"I expected on playing him maybe four or five minutes because he's not in shape, but the thing you have to realize is that he's working out with Ellis (Myles) on the elliptical and the treadmill all the time," said Pitino.
Louisville (17-8; 7-4) opened the game with a shooter's touch, connecting on season-best 68% in the first half.
An early 15-9 lead for Louisville at the 13 minute mark quickly ballooned as the Cardinals finished the opening half on a 34-10 run.
"That was a great stretch run in the first half," said Pitino. "The ball movement was great, rebounding, defense, the fast break. We haven't got that many times in a fast break in a long time primarily because teams like Georgetown, Villanova, really play it tight; use the clock a little bit."
Senior guard Brandon Jenkins, who hit three of four three-point attempts during the first 20 minutes, led Louisville with 10 points at the break as the Cardinals built a commanding 49-19. Jenkins finished with a season-high 15 points.
He's been showing signs that's he's busting out in practice," said Pitino. "He's being very aggressive. I'm really happy for him, but he was doing a terrific job of moving the ball and showing leadership."
Louisville shot 51.7% from the field for the game, including 12 of 22 from beyond the three-point arc.
The Cardinals forced visiting South Florida (12-13; 3-8) into 20 turnovers, won the battle on the boards 35-26 and saw every member of the squad record action in the win.
Louisville lost center David Padgett at the 13:00 minute mark to a sprained ankle. X-rays taken at Freedom Hall were negative, but he did not return to the game.
"We thought at first it was a fifth metatarsal fracture, or whatever they call it," said Pitino. "It wasn't so we were very happy about that, so hopefully he'll be ok by tomorrow and can play on Monday."
Louisville will visit highly-ranked Pittsburgh on Monday night.