Louisville hoops spotlight: Akoy Agau

Cardinal Authority will feature each member of the Louisville men's basketball team before the start of the regular-season. Our feature today is on U of L sophomore reserve Akoy Agau.

Akoy Agau was one of the most highly-sought after recruits in Nebraska coming out of his high school years. He picked the University of Louisville over the likes of Georgetown, Baylor, Memphis and Nebraska.

But the 6-foot-8 forward had had a rough start to his college career only appearing in 19 games last season and being injured much of the offseason. Agau was back just recently after sports hernia surgery.

Agau said he stays motivated by the career former teammate Russ Smith had at Louisville as tries to get his game in shape for his sophomore season.

“Coach (Rick Pitino) always tells us about how many freshman he’s had who have struggled, and he talks about how Russ Smith was the worst freshman he’s ever had,” agau said. “So it actually makes me feel very good about myself.”

Agau comes from a pedigree of winning that dates back to his high school days where he became the first player in Class A history to play on four state championship teams in Nebraska. When he came to Louisville he said his two main goals were to win a national championship, and get his degree.

Despite being slowed by the injury, Agau said he’s progressing with his game and his playing shape, noting some things he can do to help the team.

”Listening to advice, staying in the gym, and looking at the big picture and trying to improve my skills,” Agau said. “And really just trying to do whatever I can for the team.”

One thing Coach Pitino said he likes about Agau is that he’s a big guy who stretches the floor with his 7-4 wingspan. But the coach has said he’s “disappointed” that Agau is so far behind after missing some practice and the first Red-White exhibition game because of the injury. He played six minutes in the exhibition.<.p>

As a sophomore, Agau is hoping to gain enough trust from the coaches to become the backup to Montrezl Harrell at the four-spot. Harrell was named first-team All-American this week by Scout.com.

“I mean when you got to guard one of the best or maybe the best power forward in the country, it’s very difficult to get a lot of playing time” Agau said.

But Agau said he will keep working and he’s not the only one. With a handful of newcomers, the Cardinals are going to be young in spots.

“Really its kind of hard to look forward to something.” Agau said. “Right now, obviously we’re very young we have eight freshman who are trying to get going, trying to learn the system, trying to get stronger, trying to understand all the different concepts. But we’re coming along.”

And Agau thinks the same thing about his game, “It’s getting there. I was playing great before the injury. I Just have to get back to that to help the team.”

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