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Rick Pitino, Wayne Blackshear Preview DePaul

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Rick Pitino


--Vintage DePaul Day:


--This team has a great attitude and a great desire to win. If I had to nitpick, I say that they don't do little things well, and little things sometimes add up and come back to bite you. That's something we're working on a lot before March.

--We're working a lot on verbal communication. Only Peyton and Gorgui are really good at that, so it's something we really need to get better at.

--When you tell Gorgui that something "is the difference between winning and losing" he gets the message right away and works really hard at it. He's from a different culture.

--Doesn't have to tell Wayne to stay extra focused because he's playing back home in Chicago. Only has to do that with Russ when we go to New York.

--DePaul struggled last year and took us to overtime. We've played some great games against them recently. I don't think their record indicates what they're all about. They play very similar to the way we do.

--Doesn't know who Jerry Palm is.

--Thinks the Bracketologists who have Louisville at a three or a four are in the ballpark. If we win out, it's definitely possible for the team to still get a one seed. However, it would be very, very difficult to win out.

--I don't care what seed we are. I really don't. I think we'll be a high seed, but I don't really care if it's a two, three, four or five.

--The only time I really think seeding matters is the first round, since a one seed has never lost to a 16 seed. But I think that could happen this year. None of the one seeds are going to be overpowering, except for maybe Indiana.

--Has a dinner bet with his son Chris that Gonzaga will be a No. 1 seed. He thinks they will be, Chris doesn't because of their conference.

--It would be great if the team played in the tournament in Lexington. If I had my choice we would go to Lexington, but I'm not counting on it.

--I care about seeding, I just don't think it's that significant after the first round.

--It's always been really important to me at Kentucky and Louisville to do really well in the conference tournament. I think having success puts teams in the right mindset, and you always want to play as many games as possible. I don't buy any of that nonsense about teams getting worn down. In the old days that was true, but now there are so many TV timeouts that guys don't get tired.

--DePaul has a lot of upperclass talent and one of the best coaches in the country in Oliver Purnell. I'm not sure what's not clicking for them, but they've also been in a lot of tough games. If they beat us it will be because they played better than us, not because we were overlooking them. We have great respect for DePaul and we will not overlook them.

--The team was supposed to travel to Chicago tonight, but the weather there might force them to wait until tomorrow.

--Our philosophy in recruiting has been to never again be in this position where we have such poor outside shooting.

Wayne Blackshear


--His closest relatives and his old high school coach at Morgan Park will be at the game tomorrow. He'll try to play well in front of his friends and family

--Knows a few of the guys on the DePaul team like Brandon Young. Those guys are cool.

--We're playing really well right now. There are a few things we have to sharpen up on, but we're going in the right direction.

--We haven't talked at all about winning the conference title. If you look ahead at all in this league, you're going to get beat.

--We know that we're in the top 10 right now. We want to be higher like we were earlier in the season, but that's their opinion. All we can do is go out, compete and win games.

--Thinks Indiana is the best team he's seen this season. They get after it every game.

--Has no problem playing the four if he has to.

--His friends and family will probably be looking for him to shoot a lot, but he's just going to stay calm and do the best he can.

--It's tough for anyone going home because you know it's the only chance a lot of people you care about are going to have to see you play. Anyone who tells you they don't care more about playing well in front of their family is lying.

--DePaul's a good team. They play a style like ours, they press a lot. They're a tough team.

--DePaul was on his radar when he was being recruited, but "not seriously in there." They were down for a few years but now they're picking it up.