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Louisville’s looking to Kevin Ware to step into starting role

Jul 30, 2012, 10:03 PM EDT

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Louisville returns a chunk of its lineup from the 2012 Final Four team, including guards Peyton Siva, Russ Smith and Wayne Blackshear. But Rick Pitino recently said that if the season started today, sophomore Kevin Ware would get the nod at shooting guard.

Yep, Kevin Ware.

He wasn’t so hot as a freshman (in 20 games played, he shot 29.6 percent and averaged one point per game), but his game’s improved so much over the summer that he’d get the nod. How’d that happen? Let’s ask C.L. Brown of the Louisville Courier-Journal:

“What we do basically is we show them the perfect jump shot, which is Ray Allen with his legs, with his form and technique,” Pitino said. “We put it on a split screen with theirs, and the timing is the same. It shows their mistakes, and we go out and work on it.”

Pitino added that the key to Ware’s improvement is not just repetition.

“If you’re repeating a bad shot, you’re not gaining anything,” he said. “You have to be technically right.”

Ware could conceivably be a backup point guard, but Siva’s unlikely to spend much time on the bench and Smith’s usually an effective replacement when needed (provided he’s hitting). And it’ll be interesting to see how Ware’s defense has progressed.

But mostly, the Cards need his shooting. For a team that leaned on its defense in March, having a guy who can replace Kyle Kuric’s perimeter shooting is a necessity. We’ll see how it pans out.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

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