Marra set to help Cards from the sidelines

One of three seniors in the University of Louisville men's basketball program, Mike Marra won't play this season because of a knee injury. Marra, who also missed last season with a knee injury, is hoping to still help the Cardinals on the floor.

University of Louisville senior Mike Marra won't be able to help the Cardinals on the floor this season with his athleticism or jump shot.

But Marra still plans to be a big part of the team.

One of three seniors on the roster, Marra reinjured his left knee in practice on Sept. 28 and will be out for the season after surgery.

"It's tough to explain how hard this is," Marra said. "But I am going to do what I can to help this team in a different aspect. I want to step into more of a coaching role this season. I will be at every game and every practice.

"Last year, I kind of sat back and watched when I was injured. But this year I want to help these guys, telling them what the need to know how to do things."

The 6-foot-5 Marra has had tough luck at U of L.

Marra played in 27 games as a freshman and as a sophomore averaged 6.2 points a game, hitting 45 three-point field goals. He scored in double figures 11 times as a sophomore but only played in two games last season.

Marra tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Nov. 7 game against Lamar and went through rehabilitation for the rest of the season and throughout the offseason. He went down again on Sept. 28 – less than 10 minutes into his first practice after being cleared.

"It was real hard," Marra said. "Real, real hard. I mean after last year and then going through it again. It's just tough to explain."

Marra said he "felt sorry" for himself for a few days and then decided he had to make the best of it. He's already had surgery on his knee and is ready to help the Cardinals, who are ranked among the top five in the country.

"I've been here for four years and I know coach (Pitino) now," Marra said. "I want to help the young guys as much as I can. When he's yelling, I know what he really wants now and I think I can help the guys out.

"I just want to do whatever I can to help this team."

Pitino said Marra is going to be called a special assistant this season. The coach also said Bellarmine coach Scott Davenport reached out to Marra and said he could finished his career with the Knights after he recovers.

But Marra said he's uncertain about his future. He does want to get into coaching when his playing days are over.

"I'm just taking a step back right now," Marra said. "I don't want to make any decisions on playing in the future right now. I don't want to say that I am done playing right now, but I don't know what's in the future for me.

"Right now, I just want to help this team."

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