University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Friday there's a good reason for Dean's recent sluggishness - he was diagnosed with mononucleosis Friday morning after undergoing a battery of blood-related tests this week.
"Taquan has mononucleosis," Pitino said. "I had (doctors) run some blood tests to check everything out because we've been so puzzled why he's been getting all these aches and pains."
"This has been going on for a couple of months and he's missed so much practice," continued Pitino. "He apparently had mononucleosis as a child and now it's non-infectious. It's come back, not to the degree as before - but that's why he's getting all these symptoms of fatigue, and the chronic hip and back pain. Obviously, if he had full blown mono he couldn't play."
Dean, replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore Brandon Jenkins Thursday night against Marquette, played just 23 minutes in the Cardinals 64-61 victory over the Golden Eagles. Dean's impact was minimal as he scored just 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.
"It's not going to clear up by NCAA time and there are no anti-biotics to take - only time heals this," Pitino said. "I'm not sure how to deal with it. I'm going to get together with the doctors but there is no anwser right now."
And though Pitino said Dean will continue to see action the rest of the season for the Cardinals, the junior guard from Red Bank, New Jersey isn't expected to return to 100-percent health until after the season concludes.
"He's going to play," Pitino said. "The one good thing is I think he'll fight through the fatigue and soreness better realizing that it's mono and not some physical injury. He knows what he has and (because of that) he can mentally fight through it better."