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Rick Pitino on defending De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk

Louisville did its best to slow down De’Aaron Fox. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky returns to action Thursday when it starts Southeastern Conference play at Mississippi.

The Wildcats will be trying to bounce back from last week’s 73-70 loss to Louisville that showed a few glitches in what had been a high-powered Kentucky offense.

The Cardinals did a good job slowing down UK point guard De’Aaron Fox and limiting UK’s fast break points.

“It’s not easy. We walled up, because now you put (Malik) Monk on the wing, and it’s not easy. At the end of the game, they had four shooters in the game. The key to stop the fast break is that you have to take great shots, and we were getting great shots, and that is the key. Then you play good transition defense. If you take a bad shot, they will make you pay,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino.

Louisville also contained Monk after his 47-point outing the previous game against North Carolina.

“We shadowed him. We tried to deny him. Every time he came off a screen we said let’s just keep the ball out of his hands and in somebody else’s. I felt he was going to drive a little bit more tonight because guys when they come off a 47-point game know that people are going to get in his jock. So, we tried to play that as well,” Pitino said.

“(Isaiah) Briscoe puts a lot of pressure on you on drives. Fox puts a lot of pressure on you. They’re a tremendous team. They really are a great team and obviously they’re going to have a terrific season.”

Despite the focus on Monk and Fox, Louisville also limited Bam Adebayo to just six shots.

“The reason I like their team so much is they have so many different ways to put pressure on you. Monk with the three, Fox going downhill, Briscoe weaving in and out, Willis with the three, and then Bam in the low post. There’s so many ways that they can hurt you,” Pitino said.

“Now the way they play up and down the court like that, if you don’t take great shots you’re going to lose the game. You have to take great shots.”

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