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Rick Pitino Press Conference Notes

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Andy Lyons


--Not a whole lot has changed in the four hours since the last press conference. I sent my nephew Will Minardi, our assistant video coordinator, out to get some Just 4 Men, and we're both going to paint up.

--In this league, you have no idea how an opponent will play. Look at Temple/SMU. Temple played completely different in that game than they played against us. All you can do is stay focused, take away the opponent's strengths and try to click on all cylinders.

--Last night we shot the heck out of the basketball. When you're a pressing team and you shoot like that, sometimes the flood gates open up.

--Our communication on defense has gotten a lot better. We also started putting a heavy emphasis on keeping opponents out of the paint, and that's been a huge help.

--We've been working so hard on our halfcourt defense in practice. Stephan and Mangok have been late all season, and still are, on their rotations, and that's what gets people in foul trouble. Stephan, Mangok and Montrezl were all late on rotations multiple times last night.

--There's always one or two games in the tournament where you have to be the better defensive team to win, where you have to win with defense. You obviously want to be a good offensive team as well, and we have the potential to be that. The defense/pitching wins championships cliches exist for a reason.

--The reason I'm not crazy about starting Wayne at the four is that he has a penchant to foul.

--Wayne never talks, and last night when he came to the bench after fouling, he said "that was total BS." He said it twice. I watched the video and I agree with him. Wayne's very mature about those things, but he knew he didn't foul last night.

--I didn't know anything about racial issues in the SEC or anything like that growing up. When I was growing up in New York, all anyone paid attention to was the professional teams. People followed the Yankees, they didn't follow St. John's because St. John's wasn't even in the Big East yet. I'm an old shit.

--Anyone who is in sports and reads social media is an idiot. It's a waste of time and I don't know why anyone does it. Russ Smith does it and Chris Jones does it, and it's a waste of time. I understand the benefits of social media, but what Russ and Chris are doing, it's a waste of time. Intellectually, it's insulting to read that stuff. Especially in this town, where you have a half a million Kentucky fans. We're not in Lawrence, Kansas where you've only got Jayhawk fans.

--"Where are all the beards...oh I see some out there."