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(Hooded) Rick Pitino And Chris Jones Preview Cornell

Andy Lyons

Hooded Rick Pitino


--Cornell shoots the ball very well and they run their offense very well. They have a really good freshman point guard and some great pieces around him. They'll do a little bit of that same "burn offense" that Notre Dame utilizes. They're a very good team, and their record isn't going to dictate that early in the season.

--We're not ready to play in a tournament yet like that Champions Classic that everyone watched the other night. We're not ready to defend at that level yet.

--In the next few days we're going to announce our signing class. We've recruited guys who have the "boom" factor.

--Last year we were ready for the Battle 4 Atlantis, but this year we've had a lot of distractions.

--Whenever we do get to talk about the recruiting class, I'm really excited with the guys we're bringing in.

--It's not that our team is unwilling to communicate on defense, they just don't understand how to right now. They'll get it, it's just going to take some time.

--(Asked if he thinks about going undefeated) I'm on a one day contract. I really believe in that. These games right now scare me far more than Kentucky or North Carolina, because if you're not ready and you lose one of them, they have huge implications for the rest of your season. I won't sleep tonight because I'm so worried about Cornell, but I'll sleep like a baby before some of the "bigger" games later on.

--(On Kentucky and the 40-0 talk) I don't think John (Caliapri" said anything about going 40-0, he just said he wanted to coach an undefeated team one day. I think it was the fans who made those shirts, and I don't think John got a cut of those profits. I like our fans making shirts, I just like them to make them about accomplishments in the past. It'll save them money.

--We've worked really hard in two areas: not turning the ball over and adjusting to the new rules. We were turning the ball over like crazy in the preseason and obviously we've done a good job of taking care of the ball in our first two games. I've been officiating in practice and calling a foul any time there's a hand on a body. We've gotten really good at it...of course now we'll probably foul 100 times in tomorrow night's game.

--I love coaching Chris Jones. He has tremendous spirit and it's amazing that he hasn't turned the ball over with it in his hands that much. He's physically so strong, and I think he'll be a pro. Size doesn't matter with him because of his body and strength.

--"If I'm an NBA coach and I need a boost off the bench, I'm not calling Ghostbusters, I'm calling Russ Smith or Chris Jones."

Unhooded Chris Jones


--(On how he doesn't have any turnovers) Because I'm just keeping it simple. I've been listening to Coach P and you know he's going to put you in a position to succeed. It also helps having guys around you who can shoot it.

--(On why he had so many more turnovers in Junior College) I think it's because I have so many more playmakers around me here. I used to be asked to score so much that people knew I would do things like over penetrate and they could jump the passing lanes and get steals. Having all this talent around you definitely makes it easier.

--It took me about two months to get into shape after I got here. Having guys like Terry and Anton around to push you every day really helped.

--The point guard can't panic when other teams make runs, because the rest of the guys are going to go as you go. You have to stay calm and the people around you will feed off of that.

--Kevin (Ware) was a little upset when he didn't play the other night, but he knows that coach sees a bigger future for him down the road and that's why he's waiting until he's all the way back.

--I think I've become a better leader since I've gotten here. Coach has really drilled that into me.

--I need to get better on my three-point shooting. I lean to the right sometimes when I miss, and I have to fix that.

--After I missed so many free-throws in the exhibitions, I had to make 25 in a row on both ends of the court before I was allowed to leave practice. It took a while the first time, but then I got it down.

--Talks with Peyton Siva a decent amount about things they do and how he can improve. Peyton has told him that he has a stronger body and can finish in the lane with contact better than he could.

--If we rebound better, I don't think there's anyone we can't beat. We just have to get better off the backboard.