Press Conference: Louisville coach Rick Pitino after loss to UNC in ACC Tournament

storylogo2Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino talks briefly with reporters after the Cardinals’ 70-60 loss to UNC in the 2015 ACC Tournament.


COACH PITINO: We came here to win this tournament, and we’re very disappointed we’re going home. We had our way against man to man and they switched to zone and we went cold. We had a lot of good looks; we just couldn’t put the shots down, and sometimes it’s very simple when it comes down to that. Then we did not guard their high post very well, so they deserve the victory. It was a tale of two halves, and we played very well in the first half. They switched defenses and we played very poorly in the second half. So give them a lot of credit, and we’ll just sit back and see who we play on Sunday.

Q. You said you went cold when they switched to zone. That’s been giving you trouble all year. What is it about zone that gives your offense so much trouble?

COACH PITINO: Well, you obviously see, if you’re from the Louisville Cardinal, that we’re not a great shooting team so that’s a pretty silly question to ask. You watched the game, didn’t you? So you don’t have to be an X and O genius to figure that one out, do you?

Q. No.


Q. What are your options when late in the year you do have to reinvent yourself to an extent and the other defenses know the three guys are taking most of the shots?

COACH PITINO: Well, you’re right. You know, we were put in this situation late, but honestly we were playing very good basketball in the last two weeks. We played great against Virginia. We had a great first half against Carolina. Then when they went zone we rushed a little bit. We missed open looks. We’ve been okay against zones. We’re not the greatest outside shooting team. But to be honest, I think I’ve got to make one change which has nothing to do with perimeter shooting. I think I’ve got to make a change at the five spot to try to get more offense into our five position. Too many doughnuts on certain nights, so we’ll probably have to make a change there. But not a whole lot we can do except to do a better job of recruiting some shooters, because we are who we are right now. We’re a pretty good basketball team, but we weren’t as good as Carolina tonight though.

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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