Kuric out; Pitino rips reporter

Rick Pitino announced that forward Kyle Kuric injured his ankle during practice and won't play Saturday at home against DePaul, then ripped a reporter for his article questioning his practice habits during his pre-game press conference Friday afternoon.

Rick Pitino announced during his pre-game press conference that senior forward Kyle Kuric, the team's leading scorer, was injured during practice Thursday and will miss Saturday afternoon's game against DePaul.

"Kyle Kuric sprained his ankle in warmups and won't play in this game," Pitino said. "There will be a definite lineup change. It hurts us. He has a high ankle sprain."

Pitino said he didn't know who would start in Kuric's place against DePaul. Louisville will also be without Mike Marra (knee), Stephen Van Treese (knee) and Wayne Blackshear (shoulder). Guards Peyton Siva and Elisha Justice and forward Rakeem Buckles have all missed games this season because of injury.

"We don't have a very deep bench so we have to play smart," Pitino said. "They are very deep and will press the whole game. We want to play uptempo but we want to make sure we don't let a deep bench prevail."

Pitino also ripped reporter CL Brown for his article that appeared in Friday's Courier-Journal quoting former Louisville star Preston Knowles, who reportedly told Brown that the Cardinals players are never 100 percent healthy during the season because Pitino's practices are too hard.

Pitino, directing his ire toward Brown, told him the article "was nonsense," and hurts recruiting. Pitino admitted he earned a reputation for hard-work during Providence's 1987 run to the Final Four, but that his program doesn't practice any harder than teams like Marquette or Indiana because of the NCAA's 20-hour per week practice rule.

"Don't write erroneous things because you hear things," Pitino told Brown. "Your article only hurts recruiting…because you build an image that's not there. We don't go harder than anybody. If I ever have to apologize for my work ethic that will be the day. You are not changing me with the non-sense you wrote. The only thing you do is hurt recruiting, but more importantly you're not telling the truth because we haven't been able to practice and get after it this year. We have recruits coming in and you've given 1,500 other schools ammunition that's not true."

Pitino also said Blackshear, who hasn't played this season after shoulder surgery in November, will be cleared to play against Villanova in two weeks.

"He just needs to get into shape," Pitino said. "He doesn't have the clearance to play until two weeks. He started back to practice and the Villanova game is when he'll be officially cleared to play."

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