Louisville Basketball: Cards Show Depth and Athleticism in Red/White Scrimmage

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Louisville Basketball: Cards Show Depth and Athleticism in Red/White Scrimmage
Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE

The University of Louisville Cardinals started their 2012-13 season off with a intrasquad Red/White scrimmage in the KFC Yum! Center. Head coach Rick Pitino got a chance to see how talented his team is and what his team still needs to work on.

The more talented and experienced red team won the game 74-58. 

"For the first day, and without a lot of practice," Rick Pitino said after the scrimmage. "I thought the team looked pretty good especially the Red Team.”

Pitino added, "What we need right now is a lot of work on our shooting. We need a lot of work on our passing ability. I think you're looking at a very good basketball team. Unlike last year, we don't have a lot of home games in the beginning. We're going to be tested right away from the opening game. We're going to be tested right away with road games with Charleston and Memphis and the Battle 4 Atlantis."

The red squad's frontcourt of Peyton Siva and Kevin Ware pushed the ball up the court quickly throughout the scrimmage. Senior Peyton Siva is expected to be one of the best point guards in the country this season. Siva ended the game with 12 points and six assists.

"I thought Peyton played like a professional tonight," Pitino said. "He really just ran the team and was totally in control of the game. His jump shot looks good although they all look good, so I’m very pleased with that."

Kevin Ware, who joined the team late last season, looked like a new player. Pitino made several comments in the offseason about how hard Ware had been improving, and the sophomore guard met all expectations. Ware had 11 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and four steals.

Video by Jon Hancock

 

 

 

Freshman power forward Montrezl Harrell was also very impressive. His length and athleticism was very impressive. Harrell showed that he will be able to make an immediate impact for the Cardinals, scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Junior center Gorgui Dieng had a double-double for the red team with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The white team was led by sophomore Chane Behanan. The talented power forward was all over the court and made several monster dunks in transition. Behanan ended up with 24 points and 22 rebounds.

"I was very impressed with Chane Behanan’s play," Rick Pitino said. "He still has to get in the gym and spend more time on his shooting because he has some weakness there. He also has to stop spin-dribbling, because the spin dribble is the sign of a turnover every time because the defense plays that."

Louisville fans also got to see Luke Hancock for the first time in a Cardinal uniform. Hancock sat out last year after transferring from George Mason University. The junior wing scored seven points and had eight rebounds. He left the game early to rest his hurt shoulder.

"Coach took me out of the game a little bit early," Luke Hancock said via UofLSports.com. "But I got out there for basically three quarters of it and I'm ready to go; I feel good."

Video by Jon Hancock

 

The Cardinals have some work to do before the season starts on the offensive end of the floor, especially from the outside. Both teams struggled from behind the arc, shooting 5-of-35 combined. 

Louisville will have a lot of depth at each position this season. If the Cardinals can stay healthy, they will be hanging a new banner in the KFC Yum! Center.

Louisville have two more scrimmages Oct. 21 and 27, at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals will then play University of Pikeville at home in an exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 1. at 7:00 p.m.

Jon Hancock is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.

You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo

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