In yesterday’s blog post from RickPitino.com, when giving an update on all the current members of the team, Coach Pitino mentioned that guards Luke Hancock and Mike Marra would be back from injury in 10 days. Marra suffered a season ending knee injury in the Cards second game of the season. Hancock, who sat out last year because of the NCAA’s transfer rule, injured his shoulder in the spring and had offseason surgery.
Considering that Hancock is expected to step in and play a rather large role for the 2012-13 team, I think most fans were excited to hear that the George Mason transfer is making a quicker recovery than expected. However, for Mike Marra, it’s a different story. With Marra having a somewhat unsuccessful and inconsistent first two seasons at Louisville, maybe it’s just me, but I get the vibe that Cardinal fans don’t’ expect much from him this season.
I could be wrong, but I think Marra’s role in 2012-13 will be more important than some people expect. With guys like Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear returning from last year, this may be the most talented that Pitino has had in his tenure at Louisville. Talent won’t be an issue. But if there is one question mark on this team, it’s their outside shooting. The Cards struggled badly from 3-point range last season and lost their two leading three point shooters to graduation.
Russ Smith and Wayne Blackshear have shown that they’re capable of knocking down shots, but I don’t think perimeter shooting is the strongest part of either’s game. With the amount of talent and athleticism returning from last year, Mike Marra will have only one role this season. Knock down open shots. I realize that is easier said than done and Marra has struggled with consistency, but I think some people are forgetting some of the good games he’s had in his career.
I’m not saying that Marra will be one of the more important pieces to this year’s team, but I do think he is a valuable asset that some are forgetting about.