Game Day: Hoops News and Notes

The University of Louisville is set to open the 2005-06 season Wednesday night in an exhibition game against Bellarmine University. And Inside The Ville has the scoop on the Cardinals as they prepare for their game against the Knights, including updates on David Padgett and Brian Johnson.

Padgett, Johnson rounding into form 6-foot-11 David Padgett, a Kansas transfer, won't play Wednesday night against Bellarmine. However, the sophomore center in nearly healthy after fracturing a small bone in his foot earlier this fall.

"He is practicing," Pitino said. "He'll probably go full bore Thursday. He's in pretty good shape and I think in a week's time he'll be 100 percent."

6-foot-9 redshirt freshman Brian Johnson will play against the Knights, but his role figures to be limited.

"He won't play a whole lot this year," said Pitino. "He'll give you two or three minutes at a time and give you quality minutes. He's a physical rebounder. We're trying to get his weight down to put less stress on the knee. He's doing a good job of that. He's already lost five pounds, and we're trying to go five more pounds. He'll be a small factor this year and we're hoping he can give us a little of what Otis (George) gave us last year as a good seventh or eighth man."

6-9 Brian Johnson will play his
first game for the Louisville
Cardinals Wednesday night
against Bellarmine.

Williams' shooting improved Coming out of Seattle's Rainier Beach High, Terrence Williams wasn't regarded as a dangerous outside shooter. But since arriving at Louisville this summer, the 6-foot-5 small forward has worked hard to improve his three-pointing shooting.

Apparently, the hard work has paid off. Williams hit three 3's last week in U of L's intra-squad scrimmage, and he's been playing so well in practice that he's earned a spot in the Cardinals starting lineup for tonight's exhibition game against Bellarmine.

"He's a very good passer and a much improved shooter," said Pitino. "He was a sub-par shooter when he got here, now he's a very good shooter. He's really improved his shooting in a very short time."

Taquan Dean has also noticed Williams' improved outside shooting touch.

"He actually didn't miss a shot in practice the other day," Dean said. "He's been in the gym living on that gun."

"He's very passionate about the game and hard working," Pitino said.

Dean makes believers Though Taquan Dean won't be in the starting lineup against the Knights tonight, it's certainly not because he isn't playing well in practice. In fact, Dean's recent display during practice might have been the best performance Pitino has seen from any player since taking over at Louisville.

"(Monday) he put on a show in practice like I've not seen from any player since I've been at Louisville," Pitino said. "For an hour and a half, he must have taken 60 shots and made 55. It was an unbelievable display. None of us could believe it."

Dean said he was simply trying to set the tone and set an example for the freshmen.

"Coming into practice (Monday) I just wanted to show the (young) guys how to prepare for a game and I think I missed one shot out of the whole practice," said Dean.

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