Ware pleasant surprise for Louisville

Kevin Ware has been a pleasant surprise to Rick Pitino since joining No. 4-ranked Louisville Wednesday, and could play against Memphis.

Kevin Ware has been a pleasant surprise to Rick Pitino since joining No. 4-ranked Louisville Wednesday.

Ware, a Top 100 recruit from Georgia, had to sit out the first semester because of academics. With the semester finally concluded, Ware was able to join the Cardinals, practicing with his new team the past two days.

"This is a good time of year for us not only because we're getting healthy but we can work on some things we haven't been able to work on due to our injury situation," Pitino said. "We got out of exams and now we get a chance to work on things."

Ware has been working in his hometown preparing to join Pitino's program. He arrived on campus in good physical shape and could see action, primarily as a backup point guard behind junior Peyton Siva, against Memphis.

"Kevin Ware, if he has another good practice tomorrow, he will see some time in this game Saturday which is a little bit of a surprise," Pitino said. "He's in much better physical shape than I expected. We'll give him a couple of things offensively to run and we'll play him at the backup point."

Pitino said Ware gives his team something that it lacks in the backcourt, length and athleticism. Besides giving Siva, who plays more than 30 minutes a game, a needed break, Ware should help Pitino's team turn up the pace on both ends of the floor.

"He's in pretty good shape, he picks up things quickly and this is his type of game – it'll be up and down," Pitino said. "He gives us something we don't have, great length at the guard spot. He's extremely quick and a great athlete. He's a very good athlete. He's very long. Although he's 6'3, his wing span is like Gorgui's. He's brings great length and we've not had that at the point guard position."

Regarded as one of the top athletes in his class, Ware was considered a ‘tweener' without a true position coming out of Conyers HS. Since arriving at UofL, Ware's point guard skills and court awareness have been a nice surprise for Pitino.

"He's much more of a point guard than I anticipated," Pitino said. "I watched him play in the summer and was very impressed with his athleticism, but you really didn't know what position he is. Peyton has been a great help to him because Peyton tells him exactly what to do. I can give him three different sets to run and he doesn't have to run the whole (offense)."

Sophomore guard Russ Smith said Ware, who grew up in New York, has fit in quickly with the rest of the team.

"He got hurt today," Pitino said. "Now he's an official Louisville Cardinal. It's nothing serious and we're hoping to play him at the backup point as well as the backup three behind Kyle (Kuric). We haven't worked him too much at the backup three, but he's ready to play a little bit at the backup point, which is good."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories