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Rick Pitino Talks About The Pitt Win

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Video is here

Opening Statement

I'm really, really excited about this game today because we had a surprise at the beginning of the game when Wayne Blackshear couldn't play. Then we needed Quentin Snider to come into the game and play well, and he did. So I'm really, really happy.

I'm kind of amazed that Montrezl Harrell could play the entire game without a break, and could play as hard as that. His motor is kind of incredible.

The only bad thing is we're shooting 50 percent, which is good execution, and the other team's not, but we didn't get a steal in the first half. And the reason our press isn't as successful is we're not trapping. We were letting them clear us out. In the second half we got after them, and our fours and fives made a lot of key plays.

So we're playing playing good defense, our offense executed well, but we got a big lift tonight from guys who don't normally play. I thought Q did an excellent job.

On Wayne

He has a hip pointer that we thought would be ok. It wasn't. It's his birthday.

On Quentin

He's been playing great offense. He's a very confident offensive basketball player. Tonight we needed him because Chris wasn't on his game, he was forcing things too much, and we had to go with him. And we did.

On the 3-point streak ending

You know it's the first time since 1992 that we didn't make a three, but who needs the three when you get lay-ups and backdoors and post-ups. So we did something a little bit different on our post-ups. Instead of sticking him on the baseline and waiting for the dunk, we ducked him in, and he got a lot off of that, which was very good. Our guards did a great job of getting it to him.

I think you see what a special player Terry Rozier is, because you see how when a play breaks down and things don't go well, he, like D-Wade his idol, can get his shot off in any way. Any 17 to 15 foot shot he takes, you think it's going in. So it was a terrific game by him.

Did losing Wayne early take the team out of rhythm?

I don't think so. I think that we were shooting a high percentage and we could get our press set up, but we couldn't trap. We were playing good defense. I think we were all surprised by it because we thought he'd be fine.

We're also shooting free-throws terrific, and that's very big also.

On how Terry got things going

You know I really don't concern myself with offense, if a guy's missing his shot. All I told him in the timeout is don't let your offense dictate how you rebound and how you play defense. You can make your next six shots in a row, so don't let it dictate. And he didn't.

On Chinanu

I thought Chinanu played very well. I thought he ducked in, I thought he was very active. We've been trying to get our guys to throw the five man the ball, and they are. They're at least looking for him, and that makes us a betterhalfcourt offensive team.

On some younger guys growing up

It's very tough to sweep a good basketball team, especially so close. They made changes that were very good, and we made changes too. They played very well. They play a style that's very good. They hit a lot of midrange shots, they're very strong. But we were strong on the backboards tonight.

I think you can all see the potential in Anas. You can see it -- how long he is, how agile. Now he gets a little -- he has good hands, I know he dropped the ball, but that's because he's trying to make the next play instead of running the ball into his hands. But he's going to be a very good player some day.

On Trez showing off a wide-range of skills

You know I just think he's -- I can't think of the word. Even when he gets double-teamed, he can get to places on the floor he shouldn't be able to go and still get to the rim. He can go behind the backboard, come back in, and still be above the rim. He's got tremendous length. Everyone can see how much he's improved his midrange jump shot, and the good thing is he's not taking threes, he's taking that shot, which he's gonna make.

On Quentin playing better

He's playing great in practice. The reason Quentin's not playing better, is I don't play him. He's not doing anything wrong. It's only because those two guys are so great at containing. Tonight, I just wasn't very happy with Chris, so I went with Q. So you know how much confidence I have in him. We were in a war, and I benched our starting point guard and I go with Q. So you know how much confidence I have in him.

On the big run in the second half

We just got after it with our pressure. If you speed Pittsburgh up, it helps you. We couldn't do it in the first half. Even though we had a lead, and we were shooting a high percentage, we had no steals. We weren't seeing the ball at the start of the second half, and they weren't even beating us on the break. That's just young guys who haven't played a lot not seeing the ball.

But I liked the way Chinanu played, I liked the way our freshmen just didn't hurt us at all. And Q really helped us.

On Chris Jones sitting out the end of the game

I don't want to comment on Chris. I really don't. Because I'll say something negative, and I don't want to say anything negative about our players. He had a bad night. All around.