Cards move up to #11 in AP"> Cards move up to #11 in AP">

Pitino discusses Garcia's NBA (or lack of) options

University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino talked about the valuable lesson his budding star Francisco Garcia learned against Kentucky and his NBA options following his sophomore campaign.<p> <b>EXTRA:</b> <b><a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news?slug=ap-collegebkbpoll&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns">Cards move up to #11 in AP</a></b>

Though he struggled to get his shot off Saturday against Kentucky for most of the game, Francisco Garcia still managed to make his impact felt by tossing in 10 second half points and stuck a dagger in the hearts of the Wildcats with his three pointer over UK's Kellena Azubuike late in the game.

But according to University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, the 6'7 forward learned a valuable lesson against the University of Kentucky last Saturday in Rupp Arena.

With the entire focus of Tubby Smith's defense designed to stop him, Pitino says Garcia should take a page from Michael Jordon's playbook.

"Francisco's got to learn a valuable lesson from this game," Pitino said. "He's got to learn to move without the basketball. I told him that Michael Jordan never got frustrated and that he knew...that teams would bump and grind him and he had to make other players better. And then as the game went on he'd have his best performance in the second half."

Pitino said Garcia had never experienced a defense quite like Kentucky's and that his star sophomore will have to improve his movement away from the ball in the future against that type of pressure to be effective offensively.

"He's never seen a defensive team like Kentucky," Pitino explained. "He does move well without the basketball and he's got to continue to do that instead of just [clapping his hands for the ball on the perimeter]. You can't do that against great defensive teams, you have to go away from them and use screens and curls. So he learned. He's only a sophomore. He's learning the game like everyone else."

Still Garcia clearly ranks among the better players not only in C-USA but also in America. At one point this month, Garcia had strung together four consecutive 20 plus scoring efforts and he's already handed out eight assists on three occassions.

With that kind of improving resume, does Pitino think there's any chance his budding star will leave school after this season?

"I don't think there's one shread of thought that he could go to the NBA," Pitino said. "Because he's physically not capable. I've spoken to the pro scouts and they wouldn't consider him."

However, with additional strength and experience, Pitino predicts Garcia will eventually hit the lottery.

"I think he will be a lottery pick," Pitino continued. "And if he works on the weights and builds up his body, I think after his junior year he can probably look at it. But I don't think, because of his body, there's one shread of evidence that the pros think it's a good idea."

"Stu Jackson even told Francisco in our locker room that he shouldn't even consider it until your body develops," Pitino explained. "He knows that and I think he's having too much fun. We've talked about it and I told him that it's not even up for consideration."


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