The University of Louisville basketball team finished up the exhibition season with a test on the defensive end of the floor.
And the Cardinals passed.
U of L was sluggish on offense but held Bellarmine to 26.7 percent from the field in a 65-46 victory before 20,422 fans at the KFC Yum! Center on Wednesday.
"That was like a very, very good defensive practice and it affected our offense," Pitino said. "A lot of our guys were really off (on the offensive end). But it was very good practice on defense.
"Our defense was good and that's what we're trying to build on."
Louisville hit 26 of 55 from the field but the Cardinals were 1-for-19 from three-point range – missing their first 17 attempts before Luke Hancock connected.
"We know we're not a great shooting team, it's evident," Pitino said, noting Hancock is the team's best outside shooting threat.
Freshman Montrezl Harrell led the Cardinals with 16 points and four rebounds, while center Gorgui Dieng had 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Russ Smith scored 11 but was just 3 of 13 from the field, while Hancock finished with eight points, six rebounds and five assists. Senior point guard Peyton Siva had six points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds.
On defense, Pitino said he liked the way his team did chasing around the smaller Knights, who are ranked No. 2 in Division II in the preseason.
Chris Dowe led the Knights with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Bellarmine did outrebound U of L 43-38 for the game.
Sophomore guard Kevin Ware returned for the Cardinals after being suspended for the Pikeville game. Chane Behanan was still out of the lineup but is expected to return for Sunday's season-opener against Manhattan.
"I think we have a long way to go," Dieng said. "You see tonight, we missed a lot of shots. We're just going to go back to work and get ready for Sunday."