Caracter weighed in at 271-pounds Friday morning, meeting Rick Pitino's weight requirements to play in the scrimmage. That was bad news for an undermanned Red squad that found no answers to stop him around the basket.
The 6'9 forward hit 8-15 shots, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Caracter also had two assists and three blocked shots in 32 minutes of action. His eight turnovers were the lone blemish on an otherwise stellar stat sheet.
"He did OK," Pitino said. "His body looks terrific now, but he still doesn't have the conditioning that goes along with that. But he's a wonderful talent, a very willing learner and he's going to get better and better. He's moving and looks better than he ever has in his life."
Not to be out done, Sosa, a feisty 6'2 guard, got the White team going in transition with his play on the defensive end of the court and outplayed sophomore Andre McGee, who left the game early in the second half with cramping issues. Sosa scored 23 points, many coming in transition after making a steal (Sosa had three steals) and also handed out three assists, with just three turnovers in 32 minutes.
"Andre has been outplaying him every day in practice, but Sosa is one of these guys when the lights come on he plays really well," Pitino said. "He did that in the three games in Canada and he did it tonight."
"I think I played pretty good," Sosa said. "I was just trying to lead my team and get the victory."
The other big story of the night were - drum roll - injuries. With Brandon Jenkins sitting out still recovering from a foot injury and David Padgett playing just six minutes after off-season knee surgery, Pitino saw three more players fall victim to the injury bug during the scrimmage.
Junior forward Juan Palacios left the game midway through the first half with a bruised left knee and didn't return. Junior center Terrance Farley played just 11 minutes before taking a knee from Earl Clark on the head and sustaining a "mild concussion." And senior guard Chris Current left the game in the second half with a bloody nose. All three players were Red team members.
"Between bumped heads and bloody noses everybody played hard and got through it," Pitino said. "There's a lot of depth on this basketball team. This is a very exciting basketball team. They're very athletic, but we've got to push our learning curve, especially at the defensive end."
With Palacios, Farley and Current out of action, sophomore forward Terrence Williams was forced to provide the offense for the Red team.
"T-Will had to try to play like LeBron and he ran right into that role," Pitino said.
Did he ever. Williams hoisted 33 shots, 23 three's. Though he scored a game-high 30 points, the 6'6 forward made just 10-33 shots, including 8-23 three's. Williams, who played all 40 minutes, also grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out four assists.
"I probably shot too much and should have drove more and got other people the ball," Williams said.
The 6'9 Clark, who goes by the nickname E5, also had a big game for the Red team, hauling in a game-high 17 rebounds to go along with 13 points and four assists.
"I thought the best guy on the court tonight was Earl Clark," Pitino said. "All he did was compete and because of it he got 17 rebounds. I thought that was very impressive."
Jerry Smith, Will Scott and Perrin Johnson all scored in double figures for the White team. Smith, a 6'2 freshman, hit 3-5 three's and scored 15 points, while Scott and Johnson scored 13 and 10, respectively.
"This is a very talented group of freshmen, it really is," Pitino said. "If they stay together this will be the best recruiting class I've ever had."
Jonathan Huffman, a 7-foot sophomore, started on the White team before moving to the Red team after Farley went down. He finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Louisville will be in action next Wednesday at Freedom Hall when they play Georgetown College in the first exhibition of the season.
Pitino said he expected Padgett to play 10-12 minutes next week against Georgetown College and came away pleased with the 6'11 junior's first game action since last season. Though Padgett failed to score in six minutes, he did grab four rebounds, hand out one assist and block one shot.
"It was very good to see David Padgett out here," Pitino said. "He did much better than I anticipated. He had three rebounds in (six) minutes and was much more mobile. We wanted to get him psychologically confident and I think tonight's game did that for him."
Pitino said Brandon Jenkins would begin individual instruction next week and return to practice the following week. It appears likely Jenkins will be in the lineup for the Cardinals season opener Nov. 18 against Northwestern State.
"He'll be ready to go full bore in three weeks," Pitino said.