CRAWFORD | New Pitino post talks offensive struggles vs. Virgini - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | New Pitino post talks offensive struggles vs. Virginia, says 'stay optimistic'

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

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You hear coaches talk about "ball reversal," and most of the time, you might be inclined to think, what does passing the ball to the other side of the court matter? What does a simple reversal of the ball accomplish?

Yet if you watch the game, you can't deny the results. If you pass the ball and move the defense, you start to see gaps for passing and driving. If you drive straight into the teeth of a set defense with little movement, or early in the shot clock one-on-one, you're more likely to lose the ball on slap-downs or be stripped by active defenders.

In his latest blog post on RickPitino.net, the University of Louisville coach quantifies just that while discussing the Cardinals' 63-47 loss to Virginia. With everyone picking apart the Cardinals' offensive futility against Virginia, he gives an interesting breakdown of how the Cardinals' offense did after varying numbers of ball reversals.

After zero reversals -- it went 3-19 from the field, with six turnovers.

After one reversal -- it went 4-12 from the field with four turnovers  and drew two fouls.

After two reversals -- it went 7-15 from the field with three turnovers and drew three fouls.

After three reversals -- it went 8-12 from the field with zero turnovers and drew four fouls.

After four reversals -- it went 1-1 from the field with zero turnovers and drew one foul.

Bottom line, the Cardinals were not patient enough on offense and broke out of the game plan, which was to reverse the ball, move the defense and then attack. (Nor, of course, were they disciplined enough defensively, as I wrote about in my column yesterday.)

"Stay optimistic," Pitino said is his message to fans. He says his players "are young with many flaws, but are ready to learn."

You can read about why (including an overwhelming MVP performance by Ray Spalding vs. Virginia), and a few thoughts from Pitino on North Carolina, by visiting his blog here.

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