Weekly Louisville basketball notebook

A weekly look at some of the happenings around the University of Louisville basketball program and the Big East with the basketball notebook:


The University of Louisville men's basketball team drew a rousing ovation on Saturday between the first and second quarters of the football game.

The U of L men's hoops team was introduced in front of the crowd and honored for receiving their Final Four rings earlier in the day.

It was the first time during the football season this year that the hoops team was honored and the fans went nuts during the announcement, with Russ Smith drawing the loudest ovation of them all.

Smith smiled and helped Peyton Siva do a ‘C-A-R-D-S' cheer on a wireless microphone before the team left the field.

And they were flashing their bling.

"It's got my name right here," Smith said, pointing to the ring. "Smith, No. 2. Got the Big East (title) on there, Final Four there. It's got diamonds, it's got red, it's just immaculate. No other word to describe it."

Siva said the ring was "very special," and noted that, "Russ wanted it bigger."

Smith said he did but now his attention has turned to getting a bigger ring next season when the Cardinals want a national title.

"I want a bigger one now," he said. "We all want a bigger ring."

Added Chane Behanan: "We're really hungry to go out and win a bigger one. But we just have to swallow our pride, stay humble and get to work."


The Cardinals continue to receive lofty rankings by the preseason publications and likely will be among the top three in every preseason poll.

But coach Rick Pitino has already warned his team.

He said on his blog last week that polls "only matter early in football, not hoops."

On Saturday, Peyton Siva was talking to the media at the football game and said the Cardinals are not thinking about being ranked near the top.

"We just have to keep working hard," Siva said.


Gorgui Dieng keeps on moving up in the eyes of NBA scouts.

The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Dieng had a solid showing last month at the adidas Nations event and has seen his stock rise even more.

Dieng now is listed as the No. 19 pick by NBADraft.net DraftExpress.net still has him listed as the No. 11 pick in the second round.

Dieng said in an interview earlier this summer that he's not fretting his future, only trying to make his game better.

"When I step out there, I am always trying to get better," he said. "I don't worry about anything I am supposed to do or other things, I am just trying to go out there and get better so I can get the job done."

Dieng said he doesn't have any goals as far as blocked shots only to "block as many as I can and as many as I need to for my team."

As a sophomore, Dieng blocked a school-record 128 shots and is already No. 4 in school history with 184 career blocks. He led the Big East Conference and was eighth nationally last season with 3.2 blocks a game.


It's not surprising and didn't take long for the U of L kickoff luncheon to become a sell out. The event is Oct. 11 at the Marriott Downtown.

The event is the official kickoff to the season. The featured speaker for the event is U of L head coach Rick Pitino.

The school sold 1,400 tickets.

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