Dean will miss Cards next few games

Louisville guard Taquan Dean won't play against Connecticut Saturday night, and Rick Pitino said Thursday night that the 6-3 senior could miss the next four games.

Rick Pitino said Thursday night during his weekly radio show that senior guard Taquan Dean will miss at least the next four games, including Saturday night against third-ranked Connecticut.

"It doesn't look good, he's got a high ankle sprain," Pitino said. "He's definitely not going to be here for Saturday's game against UConn, and he's probably going to miss four more games."

Louisville has lost three of their past four games, including two consecutive Big East home games. Without Dean, the Cardinals leading scorer and senior captain, U of L will have its hands full with Jim Calhoun's Huskies. UConn downed No. 20 Syracuse earlier this week at the Carrier Dome. "I really believe that with him we'd be 3-1 and not 1-3 in the Big East," said Pitino.

The 6-3 Dean injured his ankle during the second half against Providence two weeks ago. He's missed two of Louisville's last three games since and played just 12 minutes last weekend in a narrow 61-57 home loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday.

"This is a bad blow for us," Pitino said. "We're a much better basketball team with him on the court."

Pitino's not joking. Louisville has more closely resembled brick layers than basketball players the past few games. In a 68-56 loss Tuesday night to St. John's, the Cards shot just 38 percent from the floor, including a meager 27 percent from behind the arch. Louisville also shot less than 40 percent against Pittsburgh. That doesn't bode well against a team like UConn, who averages 84 points per game and shoots almost 48 percent from the field.

"We don't shoot well from the field without Taquan," Pitino said. "Our weaknesses without Taquan are starting show a lot more. What's disappointing is that we're getting beat so bad on the backboard."


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