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Rick Pitino Talks Syracuse Loss, Previews Villanova Game

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE


--The thing that's unique about the Big East is all the different styles. It's easier to win on the road than in other leagues, but you can also lose to anyone.

--"Our game was a great college basketball game."

--Peyton really struggles against Syracuse. Their length really bothers him. We're going to have to make some changes the next time we play them because he can't play the same way he plays against other zones.

--I haven't seen too many games where we've given it away. Not that they couldn't have won it on their own, but we didn't give them a chance to. Wayne not dunking the ball at the end was difficult to watch. Peyton did a couple of great things at the end. He didn't hang his head (after the turnover) and raced the ball down the floor.

--This isn't a traditional Villanova team that plays three or four guards. They have terrific size.

--Brandon Triche surprised us a little bit. We knew he could shoot the three, but we didn't know he had that type of range. I'm not sure he knew it.

--There's a number of things you have to do to beat Syracuse. One of them is not let them get on the break. We limited them to five fast breaks. Another is not the turn the ball over. We only had five turnovers. When you see those two numbers, you're supposed to win the game.

--"We should have won that game, and we gave it away."

--I was devastated with that loss because of the way we lost the game. It really bothered me.

--Peyton made a decision to go away from the play we'd drawn up. He made a decision to go right, and if he does that he can't pass the ball.

--I don't think losses help you, I really don't. This team's not devastated by the loss, I was devastated for them. They said they were disappointed that they didn't execute, but not devastated. Except Luke Hancock, he said he was devastated.

--If he had to do it over again, he would have had Peyton spot up on that final possession and put the ball in Luke or Russ' hands. The length doesn't bother Russ as much.

--About 30 percent of Villanova's points come from the free-throw line. They're very similar to Marquette.

--I'm totally against coaches yelling at officials all the time during the game. What really bugs me is officials talking to a coach while the game is going on. Let the referees do their job. Digger Phelps disagreed on a recent show, and I didn't agree with anything Digger said. The referring today is so schooled that they don't react to the crowd or coaches, and that's why there's not as much of a homecourt advantage as there was in past years.

--Gorgui has to get more points off of offensive rebounds. We need him to get about six points per game doing that. I think Gorgui is having a very good year, and I think he'll be a lot better once he gets that cast off. He could get it off as early as today.

--Luke and Wayne are starting to come into their own. I think they both just had to get over their shoulder injuries. Wayne told me that he didn't notice waking up without shoulder pain until two weeks ago.

--I look at Wayne as a freshman because he became eligible at the end of last season. He's no different than Montrezl.

--Gorgui has to get more arc on his shot, and he's working on that. He's a front-rim shooter, and you can't be a front-rim shooter when you're five feet away from the basket.

--I think we're a good basketball team, but I don't think we're a very great basketball team. That said, I haven't seen a great team in college basketball yet this season. There are some very good teams that are going to evolve into great teams over the next six weeks, and I hope we're one of them.

--I don't agree with the stance that we're the most complete team in the country. I think we're good, but I don't think we're complete until guys like Wayne and Luke start rebounding and Gorgui is 100%.

--Peyton has a professional attitude. He was in a jovial mood on Sunday. He just said, "I won't do that again" and he moved right non.

--We don't get too down after losses. Besides Peyton and Luke, these guys aren't basketball junkies. If you gave them a chice between playing 3-on-3 at the gym and doing something else, guys like Kevin Ware, Wayne, Chane, Gorgui and Russ are going to do something else. They know that they work hard enough that a loss isn't going to change that much. A guy like Luke Hancock, it really bothers him.

--I've coaches a lot of very good teams, but I've only coached one great team in my life. Kentucky had a great team last year, but I see very few of those teams any more because of the people going pro.

--When I watched the game (Syracuse/Louisville), it was a much better game than I thought live. It was a great college basketball team.

--I think Peyton Siva is way underrated in terms of NBA Draft stock. He reminds me of Jacque Vaughn, except he's becoming a better shooter. I think a lof of guys are missing the boat on him.

Video available at the C-J's site