Coach Pitino Previews Missouri State

Ricky P

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino met with the media on Monday afternoon to briefly talk about the win over Western Kentucky and preview his team’s match-up on Tuesday with Missouri State. Below is a recap of the press conference.

Opening Statement

“Missouri State is a team like us that has just one loss. They’re an outstanding basketball team and have great size in the front-court. They pose a lot of problems when you’re trying to develop a defensive plans to stop them. It’s tough to play any zone because they can put four shooters on the floor at once. They also have the ability to beat you off of the bounce. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Defensive Improvement

“We’re working on it. The old adage, we’re trying to take it each day. We’ve had good practices, today we’re going double-sessions.”

Rule Change

“I don’t think the rules have changed how we play much. It’s shot-blocking that we need to work on and put an emphasis on blocking shots and challenge shots.”

Chris Jones

“He’s going to play. He practice with us this morning. He seems fine and didn’t have any ill effects from it.”

Justin Timberlake Concert

“It was great. I wasn’t photo-bombing. I was just standing there as they took the picture. I tell you what though, it was an incredible performance. I’ve never seen a concert go almost three hours and what a worker and what a performer.”

Guard Rotation

“I think the rotation is set. Those three and Tim Henderson. I don’t know how many minutes he’ll get but he deserves them. When you have Terry and Tim in there, those guys rebound the ball great. Tim is a different walk-on because he came in physically ready to compete.”

Coachable Players

“There’s not a whole lot of difficulty coaching these guys because they’re eager to learn. They’re going to lose their share of games, but they’ll keep getting better.”

Behanan’s Free Throws

“Catching the basketball was a weakness when he got here, but he’s really worked on that. Now it’s his free throws that he just has to get better at. He is a liability out there. It’s hard to play a guy in that situation at the end of the game. When his motion his slow, he’s a fine foul shooter.”

SVT Improvement

“I think he is fine. If you play him  a lot of minutes you’ll see his blemishes. I think if you play him minor minutes, he’ll do great. When he plays his 12-14 minutes per game, he’s fine.”

Missouri Valley Conference

“I’ve always felt that it was the most underrated league in basketball. They’re not as deep this year as they have been in the past, but they’re good at the top. Wichita is a good basketball team, this (Missouri State) is a good basketball team. We know they’re more than capable of beating us if we don’t play well.”

Magok Mathiang

“He’s improving. Although it doesn’t look good, he’s trying to power the ball to the rim and score. He won the rookie of the week in the AAC. I think he’s making great strides and getting a lot better. We need him to improve.”

About JD Coffey

JD Coffey
JD Coffey joined on as a contributor for TheCardinalConnect.com in June of 2011. He is also a long time co-host of The Cardinal Connect podcast network. JD covers all Louisville sports, but focuses more on football and recruiting. Follow him on Twitter @JD_Coffey.

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