In a press conference on Wednesday morning, Louisville Coach Rick Pitino talked to the media about the opponent they face on Friday, the 12 seeded Oregon Ducks. Sometimes coaches use ‘coach speak’ in Press Conferences, I don’t think that was the case this morning in discussing Oregon.
The speed and quickness of this Oregon team is different than any other team we’ve faced this season. People would be really surprised how physical Oregon is. You don’t expect that from a team out of the pac-12, but they’re really physical. – Rick Pitino on the Ducks
Pitino talked about Arsalan Kazemi and his role with Oregon:
Arsalan Kazemi is very long, very physical and he pursues the basketball extremely well. He also has guard skills. He can get the ball off the rebound and dribble the ball the length of the court.
He touched on the play of Dominic Artis, when he is healthy:
What we had with Russ Smith last year, that’s what Lloyd gives Oregon off the bench. People have talked a lot about Dominic Artis and the team struggling when he was hurt, but Lloyd was the MVP of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Other coaches tried to discuss the Ducks with him, including Travis Ford from Oklahoma State(who was beaten by Oregon in the first round of the Tournament this year):
I’ve talked to five different coaches who have played Oregon this season, including Travis Ford (Oklahoma State lost to Oregon in the first round), who was at practice yesterday.When you watch us on film, you don’t get a real appreciation for what we do, and Oregon is the same way. The biggest thing Travis told me was, “don’t judge them by what you see on film, because they are way more physical.”
Ultimately, Pitino sees the game coming down to two things:
I think my success in the Sweet 16 has to do with the fact that I’ve had better teams in those games. In this one, I think it’s going to come down to who does the little things and who plays the best defense.
Oregon and Louisville play on Friday from Indianapolis, Tiptime 4:15pm (PT) on CBS.
E.J. Singler also spoke this week to Jim Rome about the Ducks and Cardinals
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