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What Chris Mack, Louisville Players Said After 67-54 Win vs. Boston College

Read what the head coach of the Cardinals, forward Sydney Curry and forward Jae'Lyn Withers said after their win vs. the Eagles:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Entering their matchup with Boston College on a three-game losing streak, Louisville was able to get back in the win column with a 67-54 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Here's what head coach Chris Mack, forward Sydney Curry and forward Jae'Lyn Withers had to say following the win:

Head Coach Chris Mack

(Opening Statement)

“Anytime you drop a few in a row, it is hard. It is hard to feel confident about yourself and your team. Give our guys a lot of credit. We just played a team that was down 22 to Clemson and came back and one. We were only up two at locker room, so I am sure they felt really good at halftime. I thought our defense, particularly in the second half, was much better than in the first. As far as players, I am just really happy for Jae’lyn (Withers). He has had a tough season. He hasn’t hung his head and he has made mistakes and he knows it. He has owned it. He hasn’t pointed a finger. You are always happy for your players when they have success like he did tonight. I thought he gave us a spark in the first half. He was a lot more aggressive at the rim. We are happy we won. We have to learn from the things we have to clean up. We need to get ready to play a really good Notre Dame team on Saturday.”

(About Withers’ aggressiveness)

“I thought those attacks – he got fouled on one. When you go violently to the basket like that, a lot of times you get the benefit of the doubt. I thought in the second half, he might have gotten fouled as well but the referee didn’t see it that way. We need him attacking. It is evident that he is listening and trying to put it into practice. That is really not who he has ever been. But he has so much athleticism and he has to be that for us. I thought he played a lot more confidently. He scored more around the basket and we posted him up. He didn’t get sped up. He didn’t get the ball stripped. We talked a lot about that to him. He had really good ball placement in the lane and finished. I thought his defense was pretty good. We need to rebound better as a team and he is part of that. When you have had night he had, it is baby steps and I am really happy that he took a huge step forward for us today.”

(About Withers’ production)

“It changes a lot because, arguably, he is one of our best athletes. He can really get up off the floor. He can do a lot of different things. We have talked. He has got to stay in his lane at times and keep it simple. I don’t want to pull him out because he has cumulative mistakes happening. He asked me what he could do to play more. I said, worse case scenario, when I pull you out for a three- or four-minute stretch, it will be because you were tired, not because you had multiple turnovers or defensive lapse or forgot to block out. He wasn’t perfect tonight by any stretch of the imagination. He was much better and gave the coaching staff more confidence keeping him in there.“

(About the different starting lineup)

“I talked to our team on Monday and said we aren’t going to put a team 1, a team 2 or team 3 out there. I am just going to have red-white. You are going to earn what you get in terms of starting. Obviously, what we are doing wasn’t working the last three games. Having said that, I don’t want to pin it on those starters. We start off games pretty well. We haven’t come to the bench down 14-2. Every game, at the first TV timeout, it is either a possession one way or the other or it is tied. Certainly, we would like to get off to a big lead. Against NC State, we were winning. It has been the start of the second half. So, we talked as a staff about that guys who played well in the first half, is who we are going to start in the second half. I didn’t have any major complaints about who started and who played in the second half. I didn’t have any complaints about the guys who started out our game.

(On first time playing Malik Williams and Sydney Curry together)

“We worked on it for a week or so then Sydney (Curry) got hurt so he wasn’t able to play against Pittsburgh. It can present some challenges for the other team; Malik (Williams) is not necessarily a stretch four at least in terms of his size. He can shoot the ball, but he is really good defensively, whether he's on the perimeter or in the post. I don't think he played his best tonight, but it allows us to put two guys on there that out there that can rebound the ball and give us the most offensively so moving forward we are going to do it at times.”

(On keeping the team ready to go with the delay)

“We were just trying to keep apprised of what was going on when they thought that the leak might stop and when we would be able to get on the floor. Our guys went into the gym, shot a little bit, and hung in the locker room for about 20 minutes until the break became way too long. Once we got the official word that was probably going to be 45 minutes to an hour, our guys started to stretch out and loosen up. We had already done all our pregame work in terms of our talk and stuff on the chalkboard, so we didn't necessarily have to address those guys anymore. It was more just trying to keep them updated on what was happening.”

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(On how much this group needed a ​double-digit win)

We needed a win. It beats a nail biter at the very end. Boston College gave us all we can handle for a large majority of the game. I knew that they wouldn't have any quit in them. We watched them go to Clemson, South Carolina and do what they did in that game. They have a new coach who has done really good job and their kids play hard. It beats the alternative.”

(On if he’s concerned or encouraged with 14 missed layups from Boston College)

“Concerned and just like we have to learn in a loss, when you win you’ve got to learn some lessons. They had some looks tonight that some teams we play will score on including Boston College. We have to do a much better job. I told our team that at Xavier, we had lost six in a row, and we went to DePaul who was last in the league. I didn’t tell that story until our guys got to the locker room after the game. It's hard to win when you've lost a few in a row, not a lot of people have good things to say about your team and your players. It’s a challenge but I'm happy for our guys, they found resilience, held Boston College to 54 points and we're going to try to build from here.”

(On what Mason Faulkner brings to the starting lineup)

He finds guys and he does it a little differently. He's a strong kid and he really changes speeds. He doesn't just blow you even though he needs to, in this league you’ve got to bring spurts of quickness occasionally. He finds guys, he gets in the lane strong and is strong with the ball. He can tell who's helping in and he gets some of our guys some good shots and some dump offs for some of our big guys and we recognize that.”

(About Sydney Curry’s play)

“Sydney Curry has really come out of his shell. I wouldn't say he's the leader of our team. But he is a kid that really cares about winning and his teammates. If I told Sydney, tonight during the game, “I do not want you to take one shot.” He would not raise his eyebrows. He would not take one shot. He would do exactly what the coaching staff asked and that is what we want. All he cares about is winning. He did not get here until late August. It has been fun to watch him start to open to his teammates and coaches. I'm happy for him. We have some good leaders in our locker room.”

(On taking ownership of the team)

“I think today was a sign of what you wanted as a coach when it comes to practice on Monday after we lost to Pittsburg. We are not picking guys up with a spatula. Tonight, they were big time energy guys. The team was competing, wanting to get better. Their hearts are in the right place. Guys wanted to win for the city of Louisville, the school, there teammates, and we are just figuring it out. Tonight, was a good sign.”

Forward Sydney Curry

Forward Jae'Lyn Withers

(Photo of Chris Mack: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)

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