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In his words: Louisville coach Rick Pitino talks on NCAA Tournament

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For more on college basketball follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Cardinal coach needs to play deep bench to fit style

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 12:21 am

INDIANAPOLIS - Louisville is the top seed overall in the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the Cardinals will play Oregon today at 7:15 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino spoke with the media on Thursday about a number of topics.

On playing a lot of players:

"I think that if you're going to apply full-court pressure, you can't do it unless you use your scholarships.

'I think you have to play your bench if you're going to apply a lot of pressure, if you're going to run the break."

On thinking about being nominated for the Hall of Fame:

"Not for two seconds. I didn't even know it was being voted on."

On needing NBA players to win in NCAA:

"it used to be true when I was in the pros that you had to have three All-Stars to win an NBA championship

"I think Gorgui Dieng is going to make an (NBA) roster. I think Peyton Siva is going to make a roster. I think Russ Smith will make a roster. So whether we do or don't, I'm not sure.

"I just think that the game has changed and it's not necessarily for worse or better."

On the evolution of the game:

"How could now, as you look at that Oregon team, as I'm breaking down 10 tapes, how could they possibly be a 12 seed?

"They got hot at the right time. They've got terriffic talent. They're extremely well coached, and they're a 12 seed.

"So it's fun today, because you have no clue to who's going to win."

On how the game with Oregon will go:

"I think this will be a very close game. Their talent is exceptional. They rebound great. They're great defensively.

"Anytime you can beat Saint Louis, a hot team, by 20 points, hold them to 44 and have them totally out of their game, you know you're playing against a great team."

On Indiana Pacer coach Frank Vogel:

"I follow every game, every box score. I've had over 25 assistants go on to coach in college and pros, and they're great friends of mine. And I love following every one of them.

"But Frank's a special case, because he wrote me a letter and said he followed me from the Five-Star Basketball Camp, and he'd like to come work for me.

"He was a high school kid at the time and started out as a manager. I said 'Frank, you're better off trying at Rutgers. Get a metropolitan area.' He spoke like me and with an accent. I said 'These Kentucky people, it's a little different here. You're going to be in 98 percent Kentuckians and you may be a duck out of water.'

"He wrote me back and said 'Coach, that's not why I want to come. I want to come and obviously continue with the style that you're playing.'

"He moved up from manger to a GA to a video guy and traveled with me with the Celtics.

"I look back on that letter today, he's doing an unbelievable job. I couldn't be more proud. I couldn't be more happy for Frank and his family, because he's not only become a great coach, but he's a terrific person."

On admiring Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo:

"Longevity of excellence. They're both very different, but they're both very similar. Both guys, when you have to play them, they bring certain qualities to the table at the defensive end, from a toughness standpoint, that you have to really be ready.

"They just never let up in how hard they work, and even with Mike, I'm really a little happy for him that he gave up the Olympic gig, because I don't know how he did it."