LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville basketball players held a press conference Friday evening after it was announced David Padgett was their new acting head coach.
Anas Mahmoud, Quentin Snider and Deng Adel spoke to reporters at the Yum! Center practice facility.
"It's not something easy on us or on him," Mahmoud said of Pitino. "I mean we miss him too. I mean we spend a lot of time with him."
"It's not going to get any easier on him as well, he's, he's dealing with a lot of stuff and God help him."
When the news of the FBI report broke on Tuesday, the team still had practice with Pitino.
"He was just being himself, really he was smiling, being sarcastic which is something that we know of him all the time," Mahmoud said.
Then came Wednesday, when the team left without a coach.
After a team meeting, they came up with Padgett.
Mahmoud spoke highly of Padgett, who was an assistant coach with the program before taking this position.
"[Padgett] has been my mentor since I've been here," Mahmoud said. "I wouldn't be where I am now without DP."
"We don't want anything to distract us even more," Mahmoud said. "We don't have the time. Coach Padgett has been here, he's done it before."
Adel echoed his teammate's sentiments, noting how the assistant they all refer to as "DP" is a welcome, understanding face in this turbulent time.
"He's a player's coach," Adel said. "It's just fun to have him around."
The trio also talked about Brian Bowen, the player believed to be at the center of the bribery scandal. They still consider him their friend.
"The situation that we're in hurt us a lot but, I mean that doesn't change the fact that he's a good kid," Mahmoud said.
The team starts practice this weekend, and opens play in just over one month at the KFC Yum! Center.