"We are athletically, a much more talented team then Bellarmine," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino following the exhibition win. "We have been struggling with field goal defense and we're struggling with rebounding and both showed tonight."
Bellarmine, coached by former U of L assistant Scott Davenport, outrebounded Louisville 32-26 and limited the nation's No. 8 team to just 26.7 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
U of L head coach Rick Pitino's class of talented freshmen displayed signs of great things to come in the future, but all seemed to struggle during their first Freedom Hall outing.
"I know my first performance in front of 19,000 wasn't great, but they did well," said Taquan Dean of the newcomers. "They just have to get after it on the practice floor."
There were 11 lead changes in the game, with Louisville's largest lead only reaching ten with less than a minute remaining in the game.
"Now we know that we have to get after on defense," said Dean. "Defense wins championships. The freshmen are going to be great and they are going to step it up."
Despite the narrow margin, Rick Pitino, who is in his fifth season at Louisville, was pleased by the message that his team received from the narrow win against a Division II program.
"This was very good for us and very good for them," said Pitino. "They got a lot out of it. They got a lot of confidence from this basketball game and we got a lot of humility, and that was the most needed thing."
Louisville will officially tip-off it's regular season when it hosts Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, November 19.
"Bryan Harvey will be leaving the team for as long as it takes to get him on the right track academically," said Pitino. "He's not doing real well right now. It could be a week, it could be a month, it could be two months – whatever it takes for him to get on the right track."
"Padgett will make a difference because he's an offensive threat. We got nothing out of the five spot tonight, in terms of execution."
"I would say in another month that he'll start practicing. He wasn't doing anything until recently when he started to feel better. The one thing that you don't want to do is if he comes back to soon he'll injure some other part of his body.