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Dean Points Way for Red

Sophomore Taquan Dean poured in 31 points to lead the Red to a 103-97 victory over the White Saturday morning in Cardinal Arena. <P> <B>EXTRA:</B> <a href="http://louisville.theinsiders.com/2/202088.html"><B>Farley vastly improved in 03-04 debut</B></a><img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

Moments prior to Louisville's fourth intra-squad scrimmage of the preseason, Coach Pitino took the microphone and told the assembled crowd that he was looking for improved rebounding and ball handling from his team.

And for the most part, Pitino got what he asked for during a 48 minute, fast paced scrimmage.

"Well we got a lot out of this again," Pitino said. "Playing in front of people is going to help us overcome the distinct advantage that Iowa has."

Pitino was pleased with the ball handling of the Red Team consisting of Taquan Dean, Francisco Garcia, Luke Whitehead, Nouha Diakite, and Larry O'Bannon. The Red's committed just 15 turnovers, an acceptable number according to the coach.

"I did by the Red Team," Pitino said when asked if he saw improvement in the turnover department. "If we can just turn it over 14-15 times a game, we realize we're going to force 20. The problem we're having is unforced turnovers. It's mishandling of the basketballor doing things that fundamental basketball players should not do."

Dean turned in a super effort, scoring 31 points on 10-16 shooting and 6-11 from beyond the arch. He had just 2 assists with 4 turnovers but his three steals and 3 boards helped give his team the victory.

"I've been passing up my shots in practice," Dean said. "They [coaches] told me I need to take more shots and today I did that. But then again I have to get other people shots too. And once I can put that together I'll be good."

O'Bannon, whom Pitino called the most improved player following the scrimmage, once again performed well for the Red's. The junior guard was hot from the floor and dropped in 24 on 7-9 shooting, including 4-5 from downtown.

"He's no longer throwing the ball straight up in the air," Pitino explained of O'Bannon's improved shooting. "He's really playing well. He's probably the most improved guy on the team."

Otis George turned in another great effort in a losing cause for the White team and picked up where he left off last weekend. George had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and scored on a variety of dunks, midrange jumpers and threes. He was 9-11 from the floor, including 3-3 from downtown.

"Offensively Otis is playing well," Pitino said. "He's improved his shooting. We've got to really concentrate on his judgement with passing. But he'll definetley play a lot this season and be a strong contributor. He's a good rebounder and he gives you everything he has."

Kendall Dartez and Nouha Diakite also played well. Dartez had 31 points and 7 boards on 14-22 shooting. Diakite attacked the glass, particularly on the offensive end, slamming home several putbacks. He finsihed with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

"Kendall and Nouha are playing well [on offense]," Pitino said. "It's just we're really lacking on defense. We've just got to pick up our defense. As we said all along, we're a heck of a shooting team, one of the better ones I've coached."

For the Red, Luke Whitehead had 18 and 8, while Garcia finished with 18 points, 11 assists, 3 blocks, 4 steals with zero turnovers.

Nate Daniels finished with 16 points, nailing 3-5 triples and 5-9 shots overall for the White. Brandon jenkins played much better handing out 6 assists to just 3 turnovers against constant pressure. He also had 7 points. Alhaji Mohammed had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Red's shot 53.8% (35-65) and 44% beyond the arch (11-25). They ended with 19 assists, 15 turnovers and 13 steals.

The White's outrebounded the Red, 36-28 and shot 59.7% from the floor (37-62), including 47% from the three point line (8-17). They had 21 assists, 21 turnovers, 7 steals and 3 blocked shots.

The Cards face the NBDL's Asheville squad next Sunday.

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