UofL BASKETBALL | Chinanu Onuaku dubbed Bellarmine game MVP by Rick Pitino

11/03/2015 06:27 PM

Coach Pitino wrote in a blog post on his website today that the Bellarmine game Sunday afternoon showed team progress and potential. The Cards steadily opened up the lead over the Knights to a final score of 71-55.

Jaylen Johnson lead the team in scoring with 14 points, and earned a double double with 10 rebounds. But in his post, Pitino named Chinanu Onuaku (4 points, 8 rebounds) the MVP of the Ballarmine game. A large reason for his accolade was a team high seven deflections.

The MVP title was granted based on the following scale Pitino used to evaluate his players versus Bellarmine:

Pitino also went on to write that “to make our offense run smooth…Quentin must be on the floor for major minutes.” He commended Snider on his ability to push the tempo of the offense, and force offensive touches in the paint with his caveat being a lack of defensive rebounds and deflections. Pitino says Q has “free reign to chase the ball down” and expects 5-6 rebounds a game from the sophomore.

Pitino praised his entire back court saying they played hard and smart. He compliments Donovan Mitchell’s improvement in jump shots, complements his athleticism, but says with that skill it is unacceptable for him to not record a rebound. Mitchell was among the names Pitino listed as the freshman being afflicted by the “deer in headlights” mentality in their first non-scrimmage matchup in the YUM! Center. Coach also said he expects them to be better next time.

The “next time” he is referring to is Monday, November 9 against Kentucky Wesleyan. Pitino previews the matchup saying “ [Wesleyan] play a totally different style. They run a lot of set patterns. They press multiple ways, trap the pick and rolls and run a variety of zones. Like Bellarmine who helped us learn to defend movement, we will learn to defend physical post play.”

Pitino sentiment in his blog post by relaying that when his team breaks a huddle, instead yelling “defense,” they have elected to shout the term “Family.”

HERE IS PITINO’S FULL POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE:

AND HERE IS CHINANU’S INTERVIEW AFTER THE BELLARMINE GAME:

Garrett Moore

Garrett is a Sports Producer for Spectrum News. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State and got his start as a sports photographer. He now produces Sports Night, the state’s only nightly show dedicated to in-depth coverage of all sports in Kentucky. Sports Night airs weeknights at 6:30 and 10:30 on Spectrum News. Outside the station, Garrett enjoys golfing, hiking, fishing, and prides himself on being all-in as a sports spectator. He won a gift card for playing an air guitar in the student section during an MTSU basketball game. Follow Garrett on Twitter @SportsNightGM for real-time sports updates or if you just want to see the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes in getting Sports Night on the air.

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