Samuels, starters dominate scrimmage

Rick Pitino said the Red team's goal during Saturday's scrimmage at the YUM! Center was to "try and bury" the White team. With Samardo Samuels and Terrence Williams leading the way, that's exactly what happened.

Comprised of starters Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, Samardo Samuels, Jerry Smith and Andre McGee, the Red team blew past their White counterparts 106-48 Saturday afternoon at a closed scrimmage at the YUM! Center.

With no bench or substitutes, the five Red starters each played 40 minutes - and they played well. As a unit, the Red shot 59 percent from the floor, made 7 of 14 three's, handed out 27 assists with only 14 turnovers and hit an impressive 84 percent (16-19) from the foul line. They also limited the White to just 27 percent shooting and won the battle on the boards 41-35.

"I think the Red team is ready to open up," said Pitino, whose squad will open the regular season against Morehead State next Saturday. "I think they're sound in every area. I was really impressed with their passing, execution and defense. Their one glaring weakness is their rebounding."

Samuels was once again unstoppable around the basket. He finished with 33 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field. Samuels also made 13 of 17 free throws. Though he had two assists, he'll have to cut down on the eight turnovers.

Williams nearly went for a
triple-double in his return to action.

"He had three but he stayed out of foul trouble," Pitino said. "We play a lot of zone and that will bode well for him. He has uncanny ability but he was fouled on almost every possession and the refs stopped calling it. His footwork is outstanding and he has great touch from 16-17 feet. I was happy tonight with the way he passed it out of the post because he's going to have to do that."

Samuels had a team-high 12 rebounds, while Clark and Williams each added eight boards. Jerry Smith chipped in six rebounds.

"Samardo and Earl are just not hitting people and creating enough space," said Pitino. "But that's the only glaring weakness and that's what we have to work on the next four days. They're making the attempt to rebound they're just not creating rebounding space."

Williams, who had knee surgery last month, looked close to 100 percent, if not totally back to form. He ran the floor well, had a highlight alley-oop from McGee and showed no signs that he has been slowed because of his injury.

"T-Will looks great because he makes people better," Pitino said. "He does what David (Padgett) did. We were so good last year because David and T-Will found people and that's what he does. He's a freak athlete because he was like that his first day back to practice out for one month which is scary. He's such a phenomenal athlete."

Williams had 19 points, hitting 7 of 13 from the floor, including 2 of 5 three's. He also had game-high nine assists and added two steals and a blocked shot.

"He's our best basketball player by far. There's nobody even close to him because of everything he does," Pitino said. "He's our best defensive player. He's our best passer. The best jumper. And he's the smartest player. So he is the total package."

Clark finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while McGee added 23 points and six assists. McGee made 5 of 11 3's and committed only two turnovers in 40 minutes. Jerry Smith added 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Playing short-handed without Edgar Sosa and Kyle Kuric, the White team never stood a chance.

Preston Knowles led the way for the losers 13 points but he committed 12 turnovers in Sosa's place at the points.

Sosa missed the scrimmage with a hand injury but should be ready to go for the Minardi Classic next weekend. "Somebody slapped his hand and he's got bruised knuckles," Pitino said. "He'll probably stay out of practice tomorrow and be back Monday or Tuesday."

Reginald Delk started slowly but finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. George Goode had a solid showing with 8 points and 6 rebounds and was active on the offensive boards. Terrence Jennings finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds – adding two blocks and two steals. Jared Swopshire had an off-shooting scrimmage going 0 for 13. He scored just two points but did add five rebounds.

"George Goode will play right now (behind Samuels)," said Pitino. "He's a little more ready (than Jennings). TJ is going to be a good player but it's going to take him some time. He's raw, his skills are very raw. His footwork is not good and his moves are herky-jerky. He just has to learn the game of basketball. But he's a good athlete and he will pick it up."

Terrence Williams – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers
Earl Clark – 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks
Samardo Samuels – 33 points, 12 rebounds, 8 turnovers, 10-13 FG's, 13-17 FT's
Andre McGee – 23 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 8-15 FG's, 5-11 3FG
Jerry Smith – 15 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 1 turnover, 3-5 3FG
Reginald Delk – 11 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Jared Swopshire – 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 steals
George Goode – 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4-12 FG
Preston Knowles – 13 points, 5-16 FG, 12 turnovers, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Will Scott – 5 points, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 1-4 3FG
Terrence Jennings – 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 4-9 FG

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