2007-08 Cincinnati Men's Basketball

Jan. 1, 2008

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Cincinnati at Louisville

January 1, 2008

Louisville, KY - Freedom Hall


Head Coach Mick Cronin

University of Cincinnati

"Obviously, (it was) a big win for our team to come on the road against Louisville at full strength. David Padgett going six for eight and playing the way he did. Juan Palacios was in his fourth game back. In the rebuilding stage of our program, to get a big win like this is a huge morale boost for our team. We have had our own injuries and our own trials and tribulations early in the season. I was proud of our team's defensive effort and the way they pulled through. Kids make some big shots. Our point guard, Jamual Warren played a great a floor game. Deonta Vaughn made some big shots along with John Williamson. We are a team that gets a lot of contributions from a lot of people."

(Being a head coach in Freedom Hall) "It's is interesting to stand here where a legend like Denny Crum used to stand. He used to play schedules like we did in December. Brutality, tough teams on the road gets you read for conference play. There is no doubt our pre-conference schedule gave us the edge we needed, playing in some tough environments against high quality teams. Although we didn't win those games, it got us ready for today. It hasn't helped our record, obviously, but it definitely prepared us and hopefully we can continue to use it as a spring board, like it did Louisville teams during Coach Crum's era."

(Win in perspective) "It is a huge win, but you know after all I have been through since I have come home -- whoever we beat was going to be irrelevant. We needed to win the first BIG EAST game. Obviously (it's big) when you get a win against a high quality coach, you gotta understand, I am their biggest fan. I don't miss a game, they are all on ESPN Full Court. I have to watch them from a different angle when I am preparing for them because I am not rooting for them. It is a tremendous win for our program, and the rebuilding everything we have been through."

(Biggest win) "I plan to be around so long, I am going to forget them. It is all about BIG EAST play, and all about conference play. We didn't get to be a part of that last year because we were so outmanned and I had to get the kids to fight so hard throughout the whole process that that alone was tough to do. But it hardened those guys. We are starting to reap the benefits of that. It wasn't in victories here lately, although we had a nice win over Miami, which is a really good team as everyone knows. We played such a tough schedule, we needed these last couple wins."

(BIG EAST race) "If you have a winning record in the BIG EAST, then your pre-conference will probably be irrelevant plus the fact that we had two injuries. We tried to push the ball, and they got back and they have a tremendous team from a quickness and athletic standpoint and they did a great job of getting back on defense. And we were not able to get any easy baskets, despite trying to push the ball. In the last eight minutes, we tried to push it at them and took some quick shots that we didn't make. So I made a decision to tell Warren, if we don't have a lay-up then let's run the offense. He made a few mistakes trying to push it but that was my fault. Once we tried to slowing it down and executing and trying to get Deonta Vaughn a few open looks. He knocked them down, you have to give him all the credit."



Head Coach Rick Pitino
University of Louisville


"It was a very disappointing loss for us. Especially defensive mistakes we made down the stretch were really killing us. We did everything we should not do in those situations. We got burned on a out of bounds play with seven seconds to go and that should never happen either. The man on the ball has got to help out on the back screen. We made some really bad fundamental plays, besides the fact some guys who weren't shooting the ball well today."

(on the last play) "We were suppose to drive left to the basket. What they do is, they come off you and they attack the basketball, one or two guys are going to get open. We wanted to get Jerry Smith open and instead we went right and took a bad shot."

(On the bad shooting) "I thought they played very good defense. What bothers me most is not the fact that you miss shots but you have to do other things. If you're Earl Clark and your shots not going in and it's a good shot is one thing. You can't stand around and not rebound the ball or play bad defense. You can't let shooting dictate how you play the rest of the game."

(on playing David Padgett so long) "We had no choice we had to play to win. You can't turn the ball over against these guys. D C was just turning it over too much and wasn't getting us the assist."

"We lost the game because fundamentally we broke down defensively. When it goes into the high post, we don't care about that. I told the guys three times, you stay on your guys on the wings - you don't leave them. We instinctively leave them. This team is extremely frustrating because they can't pay attention to the scouting report. They just can't pay attention, it just very frustrating. It is the most frustrating thing I have been through in a long time."

"Play it one game at a time. We've won in the past we've done really good things because of scouting and preparation. We're getting very little out of it right now. The young guys have a very difficult time paying attention to the scouting report. That's the biggest area of struggle, is just listening to what we want to get done. And that is hurting us. Guys being off offensively, you have to give credit to the defense and you have to live with it as long as they are good shots. The last play of the game was not a good shot. We didn't want a double team three. We should have dribbled to the left and get a foul. Cincinnati is not going to give you anything on the inside and they are going to come off and they are going to come after the ball. You will get an open shot but you have to put it down. We wanted to go to Jerry first."

"They played very good defense. They get the ball to the right guys and they are playing very good basketball."

"We had to have passing from inside. On thing DC doesn't do a good job of is he has bad fundamentals, he holds the ball with one hand and he is not very long to pass it out of the trap. We have been working very hard with him on it. David also runs the offense much better. He understands it in the sense of defensive scouting. I am sure he will be real sore tonight because he played too many minutes. But we had no choice because the season is on the line in every game for us."

"He didn't run the play and that is my fault for putting him in that situation. It's more time on the clock then you think. A mistake was made, we should have pushed the ball on the missed shot and I don't like timeouts in that situation. Push it, drive it, dish it and usually something good happens. Instead we drove it and brought it back to half court, and that was a mistake."