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Rick Pitino Previews Louisville's Rematch With Pitt

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

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--It feels like a long time since we've been home. Pitt's a team that's on a run and that is playing much better basketball since the last time we played them. They've made some changes, but so have we. It'll be a game where two teams in a short span of time want to see how much better they've gotten.

--The are no games you can look at as games you should win in the ACC at this point in the season. Duke got pushed to the brink by Florida State last night and that's just one example.

--When you beat Notre Dame, your offense has to have caught up to your defense, and that's happened for Pitt.

--We've been playing good basketball. We played much better in the second half against Virginia. We just have to get our guys to realize that every team is different and you can't play every team the same way. So many teams have different styles in this league, and our guys have come to that realization that they have to play differently to beat them.

--Pitt is executing its offense much better than they were last month. They have some great midrange shooters and their forwards are playing terrifically.

--We had a big opportunity on Saturday to pull ourselves into a first place tie in the ACC with the head-to-head tiebreaker going to us. We did not come through, and that was really disappointing for us. The good thing about the ACC and the Big East and conferences like that is you've always got to turn around and be ready to play. That's what makes it so exciting for everyone involved.

--We want to start playing better at home. We need to stop getting away from our fundamentals because we're trying to impress the crowd. We need to impress the crowd with our fundamentals.

--Pitt will trap Montrezl Harrell the same way Virginia did, so he's going to have to find another way to get his points.

--(On Trez throwing up against Miami and Chris throwing up at halftime against Virginia) They've all been sick. I threw up at halftime too after watching Chris play.

--I shaved the beard as soon as I got home.

--I say this so much it's a broken record, but young people today are so distracted. You could give them a great book and it would take them a year to read it at home, but they'd read it on the road. There's just so much going on when they're at home and they're constantly distracted. Montrezl is very good at focusing. Believe it or not Chinanu, who's a freshman, focuses very well. But that's just two guys.

--Our guys are just always concerned with who's coming to the game, how can I get tickets and all that for home games. If I could take away their phones and their computers and lock them in Minardi Hall, I'd do it. Other programs do that. Wyking said at New Mexico they took their phones away the day before the game. My guys would have a nervous breakdown if I did that to them.

--Chris Jones lives on his phone.

--Our defense keeps us in games when our offense isn't there. We didn't force ay turnovers against Virginia but we held them to 33 percent shooting, so our defense kept us in that game. It's always been that way, and that allows us to come back in games as well.

--We have a tough schedule ahead of us, but we're striving to get in that top four so we can get a double bye in the ACC Tournament. It's not going to be easy to achieve that.

--The good thing about our basketball team is that they're fierce competitors. Their attention span isn't great, but they play with a lot of pride.

--I'm not optimistic about a player outside the big four stepping up and becoming a contributor. I'm optimistic about their future, but I'm not optimistic about them turning the corner this season.

--Quentin's fine. He can play offense with the best of them, he just has to learn how to keep his man in front of him.

--Virginia really makes it difficult for small guards because they can't see the roll guys very well to make the passes they have to. We started that game really well, then we got trapped a few times and guys got panicked and it all just mushroomed. Overall, it's as good a defense as there is in the county.

--Mangok has fallen into the sophomore jinx. Players don't realize they're going through it. They have a decent freshman year, and as sophomores they forget how hard they had to work to get to that point. He hasn't improved as much as we had liked because he hasn't worked as hard as he needs to.

--All the different styles are what makes the ACC so much fun. You have games like North Carolina/Louisville where everyone's getting up and down the court and driving to the basket, and then games like Louisville/Virginia where no one can get to the basket. That's what's really hurt us this year is our guys think they can play just play hard and do the same thing every night and they're going to win, and that's not the case. You have to adjust to your opponent.