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Rick Pitino And Stephan Van Treese Preview Oregon


Rick Pitino


--We've needed the extra week to prepare for this team more than any other we've played this season because they play so many different styles.

--Everyone is talking about Florida Gulf Coast and their Cinderella story right now, but this Oregon team is "maybe the most underrated team in the history of the tournament."

--People would be really surprised how physical Oregon is. You don't expect that from a team out of the pac-12, but they're really physical.

--I've talked to five different coaches who have played Oregon this season, including Travis Ford (Oklahoma State lost to Oregon in the first round), who was at practice yesterday.

--The speed and quickness of this Oregon team is different than any other team we've faced this season.

--We were ready to go on Saturday because our players knew just how good Colorado State was. By Friday, they'll know exactly how good Oregon is.

--When you watch us on film, you don't get a real appreciation for what we do, and Oregon is the same way. The biggest thing Travis told me was, "don't judge them by what you see on film, because they are way more physical."

--Arsalan Kazemi is very long, very physical and he pursues the basketball extremely well. He also has guard skills. He can get the ball off the rebound and dribble the ball the length of the court.

--What we had with Russ Smith last year, that's what Lloyd gives Oregon off the bench. People have talked a lot about Dominic Artis and the team struggling when he was hurt, but Lloyd was the MVP of the Pac-12 Tournament.

--They take the ball out of the net and get the ball up the court extremely quickly, which makes it very difficult to get into your press. In that regard, they're a lot like that North Carolina team we had so much trouble pressing a few years ago.

--We played our best game of the season against Colorado State and we're going to need a similar effort to beat Oregon.

--I think the watershed moment for our guys was the five OT loss at Notre Dame. They played so hard in that game, but just didn't finish the job mentally. I told them after the game that if you're going to put forth that much effort, then you have to get better mentally. I told them you have to be as strong mentally as you are physically.

--Moving Kevin Ware to point guard has really helped him improve his skills because he's had more of an opportunity to run pick-and-rolls during practice.

--Stephan Van Treese is the best rebounder on the team. He's also the best screener and he runs the floor better than anyone on the team. We're not playing Stephan just to give Gorgui a rest right now, because we don't lose anything when Stephan Van Treese comes into the game.

--The players I have right now are no different than the players I had in '87. They act the same, they work hard and they have fun. Players that come here know exactly the way we are with classes and hard work and discipline, and they buy into it.

--It doesn't surprise me that Andy Enfield is being successful. He has a very good basketball mind, he's very analytical.

--People don't believe it because we're the higher seed, but this is a coin flip game with Oregon.

--When our players leave here they are well-versed and well-disciplined in the game of life. They know how to work and what to expect by the time they leave. My players are my best friends. It's a love affair with these guys that you get to know and then stay close with for the rest of your life.

--Agree with Jay Bilas that the game needs to be officiated tighter. You can't keep having these guys holding cutters and limiting the freedom of movement. Officials don't want to call a thousand fouls and stop the flow of the game, so this has to be something that starts at the top of the officiating chain during the offseason.

--I think the Sweet 16 is the most fun round of any of them, because you're one game away from playing for the dream of making the Final Four.

--I think my success in the Sweet 16 has to do with the fact that I've had better teams in those games. In this one, I think it's going to come down to who does the little things and who plays the best defense.

Stephan Van Treese


--It's going to be awesome to go back and play at home. Indy's a great town and they love their basketball. A bunch of friends and family have asked for tickets, but I've only got four to give. My grandma, my parents and my brother or uncle will be coming.

--My family loves wearing the Van Treese jerseys. That's something they started doing my sophomore year.

--(On who looks better in their jersey, his grandma or Siva's dad) "I'm gonna have to go with my grandma."

--I kind of figured I was going to start getting more playing time because I knew Gorgui was getting tired. Coach texted me the other day to tell me how proud he was of the way I've been playing.

--I really felt like I could have helped the team last season because Swop was having to play out of position at center sometimes.

--Coach just tells me I have to be the best rebounder on the floor and try to get every rebound I can. If I don't then he gets really angry with me.

--Mike Marra is helping to chart the deflections right now, and I've been arguing with him a lot about how many I've been getting. I convinced him the other day that I deserved a steal for one deflection.

--If you've played big minutes in the first half and not gotten many deflections, coach is going to get on you at halftime and you're probably not going to play as much in the second half.

--Just from seeing them on tape, I don't think Oregon is a 12 seed.

--Part of our philosophy is definitely to wear teams down and get them to make mistakes they wouldn't ordinarily because they're tired.

--This is the strongest I've been since I've been here. I go out there and try to be the strongest, most physical guy on the court.

--I think the college game definitely gets too physical sometimes.

--My parents wouldn't let me play football growing up because they thought I'd get hurt.

--We're watching a lot more film when we're on the road than we were during the regular season.

--The team record for individual deflections is 16 by I think Peyton or Russ in the game against North Carolina A&T. That's ridiculous.