While the football season kicked off in exciting fashion last weekend in Lexington with a 40-26 victory over the SEC's Kentucky Wildcats, we're gearing up for the all important fall recruiting season and the tip-off of basketball season on October 15th.
Here's some tidbits to get you through until basketball season officially arrives in Cardinal Country.
The Cards are showing considerable interest in 6'4 Jose (Joe-say) Garcia of St. Anne's Belfield in Charlottesville, VA, according to St. Anne's Head Coach Brian Kent. Garcia is an explosive athlete who shoots the lights out from deep. A junior, Garcia wants to get his recruitment over with in the near future, and according to Kent, Garcia would be "honored," to receive a scholarship offer from the Cards. Stay tuned to ITV for full Garcia reports...
Though Myles will redshirt this season after rupturing his patellar tendon against Marquette last February, the 6'8 forward from Compton, CA is currently participating in individual instruction drills and is making fine progress after his knee surgery.
The open date on the Cards basketball schedule for December 20, 2003, still had not been filled as of Thursday morning. Slated as an exempt games, ITV has been told that three or four teams are currently being considered to fill the schedule spot.
At 6'7, 230, JUCO All-American, Nate Daniels provides Coach Pitino a versatile performer in the frontcourt. Expect to see Daniels receive considerable playing time at both the power forward and small forward positions this season. And when on the floor along with sophomore wings Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean, expect the Cards perimeter attack to be extremely potent and dangerous to defend.
The Cards had a successful and productive off-season under the tutelege of strength and conditioning coach Ray Ganong and should benefit from the extra muscle this season. Junior forward Otis George, who finished last season at 215 pounds, is now up to an athletic 229. Sophomore Taquan Dean has gained tremendous upper body strength and increased strength in his legs. What's this increased strength mean? It means the Cards will press longer and more effectively than they did last season!
The Cardinal coaching staff anticipates signing five players from the class of 2004 and because of the 5/8 rule (meaning you can sign eight prospects in a two year period, and no more than five during any one year) will look to sign three prospects from the class of 2005. According to Assistant Coach Kevin Willard, the Cards will look to sign two big guys and a wing from the junior class. Candidates for the two interior scholarships in 2005 include, 7'0 James Davis, 7'0 Clarence Holloway, 6'7 Antonio Pena, 6'9 Carl Swanagan and 6'7 Jeremiah Bryant. 6'4 Jose Garcia looks a good bet on the wing.
The Cards will have three freshmen walk-ons join the basketball program this season. 6'6 Perrin Johnson of Claremont, CA, 6'3 Chris Current of Frankfort, KY and and 6'0 Brad Gianiny of Atlanta, GA look to bolster the freshman class this season as non-scholarship players. Johnson is athletic and aggressive, Current is a fine outside shooter, and Gianiny is a smaller version of Marquette's Travis Diener.
While the Cards lost first round draft selection Reece Gaines and 6'10 starting center Marvin Stone, we expect the Cards to be better this season. Pitino's bunch will be a much better pressing team with the additions of Brandon Jenkins, Nate Daniels and Nouha Diakite and will be lethal from behind the arch with Dean, Garcia, and Daniels firing darts from the outside.