Louisville gets Caracter back

After being sent home last Friday for the holiday weekend to think about his future as a Louisville Cardinal, 6-9 freshman forward Derrick Caracter will re-join Rick Pitino's squad Wednesday. InsideTheVille.com has the latest.

Apparently, Derrick Caracter's "Christmas break" was just what the doctor ordered – or more accurately, what Rick Pitino ordered. The 6-9 freshman, according to Pitino, will rejoin the team Wednesday after a five day absence to think about his future with the program.

Caracter did not play last week against Savannah State for an undisclosed violation of team rules, then was sent home for the holiday weekend Friday by Pitino and missed Louisville's 82-59 win over Miami Saturday.

"He's going to come back tomorrow," Pitino said Tuesday afternoon at his weekly press conference. "He called yesterday and I spoke to him and his mom. Steve Masiello had also been in constant communication with him."

Louisville will play three games in the next four days, but it sounds doubtful Caracter will return to the court this week, though he'll officially rejoin the team tomorrow. The Cardinals play Northeastern tomorrow and San Francisco Thursday, before hosting UNC Asheville Saturday. Louisville opens Big East conference play next week at Notre Dame.

Caracter will re-join the
team tomorrow.

"I don't know when he'll play," Pitino said, noting that he didn't expect Caracter back on the court this week. "We'll start him out slow. We want to win these next three games, then we'll worry about Derrick."

Edgar Sosa, another freshman, said he's glad his 265-pound classmate is coming back to help the team.

"I can't wait for him to come back," Sosa said. "We were all hoping and praying he would come back because we think he can help us win."

Sosa spoke with Caracter shortly after Louisville's win over the Hurricanes Saturday and said his teammate watched the game closely on television from his New Jersey home.

"I spoke with him after the Miami game," Sosa said. "He realized the mistakes he made. He was never a distraction for me personally and I'm glad he's coming back to the team."

Pitino said he has four "agendas" for Caracter upon his return. "The first agenda he's already accomplished and that was to get into shape," Pitino explained. "We have to get his head out of the clouds and get him to understand the game of life. Then we've got to get him to understand the game of basketball, and the last hurdle for him is to learn how to be apart of a team that's passionate about winning."

Caracter missed Louisville's first three games, and has averaged 5 points and 4.8 rebounds in six games.

"The problem today is that everybody wants instant gratification," Pitino said. "They don't want to do it the Larry O'Bannon way. They want to be instant millionaires by the time they're 25."

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