Cards face quick turnaround against Lamar

Ninth-ranked Louisville (1-0) opened the season Friday night with a rout against Tennessee-Martin. The Cardinals face a quick turnaround Sunday afternoon against Lamar (1-0) at the KFC Yum! Center.

Rick Pitino desperately wants to win a national title at Louisville. With more players like star freshman Chane Behanan on his roster, the legendary coach believes it can happen.

Coming off a stellar collegiate debut, Behanan looks to help the ninth-ranked Cardinals build on Pitino's milestone season-opening victory Sunday against visiting Lamar.

A McDonald's All-American from nearby Bowling Green, the 6-foot-7 Behanan had 14 points and 12 rebounds in Louisville's 83-48 rout of Tennessee-Martin on Friday. It was the 600th career win for Pitino, who is more concerned with guiding the Cardinals to an NCAA championship than personal accomplishments.

The 59-year-old Pitino is the only coach to take three different schools - Providence, Kentucky and Louisville - to the national semifinals.

Louisville vs. Lamar
Date: Sunday, Nov. 13
Time: 4:07 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
Television: WHAS (Ch. 11 in Louisville) Drew Deener, play-by-play; Bob Valvano, analyst. (also Wazoo Sports statewide)
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) Paul Rogers, play-by-play; Doug Ormay, analyst (no satellite radio)
Last Meeting: U of L 78, Lamar 56 (Dec. 8, 2008 at Freedom Hall)
Series Record: U of L leads 3-0 (2-0 in Louisville, 1-0 neutral)
Satellite Coordinates: SES 2, Transponder C 21, (C-Band; downlink frequency 4120 horizontal; data rate: 40.461 Mb; symbol: 29.27)
Officials: Next U of L Game: Nov. 19 at Butler, Indianapolis, Ind., 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)

About Lamar -- Louisville plays its second game in three days to start the season as the Cardinals face the Lamar Cardinals on Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in the second game of the Global Sports Invitational in the KFC Yum! Center.

Coached by first year head coach Pat Knight, Lamar returns 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from last year's team which was fifth nationally in scoring, averaging 82.1 points per game. Lamar was picked third in the East Division of the Southland Conference preseason coaches' poll, with senior guards Devon Lamb (9.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in ‘10-11) and Mike James (12.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg) honored on the preseason all-league second team.

Lamar had six 100-point games last year, second nationally to Oakland (seven). James had a 52-point game last year off the bench, becoming the first NCAA Division I non-starter with that many points since UTSA's Roderic Hall had 52 against Maine on Dec. 6, 1997. Among all of the nation's players 6-4 or shorter, Lamb had the best rebounding average (10.9) in conference play last year (at just 6-2). He was 11th in the nation among all players in rebounding average in league games.

Lamar beat St. Gregory 82-47 in its first exhibition on Nov. 1 and faces Louisiana College on Nov. 7 in another exhibition. The Cardinals won their opener 65-62 at home Arkansas State on Nov. 11 in their first game of the Global Sports Invitational.

"I want to win a championship here badly. Badly,'' said Pitino, in his 11th season at Louisville. "It's not just the Final Four. We have the character, we have the discipline to someday get that done.

"We've just go to keep recruiting the Chane Behanans.''

Pitino had to be thrilled with the play of Behanan, who made all six of his field goal attempts, both free throws and blocked a shot in 23 minutes.

"Let's face it, when you have freshmen like that there's always the chance you can get to the Final Four and win a championship,'' Pitino said.

Pitino also has a solid, experienced supporting cast to go with Behanan.

Senior forward Kyle Kuric scored all 14 of his points in the first half and Peyton Siva added 10 with nine assists Friday as the Cardinals shot 54.4 percent and recorded 20 assists. They ranked fifth in the nation last season with 17.4 assists per game.

Louisville also forced 21 turnovers in the opener behind an aggressive full-court press and held Tennessee-Martin to 29.6 percent shooting overall.

"We played very unselfishly and very intense defense," Pitino said.

Louisville has won all three previous meetings with Lamar - also nicknamed the Cardinals - including a 78-56 home victory Dec. 8, 2008, in the most recent matchup.

Louisville forward Jared Swopshire, who scored seven points off the bench as a freshman in that contest, had eight points and five rebounds in 16 minutes Friday in his return after missing all of last season with a groin injury.

Under first-year head coach Pat Knight, Lamar looks to snap a 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents dating to a 72-64 win over then-No. 12 Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26, 1985.<

Lamar, which returned four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's 13-17 team, needed a layup from senior Anthony Miles with seven seconds remaining to help pull out a 65-62 season-opening home win over Arkansas State on Friday.

Brandon Davis scored 17 points while Miles finished with 15 and seven assists as Lamar won despite shooting 34.4 percent from the floor.

"I think it proves to them, if you play defense, no matter how bad you are offensively, you have a chance to win." Knight told the school's official website.

Miles needs six points to reach 1,000 for his career. He scored seven against Louisville in 2008.


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