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Rick Pitino talks about the loss to Notre Dame

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Video available here

Opening Statement

Well you're always disappointed when you lose, but Notre Dame was the better basketball team. I think out of all the teams, including Kentucky, out of all the teams we scouted this year, we thought this would be our most difficult game, especially when Chris Jones went out, defensively.

They play four guards, and they do things offensively that can really hurt you. Although we played very poor defense, we kept getting into, well we take the lead, get it to two and then we totally breakdown with a bad shot on offense and a bad play defensively. So it's just a matter of -- you know, our philosophy tonight was not to show them that we're a great shooting team. Our offensively philosophy tonight was to do what we did in the beginning of the game: get the ball high and look low, reverse the ball on the break and get dribble penetration, touch the paint. We shot quick. We shot threes on the break.

It was as if we thought we were Notre Dame, the way we were running our offense. So it was very disappointing in terms of us quick shooting, taking ill-advised shots, and then our breakdowns defensively. We cannot play defense like that and expect to win, but we knew going in that this was going to be a very difficult game for us.

Was containing the dribbler the main problem defensively?

Well it's one of the problems. Defending the pick and roll with running into screens was another one of them.

Look, it's very obvious to see that Quentin Snider doesn't play defense, but he wasn't supposed to be in this situation. Because Peyton Siva was no good on defense as a freshman, neither was Russ Smith. He was supposed to learn, back it up, and get better. So he's thrown into a situation where it's not his fault. He's out there right now, and he's making defensive mistakes, but he was supposed to have a year to learn that. So it's not his fault.

On Terry Rozier

I think Terry's taking bad shots. He was 0 for 5 on challenged shots. So if you call it pressing -- I don't know why he's pressing, because if he thinks scoring 20 points is going to impress the pros he's wrong. So I don't know the motive behind pressing.It looks like he is, but he's taking bad shots. If you take bad shots, you're gonna go 0 for 5 like he did on challenged shots tonight. So.

On Montrezl Harrell's knee

He's ok.

The other thing: when you're in a close game, you've got to make free throws, guys. You can't go down, let them make two and then you miss the front end of a one-and-one. You've gotta make free-throws. And you know, it comes down to being very simple at times. Tonight it was very simple: you've gotta guard the pick-and-roll right, you've gotta contain, no matter what you know they're going to run, you've gotta contain the dribbler from getting to the rim. And then if he does get to the rim your 7-footer's gotta block the shot.

Was this more frustrating after Saturday's performance?

We can choreograph our defense against Florida State to know exactly what we're gonna do and take away certain people. This team, there's nothing you can take away, you know? So I knew going into it we were going to have a difficult time and that we were going to struggle. What I was hoping for was that we could score against them by reversing the ball, moving the ball, working high-low, going inside, and we quick shot. So that was disappointing.

It's going to come down to, when we get into the tournament, matchups. We get the wrong matchup, we're gonna have an exit. We get the right match-ups, we're gonna have a chance of winning. Matchups are going to be crucial for us.

Be safe going home.