Sosa trying to overcome ‘biggest' problem

Rick Pitino says junior guard Edgar Sosa gets down too easily when things don't go his way. After receiving a season-low six minutes in Louisville's win over UAB on Saturday, Pitino hopes the junior guard finally gets the message.

Sosa played a season-low six minutes in Louisville's 82-62 win over UAB on Saturday. Junior guard Jerry Smith got the starting nod at the point while Andre McGee, who Sosa has split starts with this season, played a season-high 28 minutes. McGee scored 13 points while Sosa failed to score for the second time in ten games this season (He also didn't score in the loss to Western Kentucky last month.)

"Edgar is his own worst enemy because he gets down on himself for the wrong reasons," Pitino said. "If we're doing a drill – say a 2-on-1 fast break drill and it doesn't matter who wins – and he gets fouled on the play and nobody calls a foul on the play he gets down in the dumps about that. He battles his own demons because of his moods and he concerns himself with things that are totally irrelevant. He knows it. We talk about it."

"It's his biggest problem," Pitino added.

Besides a more positive attitude, Pitino is ultimately looking for consistency from his talented, but struggling junior point guard.

"I always say this – positive people succeed consistently; moody people are very inconsistent with their performance," Pitino said. "I think whether it's Edgar or any other player if they have a positive attitude and they're upbeat they're going to be consistent performers. When they're moody people they're going to be inconsistent performers."

Sosa has been wildly inconsistent this season. His shooting percentages from the floor, three-point line and free throw line are all well below his career-averages this season. Sosa is shooting just 31 percent overall from the floor, including just 21 percent from beyond the arch. He's also made only 62 percent from the free throw line.

With a career scoring average of 9 points, Sosa has scored in double-figures just twice this season. He followed an 11 point outing against South Alabama with no points against WKU. He came back from that performance with a 10-point effort off the bench against Indiana State but has failed to reach double-figures in Louisville's last six games. During that six-game stretch, Sosa has also made two more turnovers than assists.

"Positive guys never worry about being off. They don't think that way," Pitino said. "They think ‘ hey I'm a good basketball player and the ball is going to go in.'

Pitino says Sosa isn't the only player on the team who suffers from ‘moodiness.' Ranked third in the nation to start the season, Louisville has unexpectedly dropped contests to WKU and Minnesota. The UofL coach said his team is still trying to adjust to playing without David Padgett and Juan Palacios, players Pitino called "upbeat, positive people who brought it every day."

"We've got a lot of guys that have moods swings and that's why we aren't reaching our potential right now," Pitino said. "It has nothing to do with basketball. It has to do with psychology. That's the unfortunate thing. We have to get through this period."

Next up for Louisville is a New Year's Eve bash against UNLV. Perhaps Sosa will take a step in the right direction against the Runnin' Rebels – a team the junior guard had 10 points and three assists against last season in the Cards, 68-48, victory in Las Vegas.

"The day he overcomes this he's going to be a really good basketball player," Pitino said. "I hope it's before he leaves here because so far it's not getting through."

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