After the second eight-day layoff of the season, the University of Louisville men's basketball team will be back at it on Thursday night, facing Temple.
The Cardinals (19-4, 8-2 AAC) will play the Owls (6-16, 1-9) at 7:02 p.m. in Philadelphia and will have junior Wayne Blackshear back in the lineup. He missed the Houston game last week with a concussion.
"He's fine," U of L coach Rick Pitino said, noting Blackshear has been back to practice for a few days and likely won't start.
"We maybe won't (use him at the four) starting out the game but he will certainly play it. He's fine."
Pitino called Temple a "very dangerous offensive team," because the Owls have four players in the starting lineup averaging 14 or more points a game. The Owls only league win came against Rutgers two weeks ago.
Guard Dalton Pepper lead the way at 17.5 points, while guard Will Cummings averages 16.4, guard Quenton DeCorsey averages 15.2 and forward Anthony Lee chips in 14 points per game for the Owls.
"They can put a lot of points on the board," Pitino said. "They're a very dangerous offensive basketball team."
The Cardinals have won two in a row since a lost to Cincinnati, which is the previous game that U of L had an eight-day layoff before. Pitino was alerted that AAC teams coming off a layoff of six or more days are now 0-8 this season.
"I don't like that," he said, later saying that "stat has me worried."
But against the Owls, the Cardinals should be fine. He said the team has been focused this week on getting better and had a Red-White scrimmage on Saturday to keep the team in a competitive spirit.
Pitino said his team has been focused all season on beating teams they are supposed to because they know anyone can beat the Cardinals.
"Our team is focused in that area, they respect everybody," he said. "They also know we have our deficiencies or we are going to get beat. We've had two games we let get away at home because we didn't get a rebound.
"Our guys know we have deficiencies. They know what we have to do."
After a few minutes into the news conference, Pitino was asked if he considered his team in the "elite" category and he said "objectively, no."
"We don't have shot blocking and we don't have great size, now with that being said we can be there with anybody in the end if we get the right matchups," he said. "For us, it is a matter of matchups."