BEHANAN IMPRESSES IN FIRST OUTING
Sophomore Chane Behanan made some mistakes but was still super impressive in the first scrimmage, finishing with 24 points and 22 rebounds.
In 38 minutes of action, Behanan hot 10 of 23 from the field and 4 of 8 free throws. He also had three steals but did turn it over nine times.
"I was impressed," Pitino said. "He was spectacular."
But Pitino, who earlier in the week said on a local radio show that Behanan wouldn't be in the starting lineup at this point, noted the former All-State player from Bowling Green High School still had a lot of work to do.
"He still has to get in the gym and spend more time on his shooting because he has some weakness there," Pitino said. "He also has to stop spin-dribbling, because the spin dribble is the sign of a turnover every time."
Behanan wasn't around for media interviews but his teammates were also impressed with Siva saying, "he killed it."
Sophomore Kevin Ware said Behanan is "just so strong and physical, he's a monster in there.
OPENING GAME SHOOTING WOES
One negative some national pundits have said could hinder this team is outside shooting and the Cardinals were not very good at it in the scrimmage.
The Red team hit 3 of 14 from three-point range and two of those came from post players Gorgui Dieng and Mangko Mathiang. The White team hit 2 of 21 three-pointers with Angel Nunez and Chane Behanan combining to go 0-for-8.
But Pitino said fans shouldn't fret over one game.
"I think we are going to shoot better," Pitino said. "I think Wayne (Blackshear) is going to shoot better. I think when you don't get a break and you're out there, I don't think that's an indicator. I wouldn't say that we are going to be a great three-point shooting team, but I think Luke Hancock, once his shoulder gets better, he will make a lot of shots. A lot of our (big guys) took three's. They won't normally do."
Dieng hit his three-pointer and Pitino razzed him on the microphone for not getting a rebound or a block but attempting a three.
CARDS READY OUT OF THE GATE
Pitino said the team went through a practice on Friday night, had the scrimmage and then had another practice on Sunday afternoon.
He has said several times in recent interviews the new NCAA rules allowing two hours a week with after Sept. 15 should help this bunch.
"It's one of the best things the NCAA has done," Pitino said.
While he normally starts out tough in practices and has a lot of home games against not as tough competition early in the season, that's not the case this season. The Cardinals will get pushed in practice and the three scrimmages and then will start out with a tough schedule.
"What we need right now is a lot of work on our shooting," he said. "We need a lot of work on our passing ability. I think you're looking at a very good basketball team. Unlike last year, we don't have a lot of home games in the beginning.
"We're going to be tested right away from The Opening game. We're going to be tested right away with road games with Charleston and Memphis and the Battle 4 Atlantis. Although I'm very pleased the Red Team has only been going two days and looks real good, we've got to be ready early."
ALL IN A NUMBER
Behanan wore No. 24 last season but will be in No. 21 this season.
Freshman Montrezl Harrell will wear No. 24, while transfer Luke Hancock will be suited up in No. 11 and Mangko Mathiang – who is likely to be redshirted this season – was wearing No. 12.
Walk-on Logan Baumann wears No. 14 and Michael Baffour is No. 32.
The Cardinals have two more Red-White scrimmages at the KFC Yum! Center. The next one will be Sunday at 4 o'clock and then Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.
The first exhibition game is slated for Nov. 1 against Pikeville at 7 p.m.