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Rick Pitino talks about Louisville's win over Florida State

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Video available here

Opening statement

It was a terrific win for us. I think we responded as a team should respond to the difficult situation. We played great team basketball. For the third time this year we got our deflection total, 37. We had 20 assists, held them to six, guarded the three. We were very conscious of what they did to Miami, to come back in the game. We didn't want that to happen to us. So it was a good win for us.

Is this the most well-rounded offensive performance from the team?

I think it was just a great team effort. Everybody stepping up playing well. Sometimes you look at the silver linings in every cloud, the silver lining here is, I think our freshmen -- it's tough sitting on the bench, knowing that you're not getting in. But now they know they are getting in, so our practices are better, our enthusiasm's better.

On playing so well without Terry scoring much

I think that the thing I loved about this performance -- because Rozier wasn't doing this early in the year, if he had a bad night offensively it was affecting other facets of the game. Tonight he has 9 assists, 6 steals, and just played a great point guard's game. He missed some shots that normally go in for him, and he didn't let it bother him. His growth has been amazing.

I think Quinten Snider learned a lot of valuable lessons tonight. Anton Gill stepped up big. Mangok was very, very active. And Montrezl sort of amazes me with some of his dunks, because you know, he's being double-teamed, and all of a sudden those arms keep going up and up and up, and then he dunks the ball. We had a great performance from a lot of people tonight, so this is probably the best team performance of the season.

On having time to adjust to life without Chris Jones

Yeah that was a difficult thing. Going into the Syracuse game, I found out there was a problem right before we got on the plane, so we didn't practice. Then when I came home after the Miami game and found out there was a problem, we didn't practice. So we got a lot of good practices in where the bench got a lot of action.

On Anton Gill

Well I think he's practicing real hard, and he got an opportunity tonight. But I still want -- obviously he shot the ball well, but he didn't have an assist, didn't have a steal, didn't have a rebound. I want to see him do other things in a very active defensive situation, so he doesn't have to get taken out of the game if he's not shooting well. That's what I keep telling him. But he gave us a big lift tonight. He was patient, he didn't force things, and that's what we wanted to see. And he deserves it, because he's practiced really well.

On a win like this improving seeding

Well I think if you look at the way Florida State plays at home, whether it's Duke or the teams they play, they play basically everybody tough. So this was a great performance by us late in the season. We had to change our team, we're a different team now than we were a week ago, but I think still a very good basketball team, because this was one of our better games.

On the defense

It was excellent. We got 37 deflections. For the third time, we hit it. Had a lot of steals ourselves. We were unselfish. I really liked the way we played all around in every phase of the game.

On Wayne 

All we emphasize with him is I want 60 percent of your offense to drive, paint touch. We know you can shoot. Paint touch. And he'd been doing a great job of that. What he did today we see in practice every day. He's been a top two practice player all season. Sometimes he gets in foul trouble and he never gets off and he gets tentative, but tonight he did.

On making a big run

We shot well, we passed well. They're a very good defensive team. We wanted to get in the bonus and get to the foul line. They wanted to foul Mangok at the end of the game, and he made some crucial free throws.

On reacting the right way to adversity

We've had, not this type of adversity, but in past years we've had to win like five out of seven on the road, we had to win six out of seven to get in the tournament, and we've done it. We've had adversity with a lot of injuries, and right now, knock on wood, we don't have it. But, you know, our hearts are definitely hurt with Chris' situation. But we knew -- I was kind of blown away by the media in Louisville. All they kept talking about was, you know, how's this going to affect the team. It affects the team mentally because one of our brothers got in trouble, but it was never going to affect us physically, because once we step between the lines we were gonna play hard. So I was kind of puzzled by their questions.

On guarding Xavier Rathan-Mayes

We just wanted to take his legs out as much as we could. Pressure him as much as we could. If he goes to the baseline, we want to trap him. On the wing, we wanted to trap him. We wanted to stay off the non-shooters and rotate to the shooters. We did a real good job of stopping the three ball. A little late in the game we gave up a few, but by and large we did a great job. That performance against Miami was -- you know when they told me, I couldn't wait to watch the end of the game. How does someone get 30 points in four minutes plus? Kind of amazing. He had great range. Then you look at his stats and he's shooting 26 percent from the three, so you're scratching your head becayse the shot looks great, it looks like it's going in. So we were gonna make sure that we weren't going to rely on him missing and we were gonna play him really, really hard.

On playing NCAA Tournament games at the Yum Center being a motivational factor for the team

We can't play at the Yum! Center

Is it not at the KFC Yum?

There is, but we're not allowed to play there. Kentucky's gonna be there.

Well Wooden played in LA

Yeah, that was a long time ago. They changed that. Kentucky will be in the Yum Center. We'll be in the Pacific Ocean somewhere.