Dean says defense and rebounding key to turnaround

"We've just gotten away from what we did to get here. Which is playing defense and rebounding."

It been a rough few weeks for sophomore point guard Taquan Dean and his Louisville teammates.

Suffering from a severe groin pull for the better part of three weeks, Dean has carried a painful burden. Since the injury to their leader, the Cardinals have dropped four of their past five games after winning 16 straight.

So how does Dean propose to right the ship and get himself and his team back on the right track?

"We just have to go back to the drawing board and start doing what got us here," Dean said. "We've just gotten away from what we did to get here. Which is playing defense and rebounding."

That first part, playing defense, has been the most difficult hurdle for Dean since his injury. While he says his conditioning is fine, he did admit to getting fatigued and being limited physically because of the muscle pull.

"Defensively, I can't go side to side as much but it's getting stronger," said Dean. "I'm just not comfortable on the floor right now but once I get that feeling back then I can do what I used to do."

"Right now I just have to do the little things to help the team."

So getting back to playing defense like they were prior to their February slump is key in Dean's mind to turning around the Cards fortunes down the home stretch.

"Once we get back to being defensive minded then we'll get better," Dean explained.

Louisville's offense has not performed well of late, either, as both Dean and teammate Francisco Garcia have struggled to find their previous form.

"That goes back to me and Francisco trying to find out stroke but we just have to keep moving the ball and get people open shots," said Dean.

As for the disappointing loss at TCU, Dean said the Cardinals lacked the proper focus against the Frogs.

"We won't allow that to happen again."

Tomorrow, U of L will travel to Cincinnati for a tough road game against the Bearcats, who have also struggled in recent weeks.

"It's a tough environment but we just have to come together as a team and really be strong," Dean said of Cincinnati.

"We have to attack them like they're going to attack us. We can't let them be the bully's in this game. We just have to be more aggressive.

The Cardinals on-court leader has spoken. The Cards are ready to bounce back and they'll do it again using what got them a top five ranking once already this season.

Defense and rebounding!


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