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Louisville-Miami postgame video and quotes

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports


Chris Mack:

Ryan McMahon:

Malik Williams:


Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack

(Opening Statement) “We didn’t start off very well. A little bit of it had to do with, we decided as a coaching staff, to switch every ball screen. Just watching Miami on tape, they put so much pressure when they roll to the rim, and we felt like even if we were hedging, flat-hedging, jumping, hard-hedging – whatever you want to call it, go under – that was really going to present a problem for our five man because they just put you on skates they’re so quick, and I’m talking about Chris Lykes and Zach Johnson. For every time they would go one-on-one against our big guy, at least we had a man on a man, whether it was on the perimeter when the guards were dancing against our bigs, or when they had a big guy on a little in the post. We just felt over time that it didn’t feel like they would make enough one-on-one plays as long as we could keep it to that to beat us. Every once in a while we would throw in a curve ball and hard-hedge the screen. It wasn’t very good early, it was much better late. Obviously offensively, Jordan (Nwora) really got going in the first half, and it was good to see Ryan (McMahon) after starting I think 0-5, 0-6 knock down shots. That was Malik Williams’ best game of the year. He’s much better than any of our bigs when it comes to switching those type of things and keeping his length in front of the ball. I know Miami is a little depleted, but they’re uber talented and that’s a good win to start off conference play for us.”

(On if only playing three games in 15 days contributed to Louisville’s slow start) ”It could, but I would think our energy level would be much greater and maybe our execution. We had a few too many turnovers early. I don’t think we had one in the second half. I didn’t think we played with enough energy and enough communication on a couple of our switches. Rust sometimes happens offensively, and we work so doggone hard on being a harder team to guard offensively. I just think it was lack of concentration, and it’s sort of tough to figure out when you’ve been off as long as we have.”

(On Malik Williams’ performance) ”We made a few adjustments for him, specifically offensively. We’re trying to fit sometimes a square peg into a round hole and I’ve got to get him on the floor a little bit more. But we can’t play basketball five-out, it’s just really difficult. So I thought Malik did a few really good things in the interior. He does so many good things on the interior defensively and it was really good to see him breakout. We tried to make a few adjustments for him specifically to help us when he’s at the five.”

(About Darius Perry) ”I don’t know, he’s just very inefficient right now. He turns the ball over at an alarming rate. I don’t think he plays with a lot of energy and we need him to, well we’d like him to and he’s got to choose to step up and play with energy and take care of the ball. The other guys are playing better so we’re going to play the guys that are most efficient.”

(About Malik Williams getting out on the floor more) ”Well I think sometimes you think ‘Hey it’s just pick-and-pop and shooting three’s’ and that’s a small part of it. But if his man is extended on some type of screening action where there’s on the ball, screen to him or off the ball and he can gain separation. Malik’s got a great first step. He can rip the ball and get to the rim and giving him the ability to have maybe sort of free rolls to the rim where he’s not necessarily rolling and replacing with a lot of traffic. We need to get Malik in space. Again, partly to shoot the ball, partly to get his defender and close out situations much like we do with our perimeter players. There’s only so much floor space on the perimeter though because you have five guys out there, but he was a lot more effective with what we were doing with him tonight.”

(About Ryan McMahon being so effective at distributing the ball) ”Ryan is so deadly from beyond the arc. When his man so much as sees Ryan going in to any type of shooting motion, he’s going to commit, he has to. When he does that, as long as Ryan is strong with the ball when he gets in the lane; he’s got really good vision, he’s got great IQ and awareness, but sometimes he melts against contact. We need him to be a little bit more sturdy, a little bit more physical. And when he does that he finds the right guys the majority of the time. He’s more, as I say, than just a shooter, he has made more two’s this year than he has in his entire career I think combined and he’s made plays for others. So we need that type of play out of Ryan. I got to get him out there a little bit more so he can get lost in the game and lost in transition and that’s exactly what happened tonight.”

(On what sparked Louisville’s 16-2 run in the second half) ”I think it started with our defense. We got multiple stops, and we’re a team that likes to play in transition. I give our guys freedom to do that. I think we have a lot of threats on the break, whether it’s Ryan (McMahon) and Jordan (Nwora) flying on the wings, whether it’s Dwayne Sutton getting to the rim. CC (Christen Cunningham) has got really good vision. It starts with our defense. When we get stops like we did in that stretch, then I think we’re a lot more difficult to guard because we have four guys who can bring the ball up at any time. It’s not always, ‘Hey, get it to the point guard and let him push it.’”

(On Jordan Nwora’s scoring run in the second half) ”We needed it. We were not very good offensively and if him knocking a couple down gave our guys confidence. Again, we started getting stops in the first half and the second half. And that allowed us to close the gap. But him getting going was a godsend at the time because we couldn’t get anyone to generate any good offense for a while.”

(On how Louisville adjusted to the box-and-one) ”I thought we did a great job. I thought we got the shots that we wanted, we hit the glass. You know, it’s different. We weren’t going to spend an hour in practice. Coach had mentioned it in their press conference after N.C. State. They felt like if – I don’t know who it was from N.C. State – if he got going, they were going to it. So, our attack was very similar when they were in a 1-2-2. We made Jordan (Nwora) on a lot of times because they don’t like to necessarily switch on who has Jordan to the next guy. So I didn’t think it was affective as it could have been. Give our guys credit.”

(On Ryan McMahon getting through his shooting struggles) ”You know how it is. If you play and you think coach is going to pull you… I have so much confidence in Ryan. He could miss 15 in a row and I think the next one is going in. There was one time where he passed up a shot and threw it to Dwayne (Sutton) or somebody and they made the three. It was a good play by Ryan. I looked at him and I said, ‘You were open. I want you shooting every single time.’ Because he’s such a weapon. He stretches the floor for other guys over time. I don’t worry about any streaks that he goes on, although it would be nice if he made the majority of them like I see in practice.”

Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga

(Opening Statement) “I thought we played a terrific first 12, 13 minutes. We had a nice lead, I think it was like 32-21, or something like that. And then, it became the (Louisville sophomore forward) Jordan Nwora highlight tape—he went off, played great in those next five minutes. So much so that we switched to a box-and-one to slow him down. I thought it worked okay, because we had done something that we, the game plan, said we can’t do this, we can’t foul. We’re third in the country in not fouling, so this was a game where we for sure can’t foul because they’re one of the best teams in the country in getting to the foul line. Of course, they got to the foul line. To end the half, we had three, four guys in foul trouble. In the second half, we started out trying to play the box-and-one. It went fine except offensive rebounds. They got several rebound baskets that really hurt us. And then, we just ran out of gas. We can score, but we can’t rebound with a team that size. (Louisville sophomore forward) Malik Williams was terrific in the second half and (Louisville junior guard) V.J. King coming in and tipping it in...”

(On why Jordan Nwora was so effective) “He’s really good. He takes twice as many shots as any guy on their team and he’s averaging like 19 a game, and he had 18 at halftime. So, we had to do something about that. He ended up with 20. So, in a sense, it worked. Except, everybody else then chipped in and had a great second half. And when we went back to man when we were in foul trouble, guys were not D-ing up the way they did when they had no fouls or one foul. It becomes a real issue.”

(On losing early leads, is it a situation where things just kind of fall apart?) “‘Fall apart’ is not how I would describe it. We have one center, and one stretch four-man, everybody else is a guard, just not very big. (Miami senior center) Ebuka Izundu is someone that we need out there. He gets worn out, especially when he’s got to go against guys like (Louisville redshirt junior center Steven) Enoch and Malik Williams. They just keep rotating those guys, keeping fresh bodies on the court. And when we take him out, we’ve got (Miami redshirt sophomore forward) Sam Waardenburg and he’s slight. He can’t battle physically with guys that size and girth. So then, we get killed on the boards.”