Louisville seniors set for home good-bye

The University of Louisville will say farewell to three seniors who will make their final Freedom Hall appearances Sunday afternoon against Villanova.

The University of Louisville will say farewell to three seniors who will make their final Freedom Hall appearances Sunday afternoon against Villanova.

It figures to be an emotional good-bye for David Padgett, Juan Palacios and Terrance Farley, three seniors who helped Louisville to a 101-34 record the past four years.

"These are selfless players that care more about what reads on the front of their jersey than what reads on the back," Pitino said. "All three of these guys are throwbacks to yester-year. You never hear from these three guys what you hear from the young culture that you deal with today. You never hear about touches, points, minutes or what the future is going to bring. All you hear about is winning, team and effort."

"They've been an absolute joy to coach for four years and they typify what you want out of a college basketball player," Pitino said. "They personify what a college basketball player should be. These guys care about this university and their teammates. It's been a distinct privilege to coach these guys."

Pitino thinks Padgett will get drafted. "I think they'll look at his knees and say the worst is behind him," Pitino said.

Pitino believes Palacios will try the NBA "but will probably play overseas." Pitino also said Farley will likely get a chance to play professional basketball overseas.

David Padgett File

A transfer from Kansas, Padgett has started 67 of 76 career games in three seasons for Louisville. A unanimous choice for team captain this season, Padgett is the heart and soul of this Cardinals outfit. During a career defined by injury, Padgett has overcome his knee problems to lead the Cardinals in scoring at 12 points per game as a senior.

Padgett, who scored 827 points in three years at UofL, the 6-11 center leads the Big East in field goal percentage at .678. Though he missed 10 games early this season, Padgett has played well of late, scoring 21 points in Louisville's recent win at Pittsburgh, and also had 26 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win over the Irish.

Pitino on Padgett: "He's had to overcome a lot of serious, very painful injuries," Pitino said. "His road to recovery was not easy – very difficult. I've probably had more fun (coaching) and admiration for David than just about any college basketball player I've coached."

Padgett: "It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the sidelines watching while I was redshirting. It's gone by pretty quick and I'm going to miss Freedom Hall and the atmosphere and fan support we've had in there the last three years. My focus right now is on finishing out my career strong here at UofL. (Juan) and I are both healthy right now and we're determined to make this a great senior year and finish it out on a positive note."

Juan Palacios File

A starter as a freshman on Louisville's Final Four team, Palacios, like Padgett, has been slowed by injuries during his time playing for the Cardinals. A starter his first three seasons, Palacios comes off the bench for Louisville this season and averages 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds.

A career 1,000 point scorer, Palacios is currently just six points behind No. 48 Kenny Payne on the all-time UofL career scoring list. Palacios, whose mother, Maria, will make her first trip from Medellin, Colombia to see her son play today, scored a season-best 17 points against Kentucky this season to lead the Cardinals to an 89-75 win over the Wildcats and earn CBS Player of the Game honors. Palacios missed the first nine games this season with a torn MCL in his right knee.

Pitino on Palacios: "He's been here really two years in terms of practice and playing. He's been in the same boat as David. He's had to comeback from very difficult injuries."

Palacios: "I'm not happy about the injuries but I'm happy with how everything turned out here. I think I learned a lot from every injury – perseverance. Coming off the bench is not a big deal. I just want to keep winning and go far in the tournament. I'm not playing as well as I would like but we're still winning and that's something for me to be happy about."

Terrance Farley File

A career reserve, Farley has played in 92 games, starting nine of those, during his four years at Louisville. Farley has appeared in 21 games this season, scoring 35 points and blocking 10 shots. He has received praise from Rick Pitino for his work ethic during practice sessions.

Farley is the only scholarship player on the UofL roster from Louisville. His best effort this season was a 7 point, 3 rebound, 5 block outing against Marshall. Farley also had six points against Rutgers and UNLV.

Pitino on Farley: "He hasn't played very much this year but he's really a good basketball player. He's just playing at a very deep position but he never complains."

Farley: "It's been a blessing playing here. I loved having the chance to play for (Coach Pitino). At times I was Coach Pitino's whipping boy but I didn't take it that way. He got me better. My personal belief is that if you're not going to play that much you might as well do something to contribute to the team. If it's not me playing on the court I'm going to be the No. 1 cheerleader on the bench and that's what I try to do."

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