Tipoff News: Dieng ineligible, Swopshire hurt

Rick Pitino didn't have a lot of encouraging news to report at the 2010-11 tipoff luncheon Tuesday afternoon. The UofL coach announced that freshman Gorgui Dieng has been declared ineligible to play this season, and that starting forward Jared Swopshire is out for a while with an injury.

A sell-out crowd of more than 1,500 Louisville fans showed up for the 2010-11 Basketball Tipoff Luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

Rick Pitino addressed the crowd about the upcoming season.

Here are the highlights, or lowlights, depending on your viewpoint from the 2010-11 tipoff luncheon:

Gorgui Dieng, Louisville's top 2010 recruit, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA to play this season. Rick Pitino said UofL will appeal the decision. Dieng is the third member of Louisville's 2010 recruiting class who failed to qualify to play this season, joining Justin Coleman and Roburt Sallie, who was expected to transfer from Memphis. Freshman point guard Russ Smith is also currently out with an injury.

Jared Swopshire is out with an injury.
The four freshmen Pitino introduced: Tim Henderson (walk-on), Mark Jackson, Jr. (walk-on), Russ Smith and Elisha Justice.

Jared Swopshire, Louisville's only returning starter from a team that lost to California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season, has been out for a month with a sports hernia, but should be ready for the season opener against Butler.

Pitino called this upcoming season a "bridge" year, explaining this will be a rebuilding season that hopefully is a "bridge" to future success.

Pitino said the keys for his team's success this season are field goal percentage differential, rebounding margin, turnover margin, free throw margin and three-point differential.

Pitino said the strength of his team is their attitude. "The guys have been working very hard at the defensive end and are committed to playing this way," Pitino said.

Off the court, Pitino also announced he has shuffled his staff, moving Ralph Willard to an administrative role and replacing him with Mark Lieberman on the bench. Lieberman came to Louisville this summer as the director of basketball operations.

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