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Rick Pitino Talks Providence Game, Loss To Notre Dame

A surprisingly upbeat presser centered around the notion of the Big East being a marathon where you can't get too up or too down at any point.


--With the exception of Syracuse, the Big East is going to be a marathon for a lot of teams. Besides the Orange, every team in the league is going to have major ups and major downs.

--Losing two home games certainly puts us in a hole, but there's no team I'd rather fight out of a hole with than this team.

--"I've known our problems from day one." Knew we were going to miss Preston's shooting and that's been obvious. We have to work more on scoring inside because we're not the 3-point threat we once were.

--The second foul on Gorgui (in the Notre Dame game) was a phantom call. That's my problem with Big East officiating. They let so much go and then call a touch foul that puts an important player on the bench.

--We have to keep Gorgui out of foul trouble and in the game.

--Chane and Gorgui are both improving. Rock is also getting healthier. Our front court is getting a lot better.

--It's evident right now that Syracuse is the only team in the conference that's separated from the rest of the group. The conference season is going to be a grind for everyone else.

--We're going to have to be a great road team, and I told the guys that after the game on Saturday. I think we can be a great team, even with an extremely difficult schedule.

--Georgetown beat us, we blew the Notre Dame game.

--(They'll be recognizing the '87 Providence Final Four team on Tuesday.) That team was very important to me. "That team forever made me dream." Has always felt like his teams could make a dramatic comeback or win a number of games late in the season because of that team. That team made me believe that anything was possible because they defied all logic and all odds.

--Sort of knew before this season that this would be the one team that wouldn't use the 3-point shot as much as I have in my career before. That's why everyone we're recruiting now can shoot the three. We don't want to be in this position again.

--That '05 team should tell you how important the 3-point shot is. We had six and-a-half players and made a Final Four.

--We have to rely on defense and scoring in the post in order to win games. It'll just be for this year, but that's how we have to play right now.

--He didn't play well the other night, but I've got a lot of confidence in Peyton Siva. Prior to him getting hurt, he was playing lights out, he was unstoppable. Then he suffered a serious ankle injury and hasn't been the same. I've seen glimpses of him coming back to that level - not the other night - but I do think he will make it back. When he does make it back this team will also jump to another level.

--I don't think this team has any glaring weaknesses, but they don't have any overwhelming strengths either. This is a solid basketball team that works very hard and they're going to improve. It doesn't help that we have a death march on the road in the Big East.

--Defenses are taking away Chris Smith's game and he's got to learn to do other things. Chris is a solid basketball player, but now he has to learn to do other things on the court that don't necessarily show up in a box score.

--We've got to get Kevin Ware playing more because he can do things that no one else on the team can do. He's a very good defensive player and I'm surprised he hasn't done more defensively during games. Thinks he's being too tentative because he joined the team late.

--We spend an inordinate amount of time on free-throws.

--Luke Hancock has been great for us in practice.

--Anybody who listens to a sports talk show for intelligence needs to read a book, have a glass of wine and go to bed. No one should look to gain knowledge from a talk show.

--Kyle Kuric gets more out of what he has than anyone on the team. I'd like to see him do more and we're designing some things for him to get more opportunities on offense. He's the classic overachiever I've had in my ten years here. He's gotten more out of his ability than anyone I've coached at Louisville.

--We lost to Providence last year and they're better this year than they were then.

--Anyone in the Big East can beat anyone else this year and that wasn't the case last season. The bottom third is much better--at least I hope it is because we're in the bottom third.