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Rick Pitino Talks About The Loss To Syracuse

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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General impression of the game

You know, we played well. I thought Quentin Snider played outstanding. It wasn't his play, it was Wayne Blackshear getting in foul trouble. We had to substitute out of weakness, not strength. But I thought we moved the ball great in the first half. We missed a lot of shots in the second half that would have kept us in the game that were wide open.

What's stopping us from being a very good basketball team is -- the last three years we were one of the most feared defensive teams in the nation, with steals and turnovers, and we've just been void of both. I'm going to put it out there tomorrow on Kenny's website to try and motivate the guys, who's getting the deflections. We're falling short there, so I'm using you to motivate my players.

On getting just 2 steals for a second straight game

You know, I can live with the lack of steals. What we're doing wrong is we're in the right spots, doing the right things, and then guys are going right by us. It's ball containment of the dribbler that's hurting us.

But I'll tell you the truth: I was crushed by the North Carolina State loss, really disappointed by it, but I'm not too disappointed tonight. I thought our guys played a winning game. If we make some of our free-throws early in the second half then we go up, but we don't, and missed free-throws are like a turnover. It's the same as a turnover.

Did you miss Chris tonight?

Well we missed him a lot, but it's his selfishness that hurt the team. I'm not one that believes in game suspensions. I believe in punishments where you get up in the morning and you lift weights and then you have a curfew at night, but this was not a decision by me. It's all cleared up. He could play the next game if he does what the assistant coaches tell him to do, or he could sit again. And I don't care if he sits the whole season. I could care less. If you're not going to do the right things and act like a Louisville man, then he can move on and try to go to Belgium somewhere.

On not being able to pressure Syracuse into turnovers

We couldn't give the pressure because of Chris Jones being out. It's tough to press right now with this makeshift lineup. And the problem is I didn't even know until we were taking off that we had a problem. At least now we can practice and be prepared for the next one.

On Quentin Snider

He played great tonight. I thought he was terrific. He got into the lane and had 4 assists and no turnovers. He didn't hurt us, it was missed free-throws and Wayne Blackshear's not being on the court that really hurt us.

I think that Chinanu played a good game, I thought Montrezl played a good game, Anas is coming around. I like out freshmen. With an improved attitude by a couple of them, they're going to be pretty good.

On Rakeem Christmas

He struggled against Duke because he didn't get the calls that he normally gets, but he is the most feared low post player in the country. That's a tremendous credit to him and the Syracuse coaching staff, because when he was a freshman, you could leave him alone and he couldn't score. He's turned himself into a first round pick because of how hard he's worked. I can't tell you how happy I am for the young man because I know how hard he's worked.

On Shaqquan not playing

He just doesn't have a Louisville attitude. He's not a Louisville man in terms of the way we practice, the way we go about it.

Can he get there?

Well if he doesn't he'll be at another school. That's the way it'll be, because he's never going to step on the court until he gets that attitude.

On Montrezl only scoring 3 points in the second half

Well they did a good job defensively. It's not about him getting the ball because when you're playing zone sometimes you've gotta go get it. But he's gotta get more offensive rebounds. Against a zone you've got to offensive rebound to get your touches.

On figuring out the "bumps in the road"

I figured there'd be some bumps in the road during this time, but I didn't expect it to be NC State. I knew Virginia and Syracuse were going to be the toughest for us to play with our offense, but tonight we did a terrific job of getting paint touches. It doesn't bother me. As long as we win two, three more games, I'm fine. We'll have time to work on things, and I think we're going to be fine. But we've got to get our defense better, there's no question about it.

Is the lack of 3-point shooting why you thought Syracuse would be tough?

Yeah, but that didn't hurt us tonight. They've got a nice team. They can beat anybody on a given night, and they did beat us.