Mangok makes an 'impact' for the Cardinals

One day after saying the center position on his team had to step it up, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said he was pleased with the performance of Mangok Mathiang and Stephan Van Treese in a 79-63 win over Western Kentucky University on Saturday. Cardinal Authority has an update on the position:

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino singled out three players for excellent performances in a 79-63 win over Western Kentucky.

Chane Behanan was the MVP of the Billy Minardi Classic and Tim Henderson had a starring role off the bench with 12 points.

The third player was center Mangok Mathiang.

Just one day after saying Mathiang would need to improve to keep his starting position next season, Pitino said the 6-foot-10 freshman "impacted the game."

Mathiang finished with a career-high 13 points on 5-of-5 from the field and finished with five rebounds and a blocked shot in 23 minutes.

"I thought Mangok was very good," Pitino said. "It didn't look the greatest when he was ducking his head and making moves, but offensively he was aggressive.

"I thought he tried to blocked shots and played a very good game."

Mathiang said he went onto the floor "trying to have fun" and was also more assertive on the offensive end of the floor.

"I felt comfortable and just wanted to play hard," Mathiang said.

U of L also got five points, four rebounds and one block from senior Stephan Van Treese, who played 14 minutes in the game.

Pitino said Van Treese was "very good tonight," and Mathiang said the 18 points and five rebounds from the five position is a good sign.

"It's a team sport," Mathiang said. "We want to go out there and do our best and try to help the team win no matter who is on the floor.

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