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Rick Pitino And Chris Jones Talk North Carolina Loss And Preview Virginia Tech

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Pitino

--Buzz's team is playing much better of late. They were down early against Syracuse and came back and almost won. They shoot the three really well and can really hurt you in transition. Sometimes they'll play five guards at the same time, which is obviously a matchup issue.

--Our fours and fives didn't do a very good job of rebounding against North Carolina. The three spot, especially Shaqquan when he was in, didn't do a good job of rebounding either. When you watch the tape, you have to say that's the No. 1 reason why we didn't win the game.

--We've showed our guys so many tapes of Kenneth Faried and how he rebounds. The best defensive rebounders are the ones who bend their knees, get active and pursue the ball. Montrezl was standing erect in a straight position the whole game, and didn't rebound defensively at all. He wants to rebound, he just wasn't bending his knees in this game and wasn't getting to the ball. He can make that correction because he's very bright.

--We were sending our one, two and three players back on defense to keep them from killing us in transition and that worked, but it also took some guys out of position for rebounding.

--Not playing with your knees bent for rebounding is like coming out for a 40-yard dash standing straight up instead of in a sprinter's stance. We showed Montrezl the tape and he saw what he was doing and he'll make the change.

--I was pleased with Nanu's play until I watched the tape. He stood around too much. He was better in that game than he was the last three or four, but he still stood around too much and didn't pursue the basketball.

--On that last play, Terry should have gotten out there and avoid the clip, but Nanu also should have contested that shot much better.

--I would like to get Montrezl more rest during games, but I can't do it because the drop-off behind him is so severe. One of Montrezl's biggest problem right now is that he's not getting enough competition in practice. There's no one who's stopping him from scoring at all in practice, and as a result when he plays in these games against talented guys with great length, he's finding it hard to score.

--Terry gets so much lift on his mid-range shot, but he hardly jumps at all on his 3-point shot. It's something we've been working on.

--If I could have diagrammed that play at the end to get Wayne Blackshear that wide-open look, I'd be a genius. Wayne takes that shot 1,000 times in practice, and he makes that shot 60 percent of the time. You knew they were going to trap Terry, and that was the best shot we could have come up with in that situation .... and then Terry got the follow-up look too. People have been saying he should have drove or Terry should have shot or whatever, but we couldn't have asked for a better look. Wayne's your captain and that was an open shot that he makes 60 percent of the time. That just happened to be one of the 40 percent.

--(On Chris Jones) I think the bench has a way of forcing you to listen...If you're a true competitor. You've got to give him a lot of credit because he's responded in a great way. He's making his teammates better. He's getting guys involved, and then he took over the Wake Forest game at the end when he had to do. He's taking what the opponents are giving him.

--Both of our guards played great in the North Carolina game. Terry didn't play very good defense, but he played great on the offensive end.

--Judging from practice and the stats, I'd rather have Chris and Terry on the floor for 36 minutes than go with substitutes.

--This is a team where the veterans give you great work every day, and the young guys still don't know how to work. We are what we are. Quentin Snider is really willing to work, he just doesn't know how to play defense yet, but he knows how to give you 100 percent. The other young guys don't really know how to work hard in practice. They thought they were working hard in high school, and they're not sure how to do it yet at this level.

--This is a really unique group, because they're weak physically, they're weak mentally or they're weak basketball wise. Like Nanu, he's strong physically, but he doesn't know how to work hard. If he had Mangok's motor and work ethic then he'd be one of the best freshmen in the country.

--Chris is the type of kid who always has his hands in the cookie jar. If you don't keep an eye on him and let him get away with his bad habits, then he's going to keep doing it. He's a great kid and he's a joy to coach, but he has a background where people have allowed him to do whatever he wants to do. For instance, he got thrown out of a junior college Final Four game because he had an outburst. He's been dependable here because we don't allow him to do those types of things. You've just got to stay on him and he's fine.

--I though Dick Vitale's "Booyah" tribute to Stuart Scott at the end of the game was a very classy thing to do. He wasn't putting Louisville down or anything, he was praising Stuart Scott's love of North Carolina. It was a great gesture and I was very proud of Dick for doing it.

--Virginia Tech is Marquette. Our fans should be very familiar with Virginia Tech because they're exactly like Marquette. Buzz has some size, but he believes that to win a game he has to have what he calls "paint touches." He's still coaching his team the same way and they're still very tough to go up against.

--This is just like the Big East "Southern style" in terms of competition. I watched the NC State/Duke game yesterday and that was a prime example. Virginia is one of the premier teams in college basketball right now. They are tremendous. (Tony Bennett) is a great coach and his players have really bought into that system. His players screen great, they execute great and they defend great. His father was a great coach, he's a great coach, and I'm sure his mother's great too.

--Jim Boeheim has the best press conferences in college basketball. He's hysterical. You would have thought they lost by 30 the other night and they won. They're 3-0 in the league right now, and his teams always get better. There are so many teams in this league that can beat anybody because their coaches are so good at what they do.

--I think there are stronger home court advantages in this conference than there were in the Big East because so many of those teams played in professional arenas. In the ACC, the arenas are smaller and the student bodies are larger, louder and closer to the floor.

--Consistency puts you into the Hall of Fame, and Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams and Jim Boeheim have had a great longevity of excellence. They're different in many respects, but they're excellence is always there.

--I wouldn't trade my experience as a professional coach for 1,000 wins, which is a tremendous accomplishment for Mike. I grew up wanting to be a professional coach and I got to experience that. It's something I don't regret.

Chris Jones

--In junior college I knew what I could get away with on and off the court. That was the biggest adjustment for me here, it wasn't the style or anything like that, it was being held accountable for things. I just want to thank Coach P for that. I just listen to him more now, watch more film and ask more questions.

--(On Pitino saying he "always has his hands in the cookie jar") I don't even know what that means.

--Coach P always says he has to keep an eye on me, but that's not really true because he knows I just go to practice and back to the dorm and don't really do anything else.

--I have a sweet tooth. Coach got me off that last year, but I've been sneaking a few things this year.

--Coach got on us when we watched the tape of UNC, but we understand that's just a coach who loves his team. We know what we did and hopefully when they come here for the next game we can get the job done and put the game away.

--When I got here I still wanted to shoot all the time and didn't really understand what being a true point guard was. Then I was shooting so bad that I just stopped shooting completely. My teammates knew that I was one of the best shooters on the team and they got on me about it. I just had to look myself in the mirror and say you're not this type of player and you need to change this.