With two exhibitions and it's home-opener now in the past, the University of Louisville Cardinals will receive their first test away from Freedom Hall on Friday at 5:00 p.m. when they face Dayton at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
Already forced to play without freshman Derrick Caracter
, who is serving a three-game NCAA suspension, University of Louisville
head coach Rick Pitino
will also be without point guard Andre McGee
. McGee, who scored 16 points in the Cardinals season-opening win against Northwestern State, had successful surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee on Tuesday and will be out of action for 3-6 weeks.
In McGee's absence, Pitino will turn to freshman point guard Edgar Sosa to direct his team when they face Dayton (3-1) at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Friday.
"Offensively, he's a good basketball player," said Pitino. "He struggles a little bit with defense and that's where Andre would have been a big help because he's a pretty good defensive player."
In addition to Sosa, U of L's probable starting lineup for Saturday's 5:00 p.m. tip include Terrence Williams, Juan Palacios and David Padgett in the front court, with fellow freshman Jerry Smith, who poured in 24 points in the Cardinals first win of the season, joining him in the backcourt.
"Jerry's an outstanding freshman," said Pitino, who expects all this year's freshmen to have strong outings throughout the season. "All four of these freshmen are going to have nights like that throughout the year. The important thing is that get better defensively."
Taking his team on the road for the first time this season, the Cardinals will need to turn up their defensive intensity against Dayton, which features one of the nation's top juniors in guard Brian Roberts, who through four games is averaging 23.8 points a game and shooting 53% from the floor.
"Roberts is one of the best scorers in the country," said Pitino. "He's a heck of a basketball player."
Always anticipating a difficult outing with each stop throughout the schedule, Rick Pitino expects a tough challenge against the Atlantic 10 Conference school.
"This game is going to be a difficult one," said Pitino. "They have an outstanding ballclub. I don't think that we have an easy non-conference game. They are all going to be very difficult and this is just another one."
SERIES NOTESWhile the two schools haven't faced each other since U of L claimed a 91-68 win at Freedom Hall in 2000, Saturday's game will be the 65th meeting in the series. The Cardinals hold the series lead 39-25.
Louisville has an all-time 20-5 record in US Bank Arena.
U of L defeated Dayton 93-80 in the championship game of the 1956 National Invitation Tournament (3/24/56).