From the locker room: Cards tag Jaspers

Gorgui Dieng

The season opened with a 79-51 victory for the University of Louisville men's basketball team on Sunday against Manhattan College. Cardinal Authority was there and has plenty of reaction form the locker room.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino on overview

"Well, we finally played some competition to help us improve. The most noticeable thing to me was how we attacked the zone when Gorgui (Dieng) was out of the game, and how we attacked with Gorgui in the game. The one thing I am happy with us in all three scrimmages is our defense has been very good. I don't mind taking a lot of threes, with the exception of Luke (Hancock) because he turned down about five open threes. That is no good. I told Luke he has to have Russ (Smith's) mentality where every shot to him, is a chance to score. You can't be thinking about it just because you missed a few. The one area of improvement has to be rebounding from our guard spot."

More Rick Pitino on three-point attempts:

"I think if they are open, which those were wide open, then take them. They were trying to stop our dribble penetration. We have to make those. Luke (Hancock) and Wayne (Blackshear) have to make those threes. I think Russ (Smith) is rushing his. He is in too much of a hurry, just like everything he does in his life."

More Rick Pitino on strength of the team's defense:

"We got nothing out of the other two games. I think you saw we didn't play one possession of zone, and last year we played a lot of zone. I don't know how soon this team can pick up the stuff we were doing defensively last year. Chris (Smith) and Kyle (Kuric) were 34 and 35 years of age, so they picked up things quick. I don't know if our guys can pick up everything we did last year. We are playing exclusively man and we haven't worked on zone much. We will need it though someday. Right now I am pleased with the man, but our guards have to help rebound."

More Rick Pitino on coaching against Steve Masiello

"He called me a couple time this week and asked me why I didn't answer his calls. I am focused. You coach your team and I will see you after the season, we'll have a great time but don't call me. Same thing when my son comes in here. I don't even look down there. I love all of them very, very much but my respect for them is so high, I know they can beat us. We won by a lot of points today, but if their player had been healthy that would have been an eight or ten point game. I knew that. He played us perfectly in terms of how to come away with a victory. He didn't panic when he got down 16 or 18. He stayed with it because it was the only way he could stay in the game. He is very good strategist and a very good coach. You root for them so hard. Tonight my son was down 16 and after the game I check the computer and he has tied the score. People you love, you live and die for them except when the one game you go against them. I will root for him now and call him up."

Louisville point guard Peyton Siva

"I didn't play very well today. I had five turnovers and that can't happen, especially for coach (Rick) Pitino."

Louisville freshman Montrezl Harrell

"Coach talked about rebounding at halftime. I think we went out there and laid back a little, trying to rely on another person to get rebounds. But we should have went better to the boards overall as a team. It's something we need to improve.

Louisville guard Luke Hancock

"it gives me confidence that coach wants me to shoot the ball more. I'm trying to block out the crowd as much as possible. I felt like I had pretty good looks today. I didn't shoot it like Russ, but I didn't feel like I passed up too many."

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello

"Well, that was some homecoming. Obviously, they have a really good team. Our kids came out and competed but we struggled to find our flow offensively. You can't play a team like Louisville and have 27 turnovers. I give them all the credit."

More Steve Masiello

I don't know where their weakness is. I have watched a lot of film on them and have seen them improve in just three games this season. They have so many weapons. Peyton (Siva) and Russ (Smith) are just nightmares. I think 1 through 10, 1 through 11, they really come after you and that's what makes them so special.

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