TRANSCRIPT | Pitino talks about his team's first win in Puerto R - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TRANSCRIPT | Pitino talks about his team's first win in Puerto Rico

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WDRB photo by Eric Crawford. WDRB photo by Eric Crawford.

MANATI, P.R. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino's team won its first game in Puerto Rico, but he wasn't happy with how the team played. His comments to reporters after the game. PItino's comments are verbatim, the questions are paraphrased:

OPENING STATEMENT: 

Like I told the guys, you want to learn from your mistakes in victory, but last night they played a good team and played very well. Tonight they played a much lesser team and played very poor basketball, except at the end. I’m a little disappointed in the way they played today. I’m very happy with the way they played last night. But like anything else they needed a victory tonight more than anything else, because they played so hard last night and came away empty.

Q: WHEN YOU THREW THE ZONE ON IN THE SECOND QUARTER DID IT SLOW THEM DOWN?

PITINO: I’m trying to get Damion Lee and Trey Lewis to understand that if they just live with the jump shot, they’re not going to be very effective basketball players. They’ve got to paint touch and create passes as well as shots, and finally, in the fourth quarter, they did that. But that’s something they’ve got to learn. They live too much with the jump shot. And Trey started driving to the basket and making good plays. But Mangok is the only one that I was really pleased with.

CRAWFORD | Five takeaways from Louisville's win in Puerto Rico

Q: HOW GOOD WAS MANGOK’S OFFENSE? IT SEEMED HE WAS SCORING ON A FEW MOVES IN THE POST AND NOT JUST PUT-BACKS.

PITINO: He’s playing well. He’s playing against inferior talent, but he played very well tonight. They couldn’t keep him off the backboard.

Q: HE’S SO TALKATIVE. HAS HE ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THAT?

PITINO: Yeah, and he also never gets down. If Matz (Stockman) had his attitude, he’d be a dominant basketball player. Mangok’s never a victim. He’s always somebody who tries to lead other people.

Q: IS MANGOK GROWING INTO THAT NOW?

PITINO: He’s always been talkative. He’s never quite been a leader like this, because we’ve had other people.

Q: WILL THE TURNOVER NUMBERS IMPROVE OVER TIME?

PITINO: The first half they had 11 turnovers and nine assists. Turnovers will get better, but what bothers me is the nine assists. And that’s Trey not doing a good enough job at point guard.

Q: TREY MADE SOME SHOTS LATE, BUT IS IT JUST A MATTER OF MAKING BETTER DECISIONS?

PITINO: Well he’s a shot-maker and Damion Lee is a shot-maker. But they’ve got to learn to get to the foul line more and they’ve got to learn to paint touch and pass. I told the guys today that basketball chemistry is defense and passing.

Q: IS THAT SOMETHING LEFT FROM THEIR PAST FEW YEARS, BECAUSE THEY COULD DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED ON THE TEAMS THEY WERE ON?

PITINO: They have to remember that they were having losing seasons and didn’t get to the tournament. You have to learn to get to the tournament. You know, statistics are only important if you win. When you lose, you have a losing record, you can go home and mommy and daddy may give you a trophy, but if you don’t get to the tournament it’s not of any value. So I don’t pay attention to statistics unless you win.

Q: WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR THESE GUYS TO GET THAT WIN?

PITINO: No question about it.

Q: WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE LAST GAME THAT YOU LIKED AND THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE TONIGHT?

PITINO: Just execution. The Puerto Rican team, this team wasn’t a very good one tonight, but it had 23 deflections at halftime. The other team had nine. We’re getting there. Last night’s game was terrific, from watching the tape. This one won’t be pleasing.

Q: IF YOU WERE TO JUST START THE SEASON WITHOUT HAVING DONE ANY OF THIS, HOW MUCH TIME WOULD IT TAKE YOU TO AMASS THIS MUCH PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE?

PITINO: If we didn’t have this, I’d be really worried going into the season. Really worried. Because these guys have to all learn how we play this game. Everybody. Deng Adel, Ray Spalding, Donovan Mitchell, Damion Lee, Trey Lewis, they all have to learn how we play. So without this, it would’ve been very difficult. This makes it a lot easier.

Q: YOU’D JUST HAVE BEEN SCRIMMAGING EACH OTHER AND NO LIVE GAMES?

PITINO: We’re ahead of where we need to be now, and we’ll be on-target for practice. We know some offense and we know some defenses, so we’ll be way ahead of schedule.

Q: WILL YOU COACH LOUISVILLE TOMORROW?

PITINO: Probably. I’m so mad at them right now I don’t know.

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