots that we should have taken. Our strategy was to try and go inside and get them in foul trouble, and we didn't do that. Our offense looks bad because of some of our individual limitations, but it will be fine.

--You can't judge an offense off of what you see against Kentucky, because they're the premier defensive team in the country.

--Doesn't expect Stephan Van Treese back at all. Thought he'd be back already, and is shocked that he isn't. By the time he's healthy he will have missed so much time that it probably won't even be worth it for him to play. Rock will be way ahead and he probably won't even be able to pass Zach Price in terms of being game ready.

--Expects Wayne back before Van Treese.

--The problem with Wayne is that every time he gets hurt he puts on 15 pounds. We didn't do a very good job monitoring his diet. We should be working on more basketball things with him, but instead we're working almost entirely on getting him back into shape.

--Blackshear would have been ready to play in two weeks if he'd kept his weight in check, but that's our fault, not his.

--Richard says Wayne will be a "worthy substitute at best" when he gets back into playing shape.

--Kevin Ware is a lot better than he's shown. One day soon he's going to play about 20 minutes and blow people away. We're working on playing him a little bit more at the two.

--The offense on Saturday wasn't circulating around Russ, but Russ was the only one who could score against Kentucky.

--Peyton Siva did not do what he was supposed to against UK. We wanted to go inside more, and when we did go inside the offense looked good. Peyton used the high pick-and-roll too much.

--Didn't agree with the Chane Behanan technical. The referee told him he threw the ball at Terrence Jones, when in reality all he did was flip it on the ground. If he'd seen what actually happened then he would have protested the call more.

--Thought the Peyton Siva call at midcourt where he got to the ball first and then collided with Doron Lamb was awful. Still, Kentucky had some bad calls go against them too. It was a foul fest, an ugly game, but it wasn't the referees, everyone was fouling.

--Can't believe that Anthony Davis was a 58% free-throw shooter going into the game. Not only did he make 12-of-13 from the stripe, but his stroke looked really good. He looked like a much, much better shooter than 58% and he really made us pay for fouling him so much.

--Kentucky did what a lot of other teams are now going to do against Kyle Kuric, which is just shadow him and not let him get an open outside shot. Is he capable of doing more? Maybe not. The same can be said of Chris Smith. They both knew they were going to be played that way, and they didn't do anything about it.

--Guys with great length bother Kyle, and Kidd-Gilchrist is extremely long.

--Peyton Siva and Russ Smith did not help with rebounding at all. It was 3-on-4 on the glass every possession.

--Russ was the only guy we had capable of scoring in the game. Everyone else got taken out of their game.

--Not sure where U of L stacks up in the Big East right now.

--This is one of the hardest-working teams I've coached, but we're still limited in a lot of ways. Rakeem Buckles is still not 100%. Kevin Ware is still learning. Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith are not playing well because they're allowing teams to take them out of their games.

--We only had one guy playing well on Saturday and we still kept the game close because of incredible effort. But incredible effort isn't enough to beat a team like Kentucky. You're not going to beat a team like Syracuse on pure effort either. It's got to be effort and execution.

--Really proud of the guys though. We got taken to the woodshed on the glass and still gave an incredible effort and really competed.

--(Asked about guys from New York playing poorly or trying to do too much when playing in New York) "What's Russ gonna do? Take more shots? How can he?"

--"Russ is Russ. If Russ went down to the YMCA he would try to take every shot." Not too much bothers Russ.

--Chris Smith is trying to do things he's not capable of. Last year he fed off of ball screens, moving without the ball and faking. When he gets back to playing to his strengths, he'll be an effective player again.

--Chris and Kyle kind of fall under the same umbrella. They have to understand that Preston's gone. Last year they were the beneficiaries of everyone keying on Peyton and Preston. Now that Preston's gone, they're the ones being shadowed and they're not handling it well. They can't beat people off the dribble, they have to work hard without the basketball, and hopefully they learned that lesson from the Kentucky game.

--These next four games are crucial for us. If we don't come away with four W's it's going to be a fight to the finish, just like it has been a lot of other years recently.

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