U of L basketball: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville basketball season ended with a 31-6 record. Here are a few notes from the program in the Cardinal Authority weekly U of L basketball notebook.


Luke Hancock and Shoni Schimmel will compete tonight in the State Farm College 3-Point Championship at SMU in Dallas.

The event is the 26th annual shootout and pits some of the best shooters in the country.

The 2013 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Hancock hit 131 three-pointers in two seasons at U of L. He was 68 of 197 this season for the Cardinals, including 36 of 90 three-pointers in the last 15 games.

Hancock is the second U of L player to compete in the three-point contest. Kenny Payne competed in the event in 1989, while Everick Sullivan (1992), Alvin Sims (1997) and Marques Maybin (2001) participated in the dunk competition as part of the event during those seasons.

Schimmel is the all-time three-point leader for her career with the U of L women with 388 treys. She's the third U of L player to compete in the event following former Cardinals' Jill Morton and Becky Burke.


U of L coach Rick Pitino will be back in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

Pitino has coached a ton of games, including last year's Big Est tournament win with U of L, at the famous building and will be there on Dec. 9 for U of L's game against Indiana.

But tonight he will be a fan again, watching his son - Richard - coach Minnesota against SMU in the NIT Championship game.

Pitino was there on Tuesday to watch the Gophers beat Florida State in the semifinals. He told Cardinal Authority the game was "awesome."

"I'm a fan," Pitino said recently when asked what it was like watching the Gophers play.


Rick Pitino said earlier this week that he was looking for a 'teacher' when replacing Kevin Keatts, who was named UNC-Wilmington head coach.

It's the fourth year in a row that Pitino has lost at least one assistant coach to a head coaching job.

But for this one, Pitino says he won't rush to make a decision on a replacement.

"I won't move quickly on this one at all," he said. "I'll take my time. We're going to have a very young team, so I want a very good teacher.

"Kevin Keatts impacted out program in a big way. So, I'm just going to take my time and get the right guy."

Pitino didn't name him by name but described his first choice as Ralph Willard, who is a longtime close friend and assistant.

But Pitino isn't sure Willard will even listen to his pitch because he has a good job as a scout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Russ Smith has made multiple All-American teams and earned quite a few postseason honors.

Smith was not only the leading scorer for the Cardinals at 18.2 points a game, but he led the team in a number of other categories.

Smith, who scored a team-high 673 points this season, started 36 of 37 games for the Cardinals. He led the team with 70 three-point field goals and 255 total field goals made.

He also led with 172 assists, 74 steals and 104 turnovers on the season.

Smith finished his career with 1,908 career points and is fifth all-time in school history, while he is No. 1 in career steals with 257. He finished second in career made free throws with 488 and tied for eighth with Francisco Garcia with 180 career three-pointers.


Sophomore Montrezl Harrell ended up shattering the U of L's single-season dunk record.

Harrell passed Pervis Ellison and Chane Behanan's mark of 59 earlier in the season and finished with 98 dunks on the season.

Harrell didn't get his goal of 100 but was closing in on it. He had 98 dunks on 223 field goals this season.

In two years, Harrell has 142 career dunks. Darrell Griffith is the all-time career dunks leader for the Cardinals with 156.


Cardinal Authority will do year-end stories on each of the players on the roster, looking back and ahead for each player.

Those stories will start next week.

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