|Date||Saturday, January 31, 2004|
|Time/Location||3:00 p.m./ Freedom Hall (18,865)|
|Radio||WHAS (840 AM)|
|Series History||Louisville leads 31-21|
|U of L Ranking||4th AP/ 4th ESPN/USA Today|
|Satellite Coord.||SBS 6, Transponder 6 (KU Band)|
|Officials||Steve Welmer, Hal Lusk, Mike Thibodeaux|
"I'm coming back full-bore," Pitino said Friday. "If there are some minor, lingering problems at the end of the season then I'll take care of it. But I'm going to coach a long time, just because I love it."
Without Pitino, who underwent 36 hours of tests to determine the cause of an undisclosed urological problem, and starters Taquan Dean and Francisco Garcia Wednesday night, No. 4 Louisville took care of business against Houston with strong performances from Larry O'Bannon, Alhaji Mohammed and Nate Daniels to extend their winning streak to sixteen.
Today, Garcia is likely to return to action, according to Pitino but Dean is still questionable with a pulled groin.
"I'm very concerned about this game," Pitino said. "I don't think Taquan will play but I do think Francisco will."
In sharp contrast to the Cardinals turbulent week, Marquette hasn't played since last Saturday and has had all week to prepare for their trip to Freedom Hall.
Marquette enters the game struggling a bit, having dropped three of their previous four, including an 83-61 set back to Southern Miss at home.
Diener leads the team in both scoring (16.8) and assists (6.8) and appears fully recovered from a neck injury after scoring 15 points and handing out 12 assists against DePaul last weekend. Novak is a deadly three point shooter and Merrit a veteran in the paint, while Mason might be the top freshman in C-USA.
"Marquette is a heck of a team and Tom Crean is a heck of a coach," Louisville assistant coach Kevin Willard said. "We need to stop Diener and Novack. Hopefully we won't turn the ball over as much as we did [vs. Houston]. It will be a heck of a basketball game."
Regardless of the outcome, Louisville fans are just glad to have their coach back and in good health.
Probable Starting Lineups
|F||Luke Whitehead||6-6||220||Sr||13.8||8.4||San Francisco|
|F||Francisco Garcia||6-7||185||So||15.5||4.9||Bronx, NY|
|C||Kendall Dartez||6-10||225||Sr||4.8||4.8||Houston, TX|
|G||Taquan Dean*||6-3||185||So||12.8||4.0||Neptune, NJ|
|F||Scott Merritt||6-10||245||Sr||12.2||6.7||Wauwatosa, WI|
|F||Steve Novak||6-10||215||So||11.6||5.1||Brown Deer, WI|
|C||Terry Sanders||6-8||225||Sr||6.0||4.3||Milwaukee, WI|
|G||Dameon Mason||6-5||180||Fr||8.2||3.7||Aurora, IL|
|G||Travis Diener||6-1||165||Jr||16.8||3.2||Fond du Lac, WI|