Rick Pitino will return nearly 75% of his scoring from last year’s 2013 national championship team. With so much coming back, you’ll be familiar with most of the pieces on this year’s team. However, there are a few newcomers that are expected to make an immediate impact.
Freshmen Terry Rozier and Anton Gill, along with junior college transfer Chris Jones are just one factor for this year’s team that give fans the hope of returning to the Final Four and competing for a national championship.
When you look back at Pitino’s tenure here at Louisville, there haven’t been a whole lot of freshman who have been able to contribute right away. Sure, there have been a handful who have impacted early on, but more often than not, it takes at least a season to get acclimated with Pitino’s system. However, that may not be the case with Gill, Rozier and Jones.
“I don’t want to hype them up, because you’ll think I’m exaggerating, but I haven’t been around three guards like this in the same class in a very long time,” Pitino said during his press conference on Monday afternoon.
“I couldn’t tell you who is the more talented of the three,” says Pitino. “Terry Rozier is lights out and a very talented ball player. Anton Gill is a sponge to pick up things, he’s very quick, he’s very explosive. Chris is inch for inch, pound for pound, ounce for ounce as tough as a young man as I’ve ever seen.”
Pitino also went on to say that as of right now, he’s mostly just putting the newcomers through drills and he’s only had legitimate practices with them a few times.
What Peyton Siva said last week about this year’s team potentially being better than the 2013 team isn’t as crazy as it sounds. I think this year’s personnel fits Pitino as good as any Louisville team he’s had in the last decade.