Pitino: CARDS will build around Padgett

David Padgett signed financial aid documents to attend the University of Louisville on Tuesday and Cardinal head coach Rick Pitino says the transfer from Kansas is someone his team will build its offense and defense around heading into Big East play in 2005-06.

Three days following his announcement to transfer from Kansas to the University of Louisville, 6-foot-11 center David Padgett signed financial aid documents to attend the University of Louisville.

Padgett, who averaged 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and blocked a team-high 43 shots as a freshman for the Jayhawks, figures to be a versatile weapon for the Cardinals on both ends of the floor after sitting out the upcoming season.

"David is someone we can build our offenses and defenses around for next year when we enter the Big East," U of L Head Coach Rick Pitino said. "He can do it all as a big man. He runs the floor, he can spot up, he can post up, he blocks shots and he rebounds. He also has a passion to eat, sleep and drink this game of basketball.

Pitino, who recruited Padgett while playing for his father, Pete, at Reno (NV) High School, believes this situation is a good fit for both the player and the program.

"We recruited David out of high school and unfortunately did not get a commitment," Pitino explained. "The second time around has been a really good situation for U of L and ultimately, I believe, will be for David."

With a long history of success taking transfers over the years, Pitino said the benefits of having to sit out a year have a way of paying dividends down the road.

"I love transfers when you're transferring for reasons other than not playing," Pitino said. "For people like Derek Anderson and Mark Pope (transfers who played for Pitino at Kentucky and went on to play in the NBA), it's a super situation because they sit out, practice with the team, learn the system and they're not freshmen so they don't come in inexperienced."

A former McDonald's All-America and TheInsiders.com's top ranked center prospect in the class of 2003, Padgett is expected to arrive in Louisville next week. After spending a couple of weeks getting settled in Louisville, Padgett is scheduled to try-out for the under-20 U.S. national team in Teaneck, NJ that will compete in Canada later this summer. He'll also work at the adidas All-America camp in Atlanta in early July.

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