Freshman center Samardo Samuels weighs in at a strong 255-pounds. He's trying to adjust to a more up-tempo system than he was used to in high school at Newark St. Benedict's. "He's an immovable force but he's got to work on finishing," said Pitino.
Pitino on Reginald Delk: "He plays well north and south. He's a good person off the bench."
Jerry Smith says Delk is going to be a "major factor" this season for Louisville. "Reggie is a tremendous shooter and he's very long," said Smith. "He's going to be a tenacious defender in the Big East. He jumps out of the gym and he can really shoot the ball. He's going to be big for us."
this season with an up-tempo style
Smith said he spent the off-season working on his ball-handling. "I'm handling the ball better than I ever have," said Smith.
Earl Clark said he spent the off-season working on his jumpshot, getting stronger and on his academics.
How good is Earl Clark right now? "Earl really doesn't have a limited to how good he can become," Jerry Smith said. "If he comes in every day and outworks people he's going to be the best player in the building by far. That's how good he is. He could have been a pro but he came back. There's no limit for him."
Edgar Sosa said he thinks Clark has made big strides with his shooting touch from the perimeter. "At the three point range he can shoot it with ease – as well as anybody," Sosa said. "Last year he was a g
et to the basket type of player and this year he's more finesse and shooting the jump shot a lot more." What does Rick Pitino like about his 2008-09 team? "I like our athleticism and depth," said Pitino.
Freshman center Terrence Jennings returned to practice yesterday after missing time with turf toe. Jennings was running the court well during Thursday's practice session.
With a tough schedule on tap this season, Rick Pitino is stressing good free throw shooting with his team – an aspect the Cardinals struggled with at times last year. "Every time we miss a free throw in practice we're on the treadmill," Sosa said. "Coach Pitino wants the guards to shoot 80-85 percent and he wants the big guys to shoot in the 70's. He tells us every day before practice if we don't make our free throws we won't play."
Pitino on the competition at the point between Andre McGee and Edgar Sosa: "They're dead even," he said. Pitino indicated that he'll rotate the two in the starting lineup to begin the season. "You'll know who I think is the best player if they're on the court the last three minutes of the game," Pitino said.
Pitino said freshman forward Jared Swopshire is "extremely skilled." Pitino said Swopshire is a natural small forward but will back up Earl Clark at power forward this season.
Clarence Holloway is a student assistant for the basketball program. Holloway's career was cut short by heart surgery last season.