Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rick Pitino Talks About Win Over Pitt and More

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said he isn't sure he's ever coached a team in 41 years that makes him prouder than this season's team.

Pitino also said David Levitch has the biggest onions of all time.



Opening Statement:

“Well, I’m coaching 41 years and I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of a basketball team as I am [of] this basketball team. We have three front court players out. We’re playing two walk-ons for four or five minutes in the first half, and they didn’t lose anything, but [they got] the lead. I can’t be – you just feel like a proud father. I can’t be any prouder of a basketball team, and I told them that. David Levitch gave us an incredible lift, the passing was beautiful. We were just really undermanned tonight, and they played beautiful basketball. I’ve coached a lot of Final Four teams, some championship teams, but I haven’t been any prouder of a basketball team than this one.”

On Deng Adel and how he feels about his team:

“For the last few weeks, he’s been playing great in practice. But, you know, it’s just indicative. I said, ‘Q [Quentin Snider], I’m going to go with Trey [Lewis] tonight. I want him to pressure Robinson.’ He said, ‘Go with Trey. He’s a senior.’ I said to Damion [Lee], ‘I need to get Deng more minutes.’ He said, ‘Give him my minutes.’ It’s just the most incredible group. I’ve had a lot of fun groups, and I’ve compared this one to my ’87 Providence team with Billy Donovan’s group. This is the most special group of young men I’ve ever coached, besides that Providence team. I told them that it’s a privilege and an honor to be even be around you every day. You would think we were favorites to win the national championship with the way we’re practicing. There’s no question about it. No bitterness – nothing.”

On coming back from an eight-point deficit to win:

“That’s happened to us all year. We’ve come back all year. Now, we haven’t won all of them. But we’ve come back against Kentucky; we’ve come back against Michigan State; we’ve come back against them all. Unfortunately, you could see good free throw shooters missed at the end because they were exhausted with the amount of minutes they had to play. We’ve come back against everyone this year. We haven’t won them all, but we’ve come back. That speaks volumes of what they’re all about as people.”

On taking the momentum of the win to Miami next:

“Well, we’re trying to win an ACC championship, obviously. Pittsburgh has a lot to look forward to with the tournament and so do some of the other teams. We don’t have a whole lot [except for] these games. This is our tournament.”

On if he thinks Pitt is an NCAA Tournament team:

“I do. I do. Obviously – I think they play Duke next – they’re going to have to get some of these games. But I do look at them as an NCAA [Tournament] team.”

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