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Everything Mike Pegues said after Louisville’s loss to Furman

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The Pegues Era is no longer unblemished.

NCAA Basketball: Furman at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Acting Head Coach Mike Pegues

(Opening statement)

“I am incredibly disappointed that we didn’t get the win. I thought we had an opportunity to win late in the game. In regulation, we didn’t make some plays towards the end of the game. They were able to push it into overtime. Offensively and defensively, we made some poor decisions on things that we work on every day. The fact that we allowed Mike Bothwell, who is a really good player, he’s a conference player of the year type of player to score 30, he can’t get 30 points. They had two other guys with nearly 20 points. We can’t guard the ball. We can’t guard the three-point line, which was a huge emphasis. They shot 12 for 28 from three. That is way too many made threes. We can’t defensive rebound, they outrebounded us by two. It is a Southern Conference team that’s a really good team, an NCAA tournament team, but if it’s an ACC team, I am saying the same thing. We have to be able to own our backboard. We have to be able to guard the ball and we have to be in the right place off the ball. I am going to take responsibility for that. I know Coach Mack is normally doing this press conference, but I’m here right now. It is my responsibility to hold it down, but I didn’t do that tonight. Our guys put forth a decent effort, but not an effort that is good enough to beat good teams like Furman.”

(On Noah Locke’s shot at the end of regulation)

“Noah (Locke) can really shoot the ball coming off stagger screens. We have a lot of confidence in him coming off and shooting on the turn. We wanted to get him a clean look and it didn’t go in.”

(On if how to improve the half-court offense)

“We need to improve in the half-court offense, half-court defense, full court defense, on the glass. We need to improve in every facet of the game. The half-court offense certainly needs to be much better. We have to get the ball moving around; the ball is sticking too much. We have to be more deliberate in the actions that we are trying to get to, and then once we get an advantage, we have to be able to maintain that advantage and make layups. I have no idea right now without watching the tape, but I know to start the game and to start the half we could not make layups. That is obviously going to have to change”

(On getting out rebounded tonight)

“We were not tough enough. The glass is a toughness statistic. You either run in there, and it’s more important to you to get it or it’s not. Tonight it wasn’t more important to us to come up with defensive rebounds, clean defensive rebounds. We can be a really good team in transition, but that will never manifest itself if we don’t clean up the defensive glass.”

(On the minutes Malik Williams and Jae’Lyn Withers played in the second half)

“Well, unfortunately, right now, we can’t seem to get enough out of our five position behind Malik (Williams). Malik a veteran; he’s been out there a while. He knows what’s going on. He’s far from perfect, given his stat line he has to be much better, but the guys behind him have to give me more confidence to play them more. I probably should have played Matt (Cross) more. That’s on me. Jae’Lyn (Withers) had a pretty good thing going. We will look at the tape. I am not putting all of this on our players by any stretch. I have to be better; our staff has to be better. Our responsibility right now is to find a way to improve our team over the course of these next how many days until coach (Chris Mack) gets back and takes things over. We don’t want to make any excuses. We are going to make some mistakes and those mistakes can cost us games. We got to be able to fix that stuff in practice, our guys have to be able to come to practice and let us coach them and teach them. As a staff, we have to give them a game plan and we have to all collectively go out there and execute that game plan at a high level in order to beat good teams. It is that simple.”

(On the defensive efforts against Mike Bothwell, who scored 30 points)

“Mike (Bothwell) is a really good player. I’ll give him his credit. I don’t want to take anything away from him. When you come in here to the Yum! Center and play a power five team and you get 30 points; you deserve your flowers. With that being said, we got to do a better job. We’ve got to make the game a lot harder for him. We can’t let players come in here and get 30 points. He gets to the free throw line 15 times and goes 13 for 15 from the line. Credit to him, but that’s way too many trips to the line. We’ve got way too many guys in our locker room that are capable of guarding him and better players, they just didn’t get the job done today.”

(On Mailk Williams and Jae’Lyn Withers handling the ball in half-court situations)

“There are situations for those guys where they have to facilitate the offense a little bit and handle the ball. We don’t want them dribbling the air out of the ball and doing too much. There’s a balance to that, but having those guys take a couple bounces so that we can get into an action is certainly something that we’ve been working on from day one. Did they over dribble and at times try to do too much? I’m sure they did by just reflecting on the game.”

(On what the team learned from the loss)

“I think we all learned a lot about each other. The main thing though is that we’ve got to do a better job on the things that we work on every day. We’ve got to guard the ball. A guy can’t come in here and get 30. We can’t get out rebounded. We’ve got to be in position to help and be in the box as, we call it. We can’t give up layups. We’ve got to do the little things right. We’ve got to do little things right. It’s unfortunate to lose a ballgame, to anybody—even a good NCAA tournament team. It’s unfortunate to lose here in Yum! in front of our fans. We never want that to happen. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call to our guys that we must be much better on a daily basis, or it will continue to happen against a really good Navy team that just beat UVA.”

(On figuring out what lineups work)

“That’s something that our staff has to come together on and figure out. I thought that the substitution pattern and the guys that we were playing at the specific times when we played them was what we wanted. Whenever we meet at a media timeout, or during the game, we talk about who’s tired and who’s been out there the longest. Do we need to get a guy? Do we like our squad? We’ll go back retro-actively and look at the film and see if we didn’t like something here or there. For the most part, I felt comfortable with the guys that we played. We’ve got a lot of good players. It’s a blessing and a curse sometimes. As the season goes on, cream will rise to the top and we’ll play less guys, or we can continue to play ten guys. The guys take that by their effort, their attitude, and being able to uphold our baseline of expectations every day.”

Furman Head Coach Bob Richey Postgame Opening Statement

“Just really proud of our team. Just the fight that we put forward tonight, to be able to come in here and outrebound this group that was really bigger than us in almost every position. I couldn’t be more proud and it wasn’t always pretty. We didn’t come in here and make 22 threes again, but we played hard and we responded. We got down. We had to deal with the environment. We had to deal with foul trouble, but our guys didn’t quit and as a coach that’s what you want, right? Just keep fighting, keep believing and keep trusting. The payoff is what they were able to have tonight, pulling this off this win in overtime.”