Rick And Russ Talk Injuries, Game At Pittsburgh

Rick Pitino

--Kyle Kuric's status (high ankle sprain) for tomorrow night's game against Pitt will be a game-time decision.

--Pittsburgh is 0-6 in the Big East, but they've played really well in their last two games and are always extremely hard to beat at home.

--Kevin Ware did not practice the last two days because of his knee injury. He will probably practice today, but probably won't play in the Pitt game.

--Elisha Justice is healthy and will play against Pitt.

--Wit Rock out, the staff has advised him to play Chane Behanan at the five when Gorgui's out, but Pitino is going to give Zach Price a shot. Zach's not ready to play right now, but he feels like he has no other choice.

--Gorgui still doesn't know how to play when he's in foul trouble, so he thinks they're better off just letting him go and play as usual.

--Wayne Blackshear still has not practiced. His shoulder injury still isn't healed and now he's dealing with some asthma-related issues. For the first time, Pitino mentions the possibility of a redshirt. Says if it becomes clear that he can't make a difference then they'll go ahead and sit him for the rest of the year.

--Stephan Van Treese has not made much progress with his knee injury. Pitino guesses he won't return this season.

--Angel Nunez has a great attitude and tremendous passion for basketball. He will be a great player.

--Pitino again gushes over Luke Hancock. Says he is the best player on the team. "I've never coached anyone quite like him before."

--You can't look ahead and pinpoint potential wins and losses in a conference like the Big East. He doesn't know where the wins are going to come from, but he's confident because of this team's tremendous attitude. "Our attitude is our biggest ally right now."

--Again talks about there being "no bottom" in this league.

--Asked if he's confident about today (implication is the Derek Willis decision): "No, not at all, but I could have told you that two weeks ago."

Russ Smith

--Injuries are definitely on everybody's mind. "We're all just hoping we're not next."

--Rock has been his roommate since he got here, and he feels terribly for him. He was finally starting to get back and for that to happen has really crushed him.

--Everyone's been really surprised by the injuries. People are all sort of sitting around in the locker room now just wondering what's going on and hoping it doesn't happen to us.

--Kevin hurt his knee. We all thought it would be something he'd be able to just shake off, but that isn't the case.

--Has never played at Pitt but knows it's a tough place to play.

--Definitely looks at the schedule and where potential wins come from. Knows we play Pitt twice, which makes this game that much bigger. We have to get them at least once.

--Didn't play much last year, so feels like he's pretty much a freshman now. Knows he's still learning, still getting better and still has a long way to go.

--Knows he has a problem with taking shots that he shouldn't and not seeing open men. He's not being selfish, it's just something he's working on.

--Gorgui and Chane staying out of fol trouble and staying in the game is the biggest key for this team.

--Doesn't know if Kyle's going to play tomorrow, but knows Kyle's a competitor. If he does play, "I'll look for him in the left corner."

--A lot of people are surprised with the way teams like South Florida and Rutgers are playing, but our team isn't. We know how the Big East is.

--Knows that Pitt plays physical, especially at home. That's something the team has been preparing for all week.

--Loves late afternoon and night games, so he can't wait for tomorrow night.

--Doesn't pay much attention to his changing role, just tries to step up when he is needed.

--(Asked about if he worries about making mistakes and making coach angry) "Definitely. I don't like upsetting him. I don't like upsetting the staff. I don't want to get on any of my teammates' bad side."

--Says he's always asking what he's doing wrong because he genuinely wants to know. He's always asking to see game film and he's getting better at recognizing the things he needs to work on.

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