Sep 9, 2012, 3:32 PM EDT
Considering Louisville’s trouble with injuries last season, Rick Pitino looks to be playing more of the protector role than the spoiler of fun when he discouraged his players from participating in pickup games.
Not only protector of fresh legs, but protector of fundamentals, as well.
“I said I don’t want you playing pickup basketball, because that’s how you regress,” Pitino told Eric Crawford of WDRB. “I said I’d rather you play one-on-one basketball, with these rules — games of five. If you play games of five you’re playing hard on offense, hard on defense, winners come on.”
That style helped Pitino and the Cardinals to the Final Four last season. They return for this upcoming season with Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan, and Gorgui Dieng as the centerpieces, also adding big man Montrezl Harrell to the mix.
“We have an extremely competitive team that loves challenges,” Pitino said in a release. “We’re very excited to not only be traveling to face a terrific field [Battle 4 Atlantis] in the Bahamas, but from the first game on we will be tested. We look forward to that challenge.”
Many analysts see Louisville as the favorite in the Big East and perhaps as a national championship contender. With Siva, Dieng, and Behanan, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Cardinals made another trip to the Final Four.
- VCU’s Treveon Graham: From lightly recruited to leader of Havoc, the Atlantic 10 favorites 0
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels 1
- Dayton’s Elite 8 run, Archie Miller’s decision to stay help continue Atlantic 10’s success 1
- 2014-15 Season Preview: Jahlil Okafor, Frank Kaminsky lead a strong crop of big men 1
- 2014-15 Season Preview: Toledo looks to end a 35-year NCAA Tournament drought and rep the MAC 0
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 8 Texas Longhorns 1
- 2014-2015 Season Preview: Stanley Johnson, Sam Dekker lead wing forward rankings 1
- Five-star 2015 power forward down to five schools (2)
- Roy Williams says he was ‘dumbfounded’ following Kenneth Wainstein’s report (VIDEO) (2)
- Hawaii considering its options regarding NCAA investigation of basketball program (2)
- VCU’s band ‘The Peppas’ will be doing Haka War Chants this year (VIDEO) (2)
- Mark Emmert calls UNC scandal ‘troubling’, ‘disturbing’, ‘shocking’ (2)