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Rick Pitino Talks Indiana Win And Previews UNCW

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

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--It's always a special time of the year when the Billy Minardi Classic rolls around, and it's especially special this year with Kevin Keatts coming back. He was around here for a lot of great moments, he was a part of a national championship, and we're really excited to have him back in town and to play UNCW.

--UNCW is a team that can score a lot of points and that is in the top 10 nationally in a few offensive categories. You've all been watching college basketball the last couple of weeks and you've seen all the upsets with dangerous teams like this. You have to take care of business on the defensive end and take good shots on offense.

--UNCW does everything we do in terms of changing defenses and pressing. We've had some time to prepare for them, and that's a good thing.

--They don't do much of the same stuff that we do on offense.

--Our players have seen all these upsets, and they know they have to be focused. If you don't take care of business defensively early in a game, these teams can gain confidence and feel like they can play with you.

--We told our guys at halftime of the Indiana game that we could not leave their shooters open so much. We thought that if we kept playing that torrid pace that generally weary legs make shots difficult.

--We've been working on our passing, and I think good spacing and good passing led to good offense on Tuesday.

--Mangok's ankle is still sore. We were not planning on playing him in that game against Indiana, but Nanu just did not pay any attention to the scouting report defensively and it was hurting us. Mangok gave us great effort and we needed it.

--Both Chris and Terry were spectacular. A 5'9 point guard grabbed nine rebounds. It was a great atmosphere, even though we were outnumbered, and it was a great offensive basketball contest.

--It was big for Shaqquan to get that decision in the background, but we have to figure out whether or not he can play for us. He's got to get a lot better. Sometimes guys don't play in practice to the best of their ability when they're redshirting or sitting out because they're not as motivated, so he's now just taking an active part in the team and we'll see what he can do. He's improving, but he's still not understanding what we want offensively or defensively. Ultimately, I think he can play more two than three because he's so weak.

--No one in our program is entitled to anything. Everything you get here, you earn. Even though we live in a culture of entitlement, we don't buy into that. Montrezl Harrell has earned every minute, Jones and Rozier earn every minute. Nobody is entitled to anything here.

--I was glad Russ got sent down for a couple of games because he needed to play. Practices in the NBA are so short, that sometimes when you're on a bench and you're not playing in games, you go stale.

--Chris Jones was in unbelievable physical condition for that Indiana game.

--Regarding Billy Minardi, it's like anything else: you move on, but the name stays forever. It's part of a dormitory and a tournament here, and it's very special to celebrate his legacy. We always try to get a team in here that knows or has some affiliation with the history. Kevin definitely knows that. We always give gifts, and we let Kevin pick out the gifts this year.

--I think Kevin will take his biggest jump next year because he has four players sitting out and he had a great recruiting class. Kev's gonna do a great job there. He's one of the best assistants I've had because he can do everything. He's the total package, and we really miss him here. UNCW is very lucky to have him.

--That Indiana game taught us a lot about the 3-point shot and how you have to guard it. But passing and spacing were the things that allowed us to shoot a great percentage, and that's something that was absent a couple of weeks ago.

--We're working overtime on our free-throw shooting. We probably take 100 in the middle of practice, and that's also helping us with our blocking out and our offensive rebounding.

--We did a lot of great things at the end of that Indiana game when it came time to run the clock and make good decisions. It was a great game and a great atmosphere.

--Wayne is not just a spot-up jump shooter anymore like he was last year. He made some great passes to Montrezl on the interior. I don't care about Wayne's shooting, I care about the fact that he played really poor defense in the first half. He gave up those threes because he kept trying to help. But Wayne played a terrific game.

--Mangok and the four starters played really well. Anas played well too. Nanu did not play well. He hasn't played well the last couple of games because he has not been adhering to the scouting report. He's been having some freshman-itis.

--Anas has great skills. We're trying to change his jump shot now so that he shoots it higher and can get it off. It's a terrible habit, I don't know why he would shoot it from down there. Q does it too. They're shooting out so the ball comes out with a low trajectory, we're trying to get them to shoot up. Terry has corrected the same thing and it's really helped him.