Kamikaze Kids impress; Garcia leads Red to win

Though the Red team, led by All-America junior forward Francisco Garcia won the main event 80-74 Saturday morning, the most intriguing story of the University of Louisville's second intra-squad scrimmage was the impressive play of the "Kamikaze Kids."

Though the Red team defeated the White team 80-74 in the University of Louisville's second intra-squad scrimmage of the preseason, the most intriguing story Saturday morning was the impressive play of the "Kamikaze Kids."

At halftime, the Kamikaze Kids, comprised of guards Brandon Jenkins, Brad Gianiny and Larry O'Bannon, and forwards Perrin Johnson and Otis George, took charge early and knocked off a squad led by Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean 24-10. In doing so, the Kamikaze's used an effective fullcourt press to force seven turnovers, including six steals. Gianiny provided outside firepower, draining three three pointers, while Jenkins, Johnson and O'Bannon combined for 15 points and three steals.

"They were probably the only good thing [today]," Pitino said of the Kamikaze's. "They dominated the other team and did a good job. So we've got to work on our offense against pressure."

Pitino said that because of a lack of depth, the starters won't do much pressing this season. Instead, he plans to employ the Kamikaze's nearly every game this year to force tempo and try to wear opponents down with fullcourt pressure defense.

"We're going to use them almost every game because we don't want to press too much with our starters," Pitino continued. "We'll use them to try and wear people down and give our starters a break."

Garcia, who scored 24 points, hauled in 10 rebounds and dished out 5 assists, became visibly frustrated by the pressure applied by the Kamikaze's during the five minute halftime scrimmage.

"They're always [frustrating]," Garcia said. "They're fast and they work hard on the press. They're going to be pretty good, give us a lot of points and get the other team tired."

In the main event, the Red squad received balanced scoring as Ellis Myles (12 rebounds) and Tello Palacios each scored 18 points, while O'Bannon got hot toward the end of the first scoring 13 of his 15 points during a four minute stretch to end the first frame.

"Our last scrimmage was better than this one," Pitino admitted. "I thought the first half was much better than the second half. It was an OK scrimmage, it wasn't great. We'll have to work on [our mistakes] tomorrow."

Dean led the White squad with 21 points, while freshman Lorenzo Wade and center David Padgett each chipped in 15 points. Padgett also had a game-high 12 rebounds as the taller White's out-rebounded the Red team 48-35. Jenkins, Dean and Wade each had 8 rebounds.

"I think we did pretty good but we fouled too much," Garcia said. But overall, I think we did pretty good. We kind of got out of breath in the second half but we're going to keep getting ready and we'll be alright."

Reserve Perrin Johnson finished with 6 points and 7 boards, while freshman Terrance Farley blocked three shots in 20 minutes of action. Gianiny, who was the starting point guard for the Red team, scored four points and made three steals.

The Cardinals will travel to Hawaii next week where they'll open the season agaisnt Division-II BYU-Hawaii next Saturday.

Garcia, who also blocked four shots and made five steals, knows his team has to become better defensively before heading to islands next week.

"We've got to get better defensively," Garcia explained. "We know the offense is there and we can score points because we pass the ball so well. But we've got to keep working on defense."

Sophomore shooting guard Chris Current did not play in Saturday's scrimmage because of a bruised calf.

Johnson to have surgery while Cards play in Hawaii

University of Louisville Sports Information Director Kenny Klein said that freshman forward Brian Johnson will head to New York for surgery on his knee shortly after the team leaves for Hawaii. Klein indicated that Johnson would undergo surgery late next week or early the following the week.

According to Klein, Johnson will likely spend only a couple of days in the hospital in New York, where he'll be operated on by New York Knicks team physician Norm Scott, before returning to Louisville.

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