RICHARD PITINO: Well, great win for our guys. I just thought we played really good defense when we needed to. We showed great toughness and grit down the stretch. Obviously they were really pressuring us and sending us to the free throw line. We hit some big free throws, but you can’t undersell it. That’s a terrific win for our guys. Louisville is a great team. That staff does a great job. Chris does a great job, so being proud is probably a bit of an understatement for these guys. It’s a special win.
Q. Gabe, you played almost the whole game. Jordan, you had a little bit of a break. I know you guys are used to that right now with all of the injuries. But do you feel like you’re ready to go in a couple days for another game?
GABE KALSCHEUR: Yes, for sure. We just gotta come, be ready for Saturday. We’re ready.
JORDAN MURPHY: Yeah, I think I’m going to be ready to go, 100 percent. There is no way I’m missing it.
RICHARD PITINO: Telling be fine.
Q. For both players if you don’t mind, seemed like neither team was having much luck scoring early, but then all of the sudden it looked like you were getting everything you wanted. Did you figure something out? What happened at that point?
JORDAN MURPHY: I just think we were able to get stops and that’s what gave us a lot of confidence going down the stretch. Once Gabe saw that the ball went through the hoop for him and Amir and Dupree that’s when our offense really started to flow.
GABE KALSCHEUR: I felt like we eased into it after the first five minutes and then we started to get confident at the end of the game.
Q. Jordan, can you walk us through the injury and what you were dealing with?
JORDAN MURPHY: I think it happened like early in the second half. My back just locked up on me. I mean, I don’t know what else I can do about it, but for now just get treatment and take care of it. It just happened down the stretch and just had to keep playing through it.
Q. Gabe, y’all make not even six threes a game and you cashed in eleven. Can you talk about what you saw from the Louisville defense today?
GABE KALSCHEUR: I felt like they were giving it to us at the end in the middle of the game. I feel like we got confidence during the game as well. I felt like Dupree, once he hit his, everybody was feeding off each other.
Q. (Away from mic.)
GABE KALSCHEUR: He was hitting, too.
Q. Gabe, that first three, was that the key? You didn’t seem to shoot a lot early, early on, and then you make that one and it just flowed from there. Was that first one the confidence booster?
GABE KALSCHEUR: Yeah, for sure. Once that first one hit I felt confident. The first two were unsure, in and out, but after that I just kept feeling confident.
Q. Jordan, early on, especially, Louisville seemed to aggressively collapse on you and Daniel. How much fun was it watching Gabe and Amir and the guys take advantage of that?
JORDAN MURPHY: Man, I love when we take advantage of the collapsing defense and when they’re huddled in on me in the paint. I found Gabe in the corner a couple of times and he got some good jump shots. So it was fun being able to see that, having confidence and smiling a little bit and having fun.
Q. Jordan, with the amount that Louisville shot threes was there a sense going into this game that you guys were going to need to shoot a decent amount yourselves to keep pace almost? Because you got involved as well.
JORDAN MURPHY: I don’t think there is a necessary, like, sense of urgency to shoot threes. I think overall we needed to score the ball, put the ball in the hoop and stop them as well. They definitely didn’t shoot that well from three today. So credit to our guys for playing defense and credit to our guys for hitting the shots.
Q. I know nobody wanted to play into the Louisville match-up before the game. Now that it’s over are you happy you won it for Richard?
JORDAN MURPHY: Like I said earlier, two days ago, this wasn’t really about getting a win for Coach P. It was about getting a win for our team in general and making sure we advance to the next round. I think that was what makes him happy and that’s what makes our teammates happy.
GABE KALSCHEUR: What he said. It wasn’t about Pitino. It was about advancing to the next round.
Q. Guys, there have been games where you have definitely struggled shootingwise. What changed today? You guys got hot and you weren’t just good, you were great at times. What changed from the games where you do struggle to a day like today where there’s times you can’t miss?
JORDAN MURPHY: I think it’s all confidence, honestly. I think it’s all mentality and once we have the right mindset going into the games and we’re confident locked in, I think there are very few teams that can stop us and you saw that today.
GABE KALSCHEUR: Yeah, it’s just confidence and forgetting about that one you missed and going onto the next. Confidence is a big key.
Q. For Gabe, how confident were you? By the time the fourth three went down you back peddled and were strumming like a guitar. Have you done something like that before? Is that a regular thing? Or did that just come out of your body?
GABE KALSCHEUR: I haven’t strummed the guitar.
RICHARD PITINO: Did you do that? Did you really do that? Act like you’ve been there before!
GABE KALSCHEUR: I’ve seen the arrow before.
RICHARD PITINO: He can do whatever he wants if he hits five threes.
Q. Gabe, just branching off that. You haven’t been in this situation before. It’s your first NCAA Tournament. Did this feel any different to you than any other big games this seen and how do you feed off that?
GABE KALSCHEUR: It’s a big atmosphere and a big stage. We’ve been here, Big Ten tournament. I just eased into it, another big game. Felt good.
Q. How would you guys sum up the significance of this one given the fact that it’s the first win in the NCAA Tournament for the program since 2013?
JORDAN MURPHY: Obviously means a lot to us and it means a lot to our state and our fans and our program as well. So it’s really significant to us, been in this position two years ago where we lost and now just being able to redeem that loss and win and keep moving and advancing and then going into the next game with a good mindset I think it’s a pretty positive thing.
GABE KALSCHEUR: Very big for us and our community and our fans. Just big that we’re advancing and moving on.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. Questions for Coach?
Q. Coach, obviously you gotta be proud of the shooting performance, but how proud are you of the defense performance as well?
RICHARD PITINO: I thought the defense was great. Jordan Nwora, I thought we did a really good job on him. That’s a tough offensive team. They put you in binds. I thought where we started to build the lead was we got stops. We got a little tired at the end, but for the most part when we needed to we got stops.
Q. Coach, Jordan’s game is so consistent. I feel like you know what you’re going to get out of him, but one of the keys is if Amir is on his game you guys are tough to beat. How early did you get a sense that he was really feeling it today?
RICHARD PITINO: Amir has been pretty locked in over the last month. When he’s good and understanding where his shots are coming from, he’s terrific. He’s playing forty minutes a game. He’s very, very durable. He’s playing great defense. He played great defense on Nwora. He was locked in early, you could tell. If you’re not locked in now, there is probably a problem.
Q. Richard, they came into the game with a significant advantage as far as three-point shooting. You guys beat them at that time. Was there an emphasis, or did it just happen?
RICHARD PITINO: I think it just happened. It wasn’t anything that we necessarily saw. It’s a confidence builder. Gabe is a great shooter. Murph chipping in with two. That’s an addition, but we stuck with our offensive flow and I don’t think it was anything necessarily that they did. We were just confident with open shots.
Q. What was your reaction to the crowd and how did that help you guys?
RICHARD PITINO: The crowd was awesome! The crowd was absolutely awesome. When I meet people I try to explain to them about Minnesota and how much pride our fans have, not just for men’s basketball but for the University. When I took the job everybody was saying, oh, you work at the U. The U? I just left Miami. It’s special all across the board. That crowd carried us. It was a big-time performance from them and hopefully we see them in a couple days as well.
Q. Gabe’s game, as I said before, looked like he didn’t want to shoot that much early on and then he makes that first shot and it just sorta steamrolled from there?
RICHARD PITINO: And he drove the ball a couple times in crucial moments got that “and one” knocked down free throws. He had eight rebounds. That’s remarkable, and he’s a terrific three-point shooter. He has a beautiful stroke. He’s one of those guys, he deserves success. Doesn’t matter what you do that guy doesn’t take the day off. He sneaks into the gym. He’s a throwback and he deserves success.
Q. Seems like you guys did a groat job of handling the ball screen action. Do you think that played a big roll in the team defensive success?
RICHARD PITINO: That’s important. They have great pick-and-rolls. They can shoot the ball well, so I thought from a scouting report standpoint the guys were locked in and did a very good job there.
Q. With three minutes left there was a three-minute review on the shot clock situation. I know you were asking okay wrap this up, wrap this up, with you guys in the point of advantage, I guess, how were you trying to make sure the guys stayed focused and locked in with that long of a stoppage at that point in the game?
RICHARD PITINO: You know, just stay poised. That happens. We’re used to that. Those reviews can happen from time to time, stay composed, give them the next play, what we’re going to do if it’s their ball, our ball, et cetera.
Q. When you consider Murphy’s durability over his four year career is there any doubt in your mind he’s going to be good to go for Saturday?
RICHARD PITINO: Absolutely no doubt in my mind. He’ll find a way even if we tell him he can’t.
Q. I know you don’t want to talk about Louisville, but are you going to get a nice gift out of your father for this? Are there any emotions you want to speak to?
RICHARD PITINO: I’m truthful with it. I’m not being diplomatic. It was really about that. It’s very hard to get to the tournament, especially in our league. We had five new players. We had some ups and downs. The focus was on preparing. It didn’t matter who we played. I’m proud of our players. I’m proud of our University that they can be a part of this. They can come drive over to Des Moines, so it’s not really anything extra. That’s always been my mentality. I try not to get too high. I try not to get too low.
Like I said, I was not being diplomatic. I got respect for Chris Mack, his staff. They do a really good job. That was the focus. How can I help my team beat a really good team?
Latest posts by Mark Blankenbaker (see all)
- Louisville Football Ranked #25 in AP Poll - October 1, 2023
- VIDEO: Jeff Brohm NC State Post-Game - September 29, 2023
- VIDEO: Jack Plummer, Brock Travelstead, Ashton Gillotte, Chris Bell & Cam’Ron Kelly NC State Post-Game - September 29, 2023