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Rick Pitino postgame quotes

Courtesy of U of L.

(Opening Statement) "With the two teams Marquette and Cincinnati, obviously the Conference USA teams know each other so well that it is the one thing with the BIG EAST. When we call a play they yell it back because we all know each other so well. That is why our defense has to prevail and our guys did a great job defensively tonight."

(On Louisville's bye in the BIG EAST tournament) "We did not talk about that with the players because you do not like to give them silver and bronze medal goals. Certainly it is a big factor you do not want to have to win five games to win a championship. Now you can win three and win a championship that certainly helps. Especially going through the type of season everyone has to go through in the BIG EAST."

(On Louisville's halftime) "I told them at halftime you guys are acting like you are down by 13. They were playing really good defense and we know each other really well. The only statistic that Bill Russell ever worried about was the final score; when you play against a Marquette or someone that really knows you have to be consumed with the final score. Right now your up three, not down 13. Even when you think you are playing well it is not important, the final score is the only thing that matters. We came out and we were ready to play at the start of the second half. We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the beginning by their guards, which hurt us. We did a very good job with our pressure, in our zone, man and full court. We play our zone so different than most. It is played almost like a half court trap."

(On Andre McGee) "He had a great game tonight. I was concerned I was playing him too many minutes. I could see that he was getting tired and cramping. We could not get beat off the dribble, that is how we get into foul trouble. Twill was getting into foul trouble; Samardo (Samuels) was getting into foul trouble because our guys were getting beat off the dribble. We had to have him out there."

Andre did some good things, he is a good spot up shooter. Andre is having a great senior year. He is the unsung hero of our basketball team. We talk about it almost every game. He is the one who applies all the pressure; who takes the other team off their offense; he is the one who forces the opposition against the shot clock. He is the unsung hero by far."

(On Louisville's deflections) "We did okay. They are a great deflection team as well. The good thing about our basketball team we have had 90 the past couple of games. We can play fast and we can play slow. If we are in a fight against Pittsburgh and Marquette we can hold our own. If we are in a running game we can hold our own. We have to improve our foul shooting no question about that. Especially Samardo, because he is going to get fouled a lot. We are doing a very good job."

(On the White Suit) "My wife's mom passed away, she was a great lady and a big basketball fan. I wore it in her honor because she was such a great fan of our basketball team. There is an element of fun in this game. Even though it is a fight in the BIG EAST we have fun with this."

(On Twill's performance) "He is playing well. You see they switch to zone and triangle and two, Twill threads the needle and gets you easy shots. Andre and Twill did so many things to help us out tonight in so many phases of the game."

(On Louisville's seniors) "I think they are very bright people, they both understand the game. These two guys are so smart as well as being such hard workers. They are good leaders. They are both consistent in practice and in the game. All three seniors bring us a lot to the table. They have meant a lot to this program in so many different ways. Will (Scott) is so selfless and always positive. He has the best personality every single night. He is positive and always upbeat whether he plays one second or all game. He always has the same personality. He helps everyone academically. He is a like a tutor to everybody. He has been a joy to be around for the time he has been here. Andre (McGee) is and has been fun to coach for four years now. He has had the same disposition, up beat and positive the entire way. Twill has grown as a player and also as person. You like to see that. Will and Andre came in as wonderful people. Twill has grown into a wonderful person. I do not know what has gotten better with him. His basketball game has caught up with his athleticism. That is what college is supposed to do, but it does not always work out that way. It is supposed to be wonderful and you are supposed to learn the facts of life and he has. He came in a little surly and a little moody at times. We sat down in meetings and talked about if you do not have fun in the game it is not worth playing. You are basically auditioning for a future commercial with your personality. If that is the way you treat every basketball game, every situation, every interview, every discussion then you are always going to win the game away from the lines. That is where he has made tremendous strides in the last few years. He did not want to talk; he did not want to do those things, now you cannot get him to be quiet."

(On Jerel McNeal's shooting ability) "We did not want to give him the three. We knew he was going to beat us off the dribble. We rotated pretty well. We did foul a little too much, but we rotated. We just really wanted to pressure the three point shooters. The only guys we did not to a great job on, late when they penetrated and threw it back out. That is a very tough thing to defend. Overall we did a very good job of that."