Louisville vs Kent State Postgame Quotes

first_imgStory Links (About [Christen] Cunningham scoring) “He’s a good player and he’s one of those glue guys who played really well tonight for them, but they had a lot of guys play well. I think their team, I’ve watched them a couple of times now, I think they’re growing as a group and getting more comfortable. They have a lot of new faces and guys in different roles than they were in last year and I’m sure Chris would say they’re getting better as they move along. He was certainly one of those guys who played well today.”  (On Louisville being better than what he thought) “No, they’re what I thought they were. When I watched them on film, I thought they were an NCAA tournament caliber team. When you play against them, they’re physical, they’ve got some length up front. They’ve got an elite player (Jordan Nwora), who I know didn’t play great tonight, but he’s an elite player. He hit two huge threes, back-to-back in the first half which gave them separation. They do a lot of things that good teams do. To me in the first half, and I’m disappointed for how we played in the first half, but they did a really good job making it difficult for us to score. It was their defense. Ball pressure, physicality, not allowing the ball to get by guys, keeping it in front and forcing contested shots, keeping us off the foul line. They did a good job with that in the first half. They guarded us more physically than anybody we played this year.” (On last minute adjustments before the end of the non-conference schedule) “I don’t know if it’s clean up. You are always in that mode, whether you are preparing for someone or not. But, we’ll address some things we haven’t had to utilize, so our zone offense hasn’t been seen in the last four or five games because nobody’s played zone. We really have to sharpen that up, for us, not for anyone else or for any future opponent. And, we have to do some defensive things that I am not going to publicly talk about.” (On not relying too much on Jordan Nwora) “My thing with Jordan is just taking good shots. There’s times when a guy gets on a roll and you want to run plays for him, you’re going to highlight him on the scouting report. His looks are going to be a lot more difficult, but I think for the most part, our shot selection is getting better. Our turnovers tonight were cut down. That happens in basketball. There’s going to be times where the team does a great job in scouting and doesn’t score as much. We have other talented players that can pick up the slack.” (On number of shots Christen Cunningham takes) “Not really, I want him to be aggressive and I thought he was. Good point guards do what the game tells them. If people collapse, then he’ll spread it out. He does a great job, I think a couple times he didn’t quite honor the ball screen, he got all the way to the rim. It’s really fun to coach CC because it’s like I’m coaching a 35-year-old veteran out there and that’s a luxury that a lot of college coaches don’t have.”  (About holding teams to under 45 percent and UofL shooting 65 percent) “I was disappointed from our perspective and where we were defensively. We weren’t locked in as we needed to be, but at the same time you got to give them credit. They made shots. They made plays for each other. They competed at a high level and that’s why they were playing as well as they were.” (On defending off turnovers) “A few dead ball turnovers, and those you don’t have to worry about defending. I was just glad that our turnovers were kept to a minimum against a team that relies on them and pressures. They were virtually pressing from the 12-minute mark on down, and for us to do what we did, we didn’t quite convert every time, but I thought we got the shots that we wanted. We missed a few around the rim as usual.” (On defending Jaylin Walker) “A lot, he and (senior guard) Jalen Avery. Those are the two horses for them. It goes against your pack-line principles when you start to say, “Let’s deny him the ball,’ and that’s what we tried to do the last four or five minutes of the game. They ultimately took him out or maybe he fouled out, I’m not sure, he wasn’t in there in the very end. When you choose to deny someone the ball, you start to get very spread out, and that opens up the lane for drives, post-ups, slips to the rim. It never got to the point where the deficit was so intense that we thought this could be a one or two possession game down the stretch, but after he hit that last one, we tried to deny him the best we could.” Kent State Head Coach Rob Senderoff(Opening Statement) “Louisville’s got a really good team, playing very hard. Disappointed how we came out in the first half, it was uncharacteristic of our team, in the second half we competed much better. Hats off to them for the team they have and the program that they have.”center_img (About the slow start) “It’s hard to say why we got off to a bad start. I’m sure Louisville had a lot to do with that, in fact I know they did. But it’s disappointing that we didn’t play as well in the first half as we did in the second half, or even compete as hard, that’s really more than play well. That was disappointing, but again give Louisville credit, and give Chris [Mack] and his group credit. They had a lot of guys, their secondary guys who are really good players too really played well tonight and that’s why they won.” (On team offensive performance in first half) “Pretty good, and I want to go back to the other side of the ball too, because I thought that was as good as we’ve played on both ends of the floor. We got stops, the last two four-minute wars were our best in the game to where we got the separation and from that point it was really an even game, but I don’t know if it would have been, even had Jaylin not hit those shots in the second half. I thought our play in the last eight minutes of the first half was indicative of who we can be.” (On Dwayne Sutton’s season-high 16 points) “Their — what you call ‘role guys’ or ‘secondary guys’ — they all played well tonight. They didn’t miss open shots, they got to the paint, they defended at a high level and they took us out of what we wanted to do in the first half. I’ll watch the film, but in watching it live, it was some of it where we couldn’t get to spots on the floor because of them.” (About [Jaylin] Walker’s second half) “Yeah, he’s an elite scorer and a really good player. We were able to get him some good looks. Once he starts feeling it, he’s able to make some tough ones too, which I’m sure he did.” (On balanced scoring) “Obviously, (junior forward) Dwayne (Sutton) and (graduate guard) CC (Christen Cunningham), and (sophomore forward) Malik (Williams) had his really good game for us offensively. My bigger concern, and it hasn’t been a concern with this team, is sharing the ball. So often, teams fight themselves—don’t want to make the extra pass, that’s not a sign of our team. That’s really fun to coach that when guys are hitting the open man. The go-to guy for us is the guy that’s open. We have to make decisions and find that guy. So, we’re going to have nights where (sophomore forward) Jordan (Nwora) scores a lot, we’re going to have nights where other guys pick up the slack because they put so much attention on Jordan, which I thought they did tonight. And, I thought we were very balanced offensively tonight.” (On playing inside-out basketball) “It was a little awkward game offensively, especially in the second half, because they chose to trap a lot, whether that was the post, whether that was as we were bringing the ball up, first pass. But again, to have 10 turnovers against that, I thought, kudos to our guys for being strong with the ball and making the right decision. I thought we got the ball in the lane as much as we could. We drew some fouls and got to the free throw line as many times as we did. I think we’re getting better with getting the ball in the paint, making decisions from there.” Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack (Opening Statement) “I keep saying it over and over, but we beat a really good team today in Kent State. I thought our team defended at a really high level, minus maybe the first few minutes of the game. I will say this that there are sometimes where you do everything you can defensively and a guy hits shots that you have no control of defending. You see it all the time at the next level, but rarely do you see it at this level, and (senior guard) Jaylin Walker, some of the circus shots that he hit at the end of the game made the margin a bit closer than I really thought it was. I thought our guys played well. We did a great job against a pressure defensive team of keeping our turnovers down. We had 10 turnovers for the game. That was a big point of emphasis all week, and I feel really good about what our team accomplished today against one of the best teams in the MAC. I’ve known (Kent State head coach) Rob (Senderoff) for a long time. I think this is his most talented team, so we’re excited with the win and we’re going to continue to get better and it’s great that we have a few days off and not an opponent here in a couple days.” (On believing that Louisville is an NCAA tournament team) “I do but I mean there’s a lot of games to be played. But I look at that and that to me looks like an NCAA tournament team. In the games they’ve lost, they’ve played well. I look at that and see an NCAA tournament team. They’re playing these non-conference games that are difficult will end up helping them because they’ve played a good schedule. They have toughness for sure.” Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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