Locker Room Report: David Padgett

David Padgett scored 13 points in his return against Cincinnati New Year's Day. The 6'11 senior spoke with about Louisville's disappointing loss to the Bearcats and the Cardinals upcoming game with Kentucky.

David Padgett returned to the court for the University of Louisville on Tuesday in the Cards' Big East opener against Cincinnati. Although the Cardinals lost 58-57 it was by no means because of the 6-foot-11 senior center. Padgett, who had been out since the second game of the season after breaking his right kneecap, came off the bench to score 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting while also grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists in 26 minutes of action.

Afterward, though, Padgett appeared to take the loss very hard. After talking with the media Padgett remained in his chair in front of his locker stall and stared at the floor for several minutes. He remained that way until the media left. Here's what Padgett had to say.

Q: What were you trying to do today?

A: "Considering I haven't played basketball in six weeks, I was just trying to go out there and not do too much, just try and play my game and try and help these guys."

Q: Did you get tired?

A: "I got a little tired just because I'm not in shape, but as far as my legs go everything felt good."

Q: Did you expect to play that much?

A: "I really didn't have any expectations. I knew I was going to play a little bit, but if I played 40 minutes or if I played five it wasn't really my concern. (My concern was) just being back out there and trying to help these guys out."

Q: How much does this loss hurt considering it's the first game of the Big East schedule?

David Padgett scored 13 points in his return
from a broken knee cap.

A: "It's never good to lose, period, let alone at home. But that's why it's a good thing we have 17 more Big East games, we've just got to learn from our mistakes. They just came out and executed what they needed to do to get a win.

Q: What did you think about Cincinnati?

A: "They're a good team, they play hard and get after you on defense. They're going to be a lot better team than they were last year."

Q: What went wrong today?

A: "They hit some tough shots, but we had a chance right at the end. We're just going to have to watch the videotape and find out what we did wrong and what we need to improve and go from there."

Q: What about the last couple of shots by your team?

A: "(Sosa) took the shot, Terrence had a chance to put the rebound it, but it just didn't go for us. Sometimes that happens, sometimes the ball doesn't find the hole."

Q: Did the team play a lot of zone today because you were more able to play zone than man-to-man defense?

A: "They're not going to change the game plan just because I'm in there. If I can't play man, or if I can't play zone I'm not going to play. That was my whole thing all along, if I'm not ready to play then I'm not going to go out there and do something to jeopardize the team. I felt like I was ready and I felt like I was pretty good for the first time out."

Q: How hard has it been for you to miss the last month and a half of the season?

A: "It wasn't very easy. I had to sit out, but now I'm back so just got to work on getting back into shape and just focus on the rest of our conference season."

Q: Were you surprised you were able to come back so quickly?

A: "No, not really. I said January at some point I thought I'd be back, luckily everything went faster than expected so it's all about getting the strength back in my leg and getting back into shape, so it's going to come."

Q: What does this team have to do to be a contender in the Big East?

A: "We just have to win, that's basically what it comes down to. Our schedule definitely doesn't get easier from here on out that's for sure. We've got West Virginia at home next week, then we start going on the road pretty much every other game. Every single night is going to be an absolute war just because the league is so good and every team is so good. We're just going to have to step up and just get ready for every single game and take one game at a time."

Q: How does the knee feel?

A: "The knee felt good. Obviously it's not back to 100 percent, it's only been six weeks, but I've just got to get back into shape and try and contribute in any way that I can."

"It feels good if just got to go get some ice on it here in a second, but all things considered I thought it felt pretty good."

Q: In his press conference Coach Pitino talked about the fact that one of the most frustrating things with this team is that often the scouting report isn't absorbed and/or executed, can you talk about that?

A: "Obviously there were a couple of times where we might have missed an assignment for a split second they got an open three. The scouting report becomes that much more important in conference play, so every game it's something you really, really need to focus on."

Q: How much did your attitude have to do with your quick recovery?

A: "I said all along, the more positive I stayed the faster I'd be back, so I tried to stay as positive as I could and that probably helped out a little bit. Getting frustrated never helps anything."

Q: Can this team bounce back in time for Kentucky on Saturday?

A: "We don't have a choice. Obviously all the fans look at it as the biggest game of the season, but it doesn't matter if we're playing Kentucky or anybody, right now we just need to bounce back and try and get a win. We're not going to be too focused on the fact that it's Kentucky, we need to focus on what we need to do to try and win that game."

"We haven't beat them since I've been here so I really don't have too many good (memories of this rivalry), we've just got to come ready to practice tomorrow and try to go down there and get a win."

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