Thursday, January 06, 2011


After a Preston Knowles steal and a Mike Marra three-pointer at the 10:19 mark of the first-half, Louisville was up 24-2 on visiting Seton Hall in a BIG EAST conference game. Kevin Willard had already burned two of his timeouts and used two media timeouts to frantically make adjustments, but nothing was working as the Yum! Center crowd was put into a frenzy by the opening run of the Cardinals.

In those first 9+ minutes, SHU turned the ball over 7 times and missed on 14 of their first 15 field goal attempts. Quite the rude homecoming for Willard, who served as an assistant and associate head coach to Rick Pitino for six seasons at Louisville and is the son of Ralph Willard, the Pitino's current Director of Basketball Operations.

"We got off to a great start," Pitino said afterwards. "A lot of good things happen for you defensively when you get off to a start like that, but believe it or not, there are so many times in a game of basketball when you see a team up 18-2, 19-2, and the other team comes back. We did a very good job of making sure we kept that distance."

The Pirates were never able to get within 12 points the rest of the game and after taking a 36-21 lead at the half, UL quickly pushed the lead to 28 points, 56-28, when Marra connected on three foul shots with 12:19 left in the game.

"It was hard coming back," said Willard. "We knew coming in after the Kentucky game that they would be ready to go and they did a good job at jumping on us and taking advantage of mistakes we made. It's tough to come back when you're down 24-2."

Freshman Fuquan Edwin led SHU with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

The former mentor had some advice for his pupil, whose team has now lost four of their last five games.

"Coach and I talk quite often," said Willard. "He just said keep your head up and keep working. The same thing he always says."

For the Cards, Mike Marra and Peyon Siva led the balanced attack with 14 points each. Chris Smith and Gorgui Dieng, who had five blocks, added nine points each as well.

The game was the BIG EAST opener for Louisville who travels to South Florida on Sunday. UL is 7-0 against their former C-USA rival in BIG EAST regular-season games.


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The unbeaten start to the 2010-2011 season for Rick Pitino and Louisville came to a screeching halt last night as the Drexel Dragons came into the KFC Yum! Center and dealt the Cards a 52-46 defeat.

"You have to come in and feel like you can win those games," Drexel coach 'Bruiser' Flint said following the game. "We're not going to come in and lay down against them."

Lay down they did not. Drexel dominated the pace of the game and dominated the glass with a 46-26 edge in rebounding.

"We got outrebounded 46-26 and that pretty much tells us why we lost," said Pitino.

Drexel led 25-23 at the half, but the Cards ripped off a 10-1 run to start the second half and led by seven points with just under 17 minutes left in the game when Preston Knowles connected on a three-pointer to give the Cards a 33-26 advantage. However, Louisville could not maintain their offense and Drexel chipped away and Sammie Givens put the Dragons back ahead at 43-42 with 8:09 left and UL would not have the lead again.

Louisville simply couldn't make shots as the Cards missed 11 of its last 12 attempts from the field and were only 12 of 25 from the foul line for the game.

"You don't rebound, you don't get out on the break and you don't do the little things that help you score," siad Pitino.

Drexel was not much better offensively, also shooting just 12 of 25 from the foul line and nearly negating their edge on the boards by committing 22 turnovers, leading to 17 UL points. However, their 11-2 advantage in second chance points was the difference in the game.

"We lost the game because we didn't rebound," added Pitino. "It's a very simple stat. We didn't get rebounds out of the three-spot. We didn't get rebounds out of the five-spot."

Knowles and Peyton Siva each scored 13 points in the loss for UL. As a team, the Cards shot just 31.9% from the field and only made four three-pointers in the game (on 16 attempts). The three-point shot has been a big weapon in the UL arsenal this season and was a key in the Drexel gameplan to stop.

"One of the things is keeping them off the 3-point line, and I think we did a good job at that," said Flint. "We wanted to chase them off the 3-point line, make them rush and run guys at them. I thought our guys did a good job at that."

The loss snapped U of L's home winning streak at nine games, dating back to a 70-60 loss to #11 Georgetown on Feb. 23 of last season, and its home non-conference win streak at 12.

Louisville will continue their season openign 10-game homestand on Saturday when they host Gardner-Webb at the Yum! Center. Thirteen of their first fourteen games of the season will be played in the new Yum! Center with the lone exception a December 22nd tilt at Western Kentucky.

-- game story quotes courtesy of www.uoflsports.com


Don't forget the Big East fan on your holiday shopping list with tickets to the 2011 Big East Tournament Ticketsicon this March in Madison Square Garden. See our 2011 Big East Tournament & Tickets page for more details.



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Thursday, December 17, 2009


The perfect remedy for what has been ailing Louisville of late was found in Oral Roberts visiting Freedom Hall Wednesday night. The cure was aided by a stern pregame speeck from coach Rick Pitino. Pitino's Challenge, Louisville gets 'Real' in Rout of Oral Roberts (Louisville Courier-Journal), 94-57.

After being called 'fakes' and 'imposters' by their coach, Louisville Pounds ORU (Tulsa World) behind 18 points from Edgar Sosa and 17 from Samardo Samuels. The Cards shot 52% from the field and connected on 12 of 32 attempts from beyond the arc in the rout.

With Western Kentucky coming to Freedom Hall on Saturday and a date with arch nemesis Kentucky (1/2) looming, UL fans will hope last night's effort proves the Cards are Back on Track State-Journal) with the meat of their schedule ahead.


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Monday, December 07, 2009


The score certainly caught many people by surprise as Louisville suffered an 87-65 home loss to UNC-Charlotte. It was a tough night for the Cards as Charlotte Catches Cards With their Guards Down (Louisville Courier-Journal) in front of more than 19,000 fans in Freedom Hall.

Jerry Smith joined the UL wounded Thursday with a strained Achilles' tendon. Preston Knowles (thumb) and Peyton Siva (wrist) already were hurting and out of action once again, too. However, with their frontcourt intact and being outrebounded significantly by the 49ers on Saturday, Injuries Aren't All that Ails Louisville Basketball Team (Louisville Courier-Journal). Samardo Samuels played just 19 minutes, scoring 14 points and grabbing just four rebounds, watching Charlotte frosh Chris Braswell have his way inside scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as UNC-C dominated the glass with a 49-35 rebounding advantage.

UL has now lost two of three and will host Western Carolina this coming Saturday. The Cards expect Knowles to return to the line-up, it is unclear when Smith or Siva will be ready to play.


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Thursday, December 03, 2009


Shorthanded Louisville rebounded from their first loss of the season to rout Stetston, 80-48, on Wednesday night. Playing without guards Preston Knowles and Peyton Sive, both out with injures, Jerry Smith Leads Cards in Win (Louisville Courier-Journal) by scoring 17 points. Edgar Sosa and Samardo Samuels each scored 15.

UL shot a blistering 62% from the field for the game and outscored the Hatters by 16 in each half, rotating several different line-ups with Knowles and Siva sidelined with injuries. Rakeem Buckles was inserted into the starting line-up over Jared Swopshire and Reginald Delk took Knowles normal spot in the line-up. Kyle Kuric and Mike Marra also received additional playing time in the understaffed backcourt.


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009


September 9, 2009

VERBAL COMMITMENT ALERT: Zach Price, 6'9 BF/C from Lakewood (OH) St. Edward

It was a busy weekend at Louisville with several highly touted 2011 recruits on campus making visits. One of those prospects has decided he found his college home while making the visit as the Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Zach Price Commits to Louisville following the trip.

Projected 2009-2010 Roster

Seniors: Edgar Sosa (G), Jerry Smith (G), Reginald Delk (G)
Juniors: Preston Knowles (G), Chris Smith * (G)
Sophomores: Samardo Samuels (BF/C), Terrence Jennings (C), Kyle Kuric (G/F), Jared Swopshire (SF), George Goode (F)
Freshmen: Mike Marra (G), Rakeem Buckles (F), Peyton Siva (PG), Stephan Van Treese (PF)
2010 Commitments: Josh Langford (SF)
2011 Commitments: Ryan Taylor (F), Michael Chandler (C), Zach Price (BF/C)

* -Smith will sit out the 2009-2010 season as a transfer and have two years of eligibility remaining

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In an effort to flex his recruiting muscle and to show that the recent controversy involving his person life will not diminish that mucle, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is on a mission to put together a 2011 recruiting class that will rival anyone's in the state of Kentucky or nationally.

Over the weekend, UL hosted highly touted 2011 prospects such as Wayne Blackshear, Mike Shaw, Marquis Teague and Zach Price. With Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence North teammates Michael Chandler and Ryan Taylor already in the fold as verbal commitments for the class of 2011, Pitino is well on his way to a homerun class.

Following the weekend visits, the class now stands at three as Lakewood (OH) St. Edward C/BF Zach Price made the decision to join the class, offering a non-binding verbal commitment to the Cards. The 6'9, 225-lb Price averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds as a sophomore and told the Louisville-courier Journal UL was the place he felt comfortable at.

"There's no other school for me" Price told the C-J. "I came (to Louisville) in June and felt it was a very, very good school and situation for me. But I didn't know for sure.

"The second visit confirmed it."

The issues surrounding Rick Pitino outside of basketball are also out of the mind of Price's family and the allegations made against Pitino by Karen Sypher did not enter the mind of Price's mother when discussing the decision with her son.

"His personal life is his personal life," Price's mother, Valerie told the C-J. "That didn't affect anything with us. You can't be judged by that. It was the right fit for my son.

"What we heard and know is that coach Pitino gets kids to the next level both on the court and off the court. He cares what the kids do, no matter what. We didn't hear that from other coaches."

Price joins Chandler and Taylor in the early class for UL.

Ryan Taylor is a 6-foot-6 forward that currently plays as an undersized post. He has the toughness of a post player but the athleticism that could allow him to transition away from the basket in the future.

Michael Chandler is a 6-foot-11 sophomore that is just beginning to come into his own. While he has yet to get a lot of playing time at the high school level, coaches universally agree that his has loads of potential and also had Ohio State, Indiana, Florida, Kentucky and others very interested in his services.

Now, all eyes are on Blackshear, who immediately named the Cards his leader after the visit, and Teague, who has long been the object of Pitino's recruiting attention of the class of 2011. To aide in their recruitment of Teague and the Indianapolis region that has been so good to the Cards recently, UL added Shabaka Lands as a special assistant to Pitino last week. Lands was previously an assistant coach at Indianapolis (IN) Pike High School, the same school Teague currently attends.

While Blackshear and Shaw are expected to be a package deal and take additional visits, the commitment by Price definitely muddles the picture of available scholarships in the 2011 class. On paper, the 2011-2012 Cards would currently have 13 players, which is the NCAA limit. This also does not take into account additional commitments for 2010 and UL is deeply involved with wing Rod Odom, who also visited last week, and elite point-forward prospect Tobias Harris who has recently sounded more and more interested in playing a Terrence Williams-style role for UL. Canadian native Cory Joseph has also long been a target for the Cards in 2010 and remains on their radar.

At one time the 2010 UL recruiting class stood at three verbal commitments, but Jeremy Tyler going pro and Justin Martin and the Cards parting ways leaves just Josh Langford of J.O. Johnson High School of Huntsville (AL) as the lone commitment for the class of 2010. Louisville staff members were very visible at his AAU games last summer during the open evaluation periods for the Alabama Lasers. Last year, i95ballerz.com had a very good story as Hard Work, Skill Building Netted Langford his Dream Offer from the Cards.

There will be another addition to the UL attack for the 2010-2011 season besides the incoming freshmen. After averaging 13.4 points and a team-best 5.7 rebounds a game for Barry Rohrrsen's 16-14 Manhattan Jaspers, Chris Smith decided he wanted to move on. The 6-foot-3, 200-lb guard, who is the younger brother of NBA player J.R. Smith, has chosen Louisville to be his new college home.

Smith is a product of St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey and was once committed to Seton Hall. However, after an academic issue prevented him from enrolling, Smith and the Pirates parted ways and Smith joined the program at Manhattan.

Smith is not afraid to get down and play defense and he should also fit in well in the Cards' style of play once he is eligible to compete after sitting out the 2009-2010 season.

If Smith is to receive an athletic scholarship, he would push the Cards one over the limit with four signed freshmen for the 2009-2010 season, however the expectation is he will walk-on to the program if the scholarships are filled..

We will continue to monitor the UL recruiting developments as they happen as Rick Pitino continues to position the Cards among the elite in the college game.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Europe-Bound Tyler Pulls out of Louisville Commitment

April 29, 2009

by Zach Smart

So, another promising young talent sidesteps the NCAA experience to weigh his professional stock and pursue an over-the-waters career.

Only, this 6-foot-11 muscle-bound high school student is not taking the Brandon Jennings route.

Jennings, an NBA prospect who made the leap from high school to the European professional ranks, at least returned for his senior year of high school.

Jeremy Tyler, who originally committed to Rick Pitino and Louisville, has shocked the sports world with his recent, unexpected announcement.

Tyler became the first United States-born player to leave high school early to pursue a professional career.

The junior is widely regarded as the most polished, dominant American center since Greg Oden.

Oden, as we recall, was hyped up to heaven-sent during his high school days in Indiana. His games were aired on ESPN2 before he decided on a date to his junior prom.

Tyler is currently unsigned to any professional team and has not signed with an agent.

The five-star recruit, who originally chose Louisville over USC and UCLA, has been heavily courted by Spain. Teams throughout Europe, however, area pursuing the fundamentally sound big fella.

Read Rest of Zach's Article HERE!!


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