Williams cleared to play against Cincinnati

Freshman sat out the Cardinals win over Notre Dame for academic reasons

Freshman Terrence Williams is counting his blessings. After being put on academic leave for Saturday afternoon's home game against Notre Dame, the Seattle-native will return to practice on Sunday and is expected to play against rival Cincinnati on Monday night.

"I'm not going to sugar-coat it, I'm disappointed in the young man," said U of L head coach Rick Pitino following the win over the visiting Irish. "He put the team at risk with his immaturity. While on the other hand he is a terrific kid and he gets it basketball wise, but he doesn't get it academically. He doesn't get how to handle himself as a mature individual. We will not put a ‘W' in front of what's right and what is wrong. He should be very happy we won tonight, because he did put us at risk by what he did."

Williams, who watched the game in street clothes at the end of the team bench, said that he is disappointed that he allowed the situation to occur.

"I'm disappointed in myself for letting the team down," said Williams. "It shouldn't happen [again]…I had to sit out of the game and it hurt me because that's what I love to do."

While he found sitting at the end of the bench and wearing a suit difficult, the freshman said he did learn the good news of his return shortly after the win.

"I kind of felt isolated from the team not being to play, but I'm glad we got the win" he said. "I'll be back in the morning – [actually] I was back 20 minutes ago."

While his teammates were able to pull out a thrilling overtime victory over a difficult Mike Brey coached team, the thought of how he might have felt should the miracle three-pointer not fall had crossed his mind.

"I think I would have taken it upon myself because I wasn't there to help my team go to war," he explained. "Some things that I could have done in the first half if I was playing to help us get a bigger lead or help out by diving on the floor – I think it would have hurt, but God was with us when he hit that shot."

The talented freshman, who is averaging 8 points and nearly 5 rebounds on the season, says that he has learned the valuable lesson.

"You'll never see me in a suit again," he said. "I'm just happy that I'm blessed with another chance to play with these guys and be coached by the greatest."

Louisville will travel to Cincinnati to face the rival Bearcats on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.

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