University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino met with the media on Friday, previewing the Cardinals' game this weekend against Miami. The tip is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday at the KFC Yum Center.
Here are five takeaways from the press conference:
1. Quentin Snider back in the lineup: Snider will be back on the floor tomorrow after missing six games with a hip flexor.
"We made sure he was in really good shape before we made him practice," Pitino said. "He'll play tomorrow. He probably won't start but I'm not sure about that. He may start, we'll have to see."
Snider is second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points a game and leads the Cardinals with 72 assists.
"We didn't play better basketball with Q out," Pitino said. "We shot a better percentage. The offense flows really well when David Levitch is on the floor, because he makes really good passes, but he's a nightmare on defense."
2. Tony Hicks back faster than expected: Pitino said graduate senior guard Tony Hicks is expected to be back next weekend when the Cardinals host Virginia Tech.
Hicks broke a bone in his left hand in the Pittsburgh game on Jan. 24. He has missed three games.
3. King will start the game: Pitino said freshman VJ King will start after a career-high 24 against Virginia.
King has scored in double figures three of his last six games, including 11 last weekend at Boston College.
"I think like Donovan (Mitchell), he realized we were missing one of our stars," Pitino said. "He stepped into Deng's role. He didn't step into VJ's role, a freshmen who is trying to feel his role. He stepped into a stars role and will do the same thing tomorrow."
4. Pitino not worried about seeding: The NCAA will release a preview of the top 16 seeds for the NCAA Tournament tomorrow.
Pitino said he would look at the seeding when it was finished but wasn't fretting over his team's positioning at this point.
"It's a great idea but it means nothing because it's all going to change," Pitino said. "I think they are just trying to create interest.
"I am sure we will be in it somewhere."
5. Cards take on a tough Miami team: The Cardinals are a 12-point favorite in the game but Pitino warned that Miami was "dangerous."
"Miami presents a lot of problems in transition and with their three-point shooting," he said. "They are a really good defensive team. It should be another challenging ACC game."
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