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Rick Pitino Previews Florida International

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Highlights from this afternoon's press conference:

--We only have one day of prep for FIU, so today is really important.

--Mangok Mathiang will not play against Florida International, and will be out at least another week.

--Nothing new on the Shaqquan Aaron front.

--The cold bug has hit the team so there are a few guys under the weather, but they'll be ready to play tomorrow. We can't have a hangover after a big win over Ohio State. We have to be ready to win with defense again.

--This is the most advanced team defensively at this point in the season that I've ever coached. That said, we're way behind offensively. I think our problems on offense stem from our passing. This is a team that doesn't understand ball movement that well, but that's something we're working on.

--It was good to go against a team that played all zone on Tuesday. We're going to see some different presses from FIU and about 30 different defenses from Indiana next week.

--I wasn't planning on using Anas on Tuesday, but he stepped up really big. The most important thing he did was alter a lot of shots. That's something we've been working on with our bigs a lot.

--Matz speaks English fluently, but I made the mistake of thinking that meant he understood everything I was saying, which isn't the case. He speaks it very well, but he doesn't understand it particularly well, which was the same thing with Gorgui.

--Montrezl and Terry have done a great job of passing the culture down. Montrezl will jump on you if you're not playing hard enough, he leads in a different way, but he does a great job of it. He gets on guys at halftime before I get in there and let's them know if they're not playing hard enough or making too many mental mistakes.

--Chris Jones needs to put his phone away for two weeks, because he's got phone overload. He reads everything everyone says about him. He's a product of this generation times 10. If he would lose that phone for two weeks, I guarantee he'd start playing better basketball, because he's giving us great effort and great play on the defensive end.

--Chris is a good shooter, but he's just been taking challenged shots. When he takes good shots, he's probably the best shooter on the team.

--We weren't looking inside enough against the zone on Tuesday and our ball movement on the whole was very poor. Terry saved our butts with dribble penetration, where he went into seams and created easy shots for other people. We didn't get that from anyone else.

--With the exception of giving D'Angelo Russell his left hand two or three times in the second half, we were pretty close to flawless on the defensive end.

--The one thing I have to get on this team about is not worrying about missed shots. It's all about winning and we have to do that with defense.

--I thought Montrezl played a great game, and he was all upset after the game because he missed three free-throws. I told him you can't worry about that. Your team just won a big game, and you are, in my estimation, the front-runner for Player of the Year. I don't see anyone better than him. I see guys who are maybe just as good, but I don't see anyone better than him, so he's definitely one of the strong candidates for Player of the Year. We have strong goals for him with the NBA Draft, so I'm telling him, "you've got the life, son." Now if we'd lost, then he'd have reason to be mad at himself.

--The chemistry on the team is pretty good so far. We have some very shy younger players. I'm not sure I've heard Quentin Snider say a full sentence yet. And then we have our older guys who love to talk. But I think they're getting to know each other.

--There were a lot of calls that were suspect the other night. D'Angelo Russell does a great job of making it look like he was hit. He got to the line twice the other night when no one touched him, which is something I wish I could teach our guys how to do. I thought there were also some really questionable block/charge calls in the game last night (Duke/Wisconsin).

--I see a lot of great teams right now in college basketball, and I would put us in that class, but then I see two teams that are overpowering right now, and that's Kentucky and Duke. That was an overpowering performance last night by Duke. Those two teams stick out to me, but there are a lot of really good teams behind them. I think Villanova is very good, I haven't seen much of Arizona, Gonzaga is very good.

--We're nowhere near our potential in any area. Even our defense can get a lot better.