And if the number of turnovers forced was any indication, Pitino's young bunch certainly turned up the defensive pressure on Saturday.
"Well it was an exciting finish," Pitino said. "Because of all the turnovers it looked like an NBA game with all the low scoring. We obviously want to score more points than that. But because of all the turnovers by the red team..they shot 55% but only scored 76 points because they had 26 turnovers. And that's not what a fast break, running team can do. You've got to keep the turnovers around 14 or 15 and be much more aggressive with the basketball."
The White team led most of the game behind strong efforts by Whitehead, O'Bannon, Dartez and Dean. They led 33-30 at half time primarily because of their excellent marksmanship from beyond the three point line, knocking down 7-15 threes before intermission.
George was outstanding, scoring 28 points on 10-12 shooting, including 3-3 from beyond the arch. He also had 9 rebounds and 3 steals.
"Otis was in the zone a little bit shooting the ball," Pitino said. "But he's got to stop falling down...he's got try to stay on his feet."
But it was Garcia and Daniels who put the Red's over the hump down the stretch.
Trailing the White with 8 minutes to go, Garcia took over on the offensive end for the Red. During the last 7:35, Garcia scored 10 points and dished out three assists to Daniels, the last two for three's that proved to be the difference.
"We keep trying to play as many of these things as possible because we think Iowa has a major advantage with their experience, the fact that they were on a foreign tour, and play two regular season games before they play us," Pitino explained. "So we're trying to get as competitive as possible in these situations."
Nouha Diakite played 36 minutes for the Red Team and turned in a strong performance on the boards, pulling down nine. Freshman Brandon Jenkins was aggresive going to the hole but committed nine turnovers to just two assists. Daniels made 7-13 shots overall, including 3-7 three pointers for 17 points. He also had 5 boards, an assist and a steal in 31 minutes of action.
For the White Team, Whitehead had 20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 steals, including three during a one minute stretch midway through the second half and 3 assists. He also made 2-3 shots from behind the three point stripe. O'Bannon scored 14 points on 4-6 three point shooting, while Kendall Dartez poured in 14 points to go with his 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Taquan Dean also had 14 points, nailing 4 threes and handing out 5 assists to just 3 turnovers. Alhaji Mohammed pitched in 10 points and 4 rebounds.
"There's progress," Pitino said of his team's improvement at the defensive end of the court. "But we have a long way to go because our frontcourt is so thin and we've got to be careful fo foul trouble and that we don't get beat off the dribble forcing weak rotations."
The Cards face Asheville (NC) of the NBDL on November 23 in Freedom Hall.