[MUSIC PLAYING] Did you feel at half– sorry. Did you feel at halftime,
given how well Louisville had shot from three point
range and how poorly your guys had shot, that you weren’t in a
terrible place, even down ten? I wasn’t sure, but they
were shooting the ball well. I mean, we broke down
a couple of times. We were a little slow getting to
the shooters, but they shoot– I mean, it’s in their
hands and it’s off, and we saw– we’ve
seen them do that. The one thing we talked
about is at least if we’re there a little
quicker and they’re making it, we’ll live with it, but we’ve
got to get there quicker. But I didn’t know, because
they’re hard to guard, their discipline. You know, they threw
the 1-3-1 at us that they hadn’t showed a lot. They played, I think, only
one possession against Duke, and so we were a
little confused. And I thought when De’Andre
got in foul trouble, Jay Huff gave us a
great lift offensively, and I thought De’Andre
was– he was special. I mean, with the way he played,
that was a special performance, but I liked the individual
defense on the interior in the second half. The individual
defense, sometimes bothering some shooters
in the second half. It was really a gritty
second half for us, though we didn’t even shoot it. I think Dre is the only one
who hit the threes, right, and didn’t shoot it well. But we took care of
the ball, and game got some pressure with Kihei
and finished it the right way. Yeah Tony, you finished
plus 34 points in the paint. How much was that a
function of necessity for not shooting
through that well– Yeah. –or just intent, because you
wanted to attack the paint? Yeah. Well, we’re such a post
scoring team, I tell you. But there’s different ways
to get it in the paint, and again, whether it was
drives or tough finishes, Mamadi and Jay gave us a lift. You know, I didn’t play Braxton
and Jack in the second half, but I just went with,
I thought, defensively the matchups and the way it was. But the rebounding and
then the tough play in the lane, some dropped
passes, pocket passes, nice things really happened
off the ball screen. So just we were so much
better in the second half and tried to just
stay the course. Let’s take one over on
the left [INAUDIBLE].. Tony, why were you better? Was it defensively or just
overall, or what was it? In the second half? [INAUDIBLE] Yeah. I think– well, you know, I
think we got De’Andre back on the floor. He’s a terrific defender. That helped us with a match-up
kind of at the four spot. And then when I
put Kihei in, Kihei was really heating up the ball. And then De’Andre
guarded Nwora, who was terrific in the first half. And we were more mindful,
not that we should not have been, but on the– McMahon. Sorry, I was going to
say Ryan, because he’s such a good shooter. So I just thought we bothered. Of course, they missed
some shots, but– and then we ran
some decent offense. [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, talk about Kyle, eight
rebounds, eight defensive rebounds. And he’s been a good
rebounder all season for you. He sure has. You know, sometimes
the other guys just got to get people off,
and then, you know, your guards have to
come in and clean it up. And Kyle has a
nose for the ball. He’s deceptive with his
bounce off the floor and going and getting stuff. Sometimes when he
drives, he’s deceptive that way too to be able
to get off his shot. But with a lot of long
threes, and you know, they shot a lot in
the second half. There’s long rebounds, so that
was important for the guards to clean up. Take one from the
back [INAUDIBLE].. Coach, staying at
home in the post, you usually trap the post. I’m here, Coach. You did not trap the post– Right. –tonight. You stayed at home and– Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] straight
up in the post. Was that because of the
three point percentage in the first half? Well, our guys have been doing a
good job guarding individually. Jack Salt’s terrific,
Mamadi, Jay, they’ve done some good things. And you know, we
always talk about it, but the way– correct–
they shot the ball, we thought, let’s make them
make some plays over the top and score, and stay
at home a little bit, because most teams are
playing in for our post trap. Not that we won’t use
it, but I think it was– maybe they made one or two
post buckets off of moves, but it helped us
with our rebounding and also our perimeter defense. Thanks. We’ll take one right behind you. Josh, right behind you, sir. Tony, you said, De’Andre
was special today. Did you– was there
a moment in the game where you realized he
was really feeling it? I mean, the whole game. I [INAUDIBLE]. He was so complete defensively. You know, he hit the threes. He was driving and he’s just–
he’s playing good basketball. And I just– you look at his
stat line, and again, I just– nine of 11, made two for
two, got to the line. You know, just– I just thought he
was so efficient. That’s about as
efficient as it gets. And was so valuable,
whether it was guarding a switch, a perimeter
guy, or again, guarding Nwora. And we needed his
drives, drawing fouls, and we needed his threes
when we weren’t shooting it with the rest of the guys. Jerry and then Karen. Just piggybacking
on that, Tony, what is it about his ability
to take over a game? And in practices,
is he so dominant that he can just drive to
the basket [INAUDIBLE]?? You know, he– he’s just
continuing to evolve his game. You can see it. He’s improving, and he’s
just playing at a high level. And in practice, he shows
signs of that, of course, but you know, to do it in a
game is a little different, when we needed it. And there’s some other really
good players on the floor, so the spacing and things
like allow him for that. But he’s– when he’s at the
fore, he’s a match-up problem, just like when the
Nwora’s at the fore, he can be a matchup
problem when he’s shooting. So those– that’s the
way the game kind of is going with guys like that,
at times, playing those spots. Time for a couple more. [INAUDIBLE] Tony, you touched on Jay, and
we’ve seen flashes of that. Yup. Is there anything
holding him back from us seeing more of
that, or more often? Yeah. I mean, I thought
he gave us a lift, you know, there in that 1-3-1. Jay, his offensive skill,
his touch around the rim, and his length is
certainly unquestioned. It’s just a matter of him
continuing to, you know, be good defensively, take care
of the ball, get stronger. And all those areas,
he’s improving in. And then there’s opportunities–
you know, like I said, Jack and Braxton didn’t
play in the second half. Jay showed flashes, and
it’s sort of a moving target with all of our guys. Sometimes Kihei is in, isn’t. It’s just what
the game requires. But Jay’s offensive
skills were there. Like that– he’s– talked
about the mismatch four, well, he’s an interesting five man. What I love today is he
made some interior jump hooks and shots. You know, it wasn’t just
out at the three point line or a drive, and
that was exciting to see. And then he used his length
to block a couple of shots. So those things are all
there and they’re coming. And you know, he was rewarded
for the way he played today, and we were rewarded by the
way he played, as a team. Second row. Coach, when you have
Jerome and Guy go and they only have four
baskets between those two, and your team can still
come out and come back in the second half and
win, what does that mean about your ball club? Well, like I said, I think
we got a great Mamadi, and I talked about De’Andre. Those guys, different
guys at different times. And in that– that
certainly was a good step today or a good
sign that you have to be able to win
in different ways, and I thought De’Andre
was the catalyst to that, but other guys stepping up. And so that was hard. If you would’ve told me
you’re going to be 217, here are your stats,
and the first half, this is the way it’s going
to be, I would’ve I said, we might be in for
a long one tonight. But they toughened
up and played well. All right. [INAUDIBLE] It’s easy to see how far Mamadi
has come from his first years in the program. But even over the
course of this season, have you seen significant
progress from him? Yeah. I think it’s– you know,
when you color your hair, you kind of all of a sudden
have games like that. So he– no, he’s improved. You know, like
Jay, there’s just– for bigger players,
it’s a process, and it’s a hard
process to short cut. It’s just the reality of it. The way we demand people,
the way we have to, we think, play to be successful with
holding guys defensively, all those things, and
you just see them get more and more accustomed to it. And again, it’s
really a process. And Mamadi’s gotten
stronger and better, and his athleticism
is on display with his shot blocking
and his quickness if he has to show and
be able to close out. Because that puts
pressure on you when their five men can
ball screen and separate. That’s a hard action. We had some trouble
with it, but– [INAUDIBLE] You’ve had success coming
from behind in this building. I’m trying to think if any
of the players were on the– I kind of forget them all. But talk about just
your success here. It’s just we’ve played well. I mean, you talk about– I have so much respect for the
Louisville program in terms of Coach Mack and his staff
now, and the battles that we had with him when, you
know, as Coach Padgett and, obviously, Coach Pitino. This is one of the
more beautiful venues you’re going to play in. The fan base is– they care. They’re– you just feel it. You feel it in the arena. And there’s talented
players, so you know you’ve got to
play well, and our guys have answered the
call every time we’ve played them
in these games. And yeah, it was so
improbable last year that one, but this one was the way
you’re supposed to come back. Last year was– [CHUCKLING] I don’t know. But this year is how
you have to do it when you’re in those spots.