Dartez Rebounds Against WKU

After a woeful season opening performance against Iowa, 6'10 Kendall Dartez rebounded with a solid performace against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Thursday night.

Against Iowa in the season opener last Saturday in Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse, 6'10 senior center Kendall Dartez didn't score a point or grab a rebound in a one point overtime loss to the Hawkeyes.

Evidently, Dartez likes Nashville a whole lot better than he does Indy!

Despite losing his starting spot in the lineup to 6'9 Otis George Thursday against Western Kentucky, Dartez rebounded, although not literally, agaisnt the Hilltoppers and 6'11 Nigel Dixon.

"He's not a rebounder," Pitino said following the game. "But he's a good basketball player. I have a lot of confidence in him but he's simply not a good rebounder because of his body type. He's a shot blocker, he's a runner. He's got good hands and can pass the ball. He has to go with what he can do."

Earlier this week, Pitino talked about Dartez being more consistent on the court for this team and the need for him to provide a low post presence. Pitino, who explained that Dartez can look like an All-America one day in practice and the next like the player against Iowa, says the key for the 6'10 Louisiana native is maturity on the court.

Apparently, Dartez matured quickly this week.

Coming off the bench against the Hilltoppers, Dartez was 5-9 from the field and 3-5 from the line for 13 points. He also grabbed 3 rebounds and drew some fouls on the bigger Dixon in the second half, using his quickness to create problems for the slower Western Kentucky center.

With Otis George nursing a bruised hip and his effectiveness this Sunday against Holy Cross in question, Dartez will have to respond with a Nashville-like performance for the Cards against Ralph Willard's Crusaders.

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