No player on this year’s Louisville basketball roster will have to make a bigger transition than sophomore guard Terry Rozier. The Cleveland native had a solid freshman campaign, but it was difficult for Rozier to show just how good he was due to the fact that he was playing behind a consensus first team All American.
Rozier played in every game last season and at times was on the floor with Russ Smith, but as you could expect, Rozier deferred to Smith most of the time. In his second season at Louisville, Rozier won’t be deferring to anyone.
“He (Rick Pitnio) looks at me and says you’ve got to step up,” Rozier said at media day. “We’ve got six freshmen so the sophomores are like seniors. He can’t be getting on us so mean and teaching us when he has six freshmen to deal with so we have to be ready.”
Rozier says he’s played a big role in helping get the newcomers acclimated with the program.
“That’s something he (Pitino) has been asking since day one,” Rozier said. “It’s the right thing to do and it’ll help everyone. We (returning players) can’t play a full game and we know that. It would be selfish for us to think we can play a full game because we wouldn’t be playing at 100%. People can get hurt or get in foul trouble so they’ve got to be ready to play.”
It’s normal for freshmen to experience a culture shock when they go from high school practices to Rick Pitino practices. Rozier says he’s doing the best he can at helping the rookies adjust to life in the Pitino system.
“I just tell them next play. Only worry about the next play,” Rozier said when asked what type of advice he’s giving the newcomers. “You can’t be worried and dwell on what happened. You’ve got to be ready for the next one. If you miss two shots, you’ve got to just think about the next one. That is something that I had to work on last year. I just tell these guys to worry about the next play.”