Rick Pitino Loves His Three New Guards

louisville guards

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.

About Nick Coffey

Nick Coffey
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick has worked in sports talk radio for over three years.

54 comments

  1. I’ve met Gill personally, and had the chance to talk to him. He’s very grounded, and humble. He’s a great kid, and with an attitude like his I’m sure he will excel under Pitino.

  2. I can second that when talking about gill, I’ve met him and the first thing that I realized is how nice and mature he acted. He talked with respect and I could just tell he is a good kid. Gonna be a great team guy! He’s embellishes what we want at Louisville!

  3. Can’t wait till season starts!

  4. I had the pleasure of watching gill and Rozier play several times last year while they were playing together at Hargrave, and the future is very bright for both of those kids and the Louisville basketball team!! Rozier is a flat baller who can dunk on ya or hit a 3 from 30 feet!! Gill is a silky smooth shooter and he doesn’t need much room to get his shot up!! Im expecting the Cards to be a unbelievable next season!

  5. I think they are just about good enough to bring water to the Harrison twins. And after they do they can watch them put on a real BB Show. You people kill me you act like you got the top 1 and 2 PG in the class, when what you have is a top kid College player, and a top 50 player that is under sized like the rest of your team. Your teams starting line up average size is 6’3 not good, you can always hope and well you know lol.

    • You sound like a typical UK fan, full of shit. I will bet you right now that UofL sweeps your stinkin cats again this year, as WE did last year in both sports. Put up or shut up..

      • You will never hear from BigCatSquatting after we win those games, sadly, UK fans don’t have the class to admit that their bluster is misplaced apprehension. They fear losing and can never admire the achievement when someone else succeeds. Children all around the world act just like that.

    • Our scrubs could have beaten Robert Morris the cigarette school. You know, that team your beloved cats lost to in the NIT? You know, the NIT… NOT INVITED TOURNAMENT? And now your football team is getting drug up and down the field by a football team with a high school stadium! Of ALL the people who need to crawl back under a rock, UK FANS should REALLY STFU!

      You’ve been dismissed. Now get off our boards.

    • Yea Having hyped up kids helped you win the NIT last year, or maybe I am mistaken, UK did win the NIT right? how many NBA guys were on that team? Basketball is a team game, and chemistry is King!

  6. Pitino emphasizes GUARD PLAY, it, is what wins in the NCAA tournament. Uofl. could very well be a better team than last year. I think RP is pushing hard because remember when he was at UK and he won inn’96 and if Derek Anderson were healthy he would have repeated. he is in a similar spot with Louisville.I think he’s determined to give it his best shot. I thnk they have a very legitimate chance to repeat. GO CARDS !!!!!!!!!

  7. Todd Queen. I go with what I know, not stupid enough to bet we beat you in football, that would make me as dumb as you think I am. I on the other hand will bet what you’re willing to lose that Kentucky will beat Louisville in basketball, it won’t even be close, you can get by with a small player against one big player, but when you give up 5 inches at every position, and that’s not the worst of it you also art as Atlantic at almost every position. The only position where I think louisville has an advantage is with Smith, but late in the season if there is a rematch our shooting guard position will be much improved and Kentucky will have the advantage at every position. Not saying we won’t beat you on December the 28th, I’m saying we slaughter you on the 28th Louisville only being better at 1 position. I will apologize though for coming down so hard on you guys and your team, I understand your enthusiasm. I mean how long has it been since both teams were this great. so I’m extending the olive branch and saying I’m sorry for that. I’m not a Louisville hater I’m just not a Pitino fan, my experience with him really showed me a lot, he’s the most arrogant pompous prick I’ve ever met.

    • So you must’ve really hated seeing him cut down the nets in April while Archie BadLoss and his group of five star failures was at home..

  8. Somebody else posted this on another site and I thought I would share it with you, they included a picture of the Western Kentucky mascot. The WKU mascot said ” I talked to my old friend Robert Morris and we are confused is UK a football school or a basketball school”.

  9. have you ever met big greasy head cheatingcal ?

  10. My taint was so sore when the cards one the sugar bowl, but I no stoops will bring us there won day/ but it was really inflamed win you guys one the championship/ I just wish we could’ve made the post season in just won sport/ GO CAYUTS!!

  11. aunt not art as athletic

  12. Carrol )( Yes I have while camping out for Midnight Madness tickets, he showed up almost twice everyday too talk and mingle with the fans. I noticed you added cheater in your comedy act, I guess you have some proof or some sports reporter other than a jealous Louisville reporter saying or proving him as or to be a cheeter. Probably shouldn’t have wasted 10 seconds on your comment, can tell you know absolutely nothing about him or basketball. and for the greasy head comment would much rather have greasy hair than an greazy stinking personality, after what Ricky poo did to his wife, and his family how can you even bring up cheater num nut!!!

  13. Kirk ) ( no I didn’t matter fact I rooted for them to win, but I now regret that because of all the obnoxious bandwagon Louisville fans that have been silent for 30 years, and now have no idea how to shut up. And for the idiot below your comment is Robert Morris the best you can come up with, because like I’ve said before the Sun shines on a monkeys ass every now and again, and I guarantee you that Louisville and Robert Morris have severe sunburn. anyone that compares last year’s team with our best player out with an injury to this years team is an idiot. and no I don’t consider Kentucky a football school, even with that being said we own Louisville in football with twice as many wins head to head, so what does that say for your great Louisville football program, especially after our new coach blew your coach away in recruiting this year. Kentucky also owns a share of a national title in football, Bear Bryant anyone!!! one more thing in any sport that matters Kentucky owns Louisville just saying lol. BBN OWNS YOU YA YOU!!!

    • I guess there isn’t anything else to talk about on KSR but the beat down WKU put on you guys in football, and how good you guys “think” Mary Kate & Ashley are huh?

  14. Owwwww my taints sooo sore)(/

  15. Wow…A UK fan trolling on a UofL app.!?.!? No worries for your cats huh?? Nah u always troll opponent threads right??? smh

  16. I hate to admit it but I have nightmares about John Calipari, he has dominated Patino sense his arrival in Lexington, you can’t just dismiss Bigcat he absolutely knows what he’s talking about, think about it they have beaten us 4 out of our five meetings, and year before last they beat us twice taking us out of the tournament. this team they have now are flat scary, all of which are much bigger than our players, and more athletic I wish we didn’t even have to play them, scares the s*** out of me.

  17. Last time I checked the football series was 14-11. Thats not twice the amount of wins. You fail at basic math. Stoops did not blow away Strong with recruiting either. Check the rankings. They’re almost neck n neck. Considering how a player’s rating decreases when they commit to teams from a weaker conference, I’d say Strong has the better class. But I wouldn’t expect a simple minded person like yourself to understand the how that works. Stoops is a good recruiter but hasn’t proven anything as a hc.

    As far as basketball goes Kentucky does have twice the amount of wins, but I wouldn’t be so sure about beating Louisville Dec. 28th. You know nothing about the frosh coming in other than the fact that they’ve balled out on a bunch of scrubs in high school. None of them have played a single college game except for the few losers that are returned from last year’s pathetic team.

    Your trash talk is a joke and your lack of sports knowledge is laughable. You’re only here to spew bs and hate because you’re a loser.

  18. Kirk / I appreciate you telling the truth I know it’s hard to admit you being scared like that all the time, I also was scared like that one time, when A pride of lions ambushed me while walking a trail in Africa, and if not for a pair of tweezers I wouldn’t have been able to fend them off. Luckily I have watched Kentucky dominate Louisville over the years, and have observe how they attack and I took the tweezers and killed 11 lions, and the other ran away. So you can always confide in me when you’re in that dark place and trembling with fear.

  19. Man, it’s nice being ranked in the top ten in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and soccer. It’s also extremely gratifying that UofL wins a national championship, wins a sugar bowl, goes to a CWS and make the national runner up in women’s basketball, while UK loses to a cigarette company in the NIT and your guys football team goes 2-10. But I can see how you can come to a UofL website to run your dic* sucker. Being the moron you are.

  20. Booater. you’re right about the football head to head I confused that with the baseball and basketball, baseball kentucky leads 59 to 34, and basketball kentucky also leads 30 to 15. either way kentucky owns louisville in every sport.

    • Lmao! You’ve been hanging around a UL website for days. You’re like the kid that never gets picked to play in a pick-up game. Its obvious that you envy our team. UL wins in every sport all year round and you haven’t seen your team win in a year and a half. It must be killing you.

  21. Stoops will be run out of kentucky in less than five years should have picked up Oh bobby it’s not the recruits it’s coaching and I sure haven’t seen a lot out of him flordia state d was not really that good so give me a break bout getting to a bowl game soon plus not many recruits will stick around for a loosing program long. And u wanna talk bout louisville making stories up u ever heard of a low life Matt jones damn he is the leader of ur fan base and I bet ur proud of that

  22. Kirk / with you changing your opinion minute to minute and ranting and raving crying and whining and doing everything you can to compensate for your small manhood, is going to get you committed so you should probably calm down take someone sleep aid and relax little brother. you have every right to be excited for your teans accomplishments expescially when it very seldom happens for your team’s. if you don’t mind will you pat those midgets on the head when you see them for me.

  23. Benmichael55 / yeah I have heard of him, I don’t remember in my comments stating that anyone made something up you lost me, should I be drinking also. just thought I would ask sometimes that’s about the only way you can communicate with someone that’s been drinking.

  24. You’re a lame ass guy. Go to KSR and ask Matt jones for a reach around while you talk about your freshman class. We are busy WINNING. Winning is what we do, in all sports. So quit trying to sneak on the train, you ain’t welcome fairy. UK will NEVER have a year like UofL did in 2013. NEVER!!

  25. the fans. I noticed you added cheater in your comedy act, I guess you have some proof or some sports reporter other than a jealous Louisville reporter saying or proving him.

    It looks like u wrote this typical uk fan dumb as fuck also

  26. Rooster / are you serious you accuse me of failing in simple math because of the comment I made about the head to head football, then on the other hand claim they are head to head in recruiting when its not even close, you better take a second look the numbers are way off. Kentucky has several players ranked in the top 20, some in the top 10 and some in the top 5 at their position Louisville having none even in the top 20, good God and you call me simple minded that coming from someone that could be clinically brain dead.

    • UK 16 and UL 18 just checked. How is that not even close? Stoops has spent most of his days getting ran over by the gators yr. in and yr. out. The same team that Strong won 3 titles with and you wanna talk about recruits who are only going to UK because it means immediate pt. Half those players will re-open their recruiting after Stoops stinks it up this season you know it. Then again you’re a moron so you probably didn’t know it. Your welcome for the walk-through.

  27. Give it up the times are changing. the 2014 class u can’t even pay the top recruits to come in basketball it must suck even ur coach writes in his book and interviews he isn’t staying much longer there good luck
    With the season must suck but least you can share UofLs success
    In all sports. I promise we will let u

  28. I would love for you to come to card chronicle with your ignorant BS, you would get picked apart..

  29. Thera a lot
    Of them already there praising John
    Football trying to say he’s better than teddy funny how are qb behind teddy would bash there savior drew barker so
    Will reggie so don’t be to excited y’all will still suck

  30. Ok55. that was in response to someone stating coach was a cheeter I didn’t start that conversation. I asked for proof of his back door b*******.

  31. I’m just saying making a comment instead of bashing louisville reporters take a look What uk has to work
    With well never mind most are cool cus u can’t call Matt jones a reporter u have to be creditable

  32. Just enjoy the times u ever seen the shirt going around mommas don’t want there children to
    Grow
    Up
    To be cardinals
    Well I fell sorry cus i guess they dont like greatness i guess I’m a cardinal and very successful so come over buy the way guys repin big blue you actually bleed RED they not teach that up there

  33. maybe you’re great Louisville football team wouldn’t be so great if they played in a real conference, that coming from someone that could care less about college football being me. You guys always bring up other sports when it comes to talking basketball because your almost always even at your highest second to Kentucky. that’s right Pitino is one and four against Calipari in the last 4 years. and it’s going to even get worse, could only hope and pray Louisville lands in Kentucky’s bracket in the tournament, that way we could be the team to send you packing again. making that your second loss against Kentucky in the same year just like in 2012. look me up little brothers after December the 28 I’m always big cat on any board don’t hide Dodge or crawl under rocks like little bitty brothers.

  34. U have not credibility here saying ur not a fan of football typical uk saying everyone look him up n well laugh when are not mediocre players beat y’all n take home another championship you act like y’all won so much two since pitino left wow that’s a so much more than we have in the recent years live in the past much

  35. Do u all remember that ashley judd praising louisville before the CHAMPIONSHIP ? That had uk talking and that had 176 comments and by the pace these comments are going up by it mite break that 176

  36. I would too if I had nothing to be excited n happy about

  37. Big cat u there

  38. Hes gone

  39. I bet he actually watched
    uk football play on rerun and realized he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. Any one know how the visits went over the weekend with basketball recruits

  40. some of the UK fans still has this ARROGANCE about them,well you are not BETTER than every one else…but you are envious to every one else FEAR of losing,WAKE UP…SOMETIMES YOU LOSE…LIFE GOES ON….U O K….UNIVERSITY OF UNGRATEFUL KIDS…!!!

  41. big cat go get lost, go get hyped up about bb in a month or two, other than that go get on a ky site

  42. by the way junkman u stole my term NIT not invited tournament go get you on. I have more terms than any blogger

  43. Why uk fan on here any they talkin shit becuz both football and basketball SUCK lol Go Cards

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