Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pitino Speaks at Media Day

I was fortunate enough to attend Media Day at the state-of-the-art Yum! Center today to meet the 08-09 Cards for a meet and greet. The team is as advertised. A big, in-your-face, fast-paced battalion that had the swagger of a team with one goal, a Final 4 and possibly a national championship. Coach Pitino spoke for about 30 minutes first in the media room. Here is most of the sound....

Rick Pitino Press Conference - The L Yes! Report

A few thing stuck out further than others to me. First, the quickening of the pace will be fun to watch. The Red/White scrimmage on Sunday will have a Pitino-instituted rule that they must get the ball past half court in 4 seconds or less. This type of play might throw some teams in the Big esat for a loop. Pitino didn't mention it, but I see them pressing 30-35 minutes a game as well. Because of the depth we have at every position, Pitino finally can play the type of ball he would like. A team that plays intense pressing defense and fast-paced offense causing the opposition to wear down. Coach added Edgar Sosa has done the best job (fittingly) of dictating this pace. Despite all the great teams in the Big East, Louisville's depth is unmatched which gives us a huge advantage in the best conference in America.

Second, Pitino stated that freshman big man Terrence Jennings is the key to the team. He explained by saying that fellow freshman Samardo Samuels will have a tough time avoiding fouls in Big East play. "Our players don't flop against him in practice like other teams will" Pitino went on to say. Jennings participated in his second practice today after missing some time with turf-toe. He looked very raw, but showed he is a great finisher around the hoop and a potential presence inside on defense. He has the body and athletic ability, it is just a matter of Pitino molding him into a savvy player. Jennings will see significant minutes backing up Samuels.I think Pitino hit this dead on. If he plays well it adds a whole new dimension to the team.

I was able to watch close to an hour of practice today and individual player breakdowns, quotes and pictures tomorrow....

Also, video savant Justin "Jerb" Bowen has a new addition to his unparalleled collection with a montage of all the newscast reports on media day. Show him your support by donating money to his son's charity @ Shawn is fighting leukemia and can use your help.

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