Freshmen lead White to scrimmage win

Freshmen Peyton Siva and Rakeem Buckles, with some help from junior Preston Knowles, overcame a 15-point halftime deficit to defeat the starters 93-89 Sunday in Louisville's Red-White scrimmage at Freedom Hall.

"It's funny because we had the scrimmage the other night and the White team was up 13 points and the Red came back and won," said Rick Pitino. "So it's been very competitive and there's not a lot of difference between the first and second units."

Siva finished with 21 points and seven assists and played 37 minutes one day after colliding with assistant Walter McCarty during practice.  Buckles had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards, and Knowles added 21 points and eight assists.  He also made 5-8 three-pointers, including a crucial three in the final minute.

"Rakeem Buckles was the MVP with 42 points – any time you get over forty it's a lot," Pitino said. "There are different categories and you get plus points for things you do correctly and [minus] for things you don't do correctly. Rock had a good scrimmage but he's just learning. He's a pretty good spounge. He is learning quickly."

Siva started slowly, scoring just three points in the first half, but came on strong after the break. He created problems for the Red with his driving ability and hit 6 of 10 shots from the floor. He also hit all eight of his free throws.

Louisville's other two freshmen, Stephan Van Treese and Mike Marra, also played well. Marra connected on 4 of 7 three-pointers and finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Van Treese, a 6-9 forward, had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.


Rakeem Buckles helped the White team to a 93-89 win Sunday at Freedom Hall.
"I think this is one of the better freshmen classes I've ever recruited," Pitino said. "You can see out there they're all talented but they're still learning. This class is going to spend four years together and build a nice nucleus."

If one thing is clear about Pitino's team it's this: They can shoot the basketball. The two sides combined to made 23 three's on 52 attempts. Nine different players made three-pointers with Edgar Sosa (6-9) and Knowles (5-8) leading the way. Both teams shot better than 50 percent for the game.

"As I look at this team it's a great fun and gun offense," Pitino said. "They can shoot, they're unselfish, they have a good attitude and we're certainly a lot of fun to watch. We've just got to work on our defense because we have so many new players. This team is very similar to having Taquan Dean, Francisco Garcia and Larry O'Bannon."

The Cardinals aren't just a perimeter-oriented bunch. Sophomore center Samardo Samuels had 20 points and eight rebounds, hitting 9 of 12 shots from the field.

"We've got a good inside-outside attack," Pitino said. "We're running much more this year because we've got a very deep bench and we shoot the ball very well. If think we're going to be pretty good when our defense catches up."

Edgar Sosa led the Red with 25 points. Reginald Delk added 10 points and five assists. Kyle Kuric had 18 points and nine rebounds for the White team.

One area of concern: The two teams combined for 45 turnovers. Each team also had 24 assists.

"I don't get bothered by mistakes of effort," said Pitino. "What bothers me is when they don't do things out of effort. All the young guys made mistakes out of hustle and I'm OK with that. We've just got to teach them and be patient. We turned it over too much but each team also had 24 assists and that's a lot of assists for a ball game."

Red Delk 10 points, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2-5 3's; Swopshire 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks; Samuels 20 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 8 turnovers, 2 steals; Sosa 25 points, 2 assists, 4 turnovers; Smith 8 points, 6 assists, 5 turnovers; Marra 14 points, 4 rebounds; Van Treese 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists.

White Buckles 17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals; Kuric 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists; Goode 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers; Knowles 21 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds; Siva 21 points, 7 assists, 5 turnovers; C. Smith 2 points; Jennings 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks.


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