Author Archives: Nick Coffey

Terry Rozier Transitioning From Rookie To Veteran In Just One Year

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Photo: Petey Cautilli

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.”

Terry Rozier – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Anas Mahmoud Isn’t Your Typical 7-Footer

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Louisville freshman Anas Mahmoud isn’t your typical 7-footer. Mahmoud has already been tabbed as “The Big Egyptian” by Rick Pitino and although he’s big in stature, his style of play isn’t like your average big man.

Throughout his recruitment, West Oaks High School head coach Shaun Wiseman said multiple times that he expects Mahmoud to play power forward at the college level because of his versatile skill set.

“I don’t really play center. I play power forward,” Mahmoud said. “Everyone just see’s a seven footer and says he’s a center, he can block and he can dunk, but I don’t play that way and just stand under the basket the whole time. I like to move, run and go out to the three point line. I love to shoot three’s, set screens and dive. I just love to move a lot.”

Fans got their first glimpse of just how skilled Mahmoud is during Sunday’s red-white scrimmage. The freshman finished with 12-points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Anas Mahmoud – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Brian Brohm’s Double-Reverse Flea Flicker Earns Top Play On Sports Center

Photo: Derek Leung - Getty Images

Photo: Derek Leung – Getty Images

Former Louisville star quarterback Brian Brohm is spending these days up north in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Brohm got his first career start with the Bombers this past weekend.

Unfortunately for Brohm, not only did his team fall to Calgary 33-23, but he suffered a broken thumb during the game in will need surgery. On the bright side, Brohm was part of an impressive double-reverse flea flicker play that wound up as the No. 1 play on Sports Center.

Rick Pitino Says Louisville Football Will Beat Florida State Next Week

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The Louisville basketball program had their annual tip-off luncheon on Monday afternoon at the Downtown Marriott.

Each member of the team other than Mangok Mathiang (class) and Akoy Agau (sick) were introduced, followied by speech from Rick Pitino.

Over the years the luncheons have been pretty routine. In the past we’ve seen players step to the podium and talk a little bit about the upcoming season and the team in general.

At today’s luncheon Pitino was the only speaker and as expected he had plenty of good things to say about his team.

There was one non-basketball related comment in particular from Pitino that got a great reaction from the fans in attendance.

“I truly believe and I told our staff just now that will beat Florida State next week,” Pitino told the crowd.”

“I believe that. I haven’t been this pumped for a football game in a long while. It’s going to be one of the more exciting nights this town has seen in quite some time.”

I hope you’re right, Rick.

Highlights From Louisville Hoops’ First Red & White Scrimmage

Rick Pitino and the Louisville Basketball program had their first of two preseason red-white scrimmages on Sunday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center. The white squad featuring Montrezl Harrell & Chris Jones knocked off Terry Rozier & Wayne Blackshear’s red team.

Click here to read out post-game report. Below you’ll find highlights from the scrimmage.

Highlights from Louisville’s First Red & White Scrimmage from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Harrell & Jones Lead The White Team In Intrasquad Scrimmage Win

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Photo: Petey Cautilli

Cardinals fans got their first chance to see Rick Pitino’s 2014-15 team in action on Sunday afternoon in the first of two red and white scrimmages. You can see the rosters for each team in the box score below.

red=white box score

Rick Pitino said prior to tip-off that when Montrezl Harrell and Chris Jones are on the same team, they haven’t lost a scrimmage. That was exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon.

The white team had a comfortable lead for the majority of the game, but the red team made a late run to tie it up with under 20 seconds left. It was Jones who burried game winning three pointer with just three seconds left on the clock. Terry Rozier got a decent look at the buzzer but couldn’t connect.

We’ve all known for the past six months that Pitino will have a very brand new team in 2014-15 and Sunday afternoon was the first chance to see that first hand. With six newcomers on the roster and multiple returning players adjusting to new roles, fans definitely saw a new era of Louisville Basketball.

Sophomore guard Terry Rozier led all scorers for the red team with 25. He also added seven rebounds, six steals and four assists. Rozier looked a little out of control at times compared to last season, but that is expected with him having an entirely new role. He took 21-shots in the scrimmage and I imagine he’ll shoot somewhere close to that during the regular season.

Wayne Blackshear had a very solid performance, finishing with 20-points and 11-rebounds. He was very physical on the backboard and played with a lot of confidence. Blackshear’s ball handling really seems to be improved.

Pitino raved about freshman Chinanu Onuaku’s play during his last press conference and we saw exactly why on Sunday afternoon. Onuaku finished with nine points and ten rebounds. He was very active and may end up getting more minutes than any of the freshmen. In my opinion, the best part of his game is that he understands his role and doesn’t try to do anything outside of his game.

Mangok Mathiang was pretty quiet as was freshman Quentin Snider. The Louisville native did hit a big three-pointer down the stretch the keep the red team in the game. Pitino told the crowd that he was very impressed with Snider for even taking the shot after struggling for the majority of the game.

Montrezl Harrell led the way for the white team with 24-points and 12-rebounds. It appears that Pitino wasn’t kidding when he said that Harrell has added a nice shooting touch to his game. Harrell 3-of-5 from downtown and has connected on 6-of-11 three point attempts in the team’s two scrimmages. Harrell is a physical force and compared to the rest of Louisville’s front-court, he is a man among boys. You may not find a better power forward in the country.

Chris Jones looked to be very comfortable his ten pound weight loss is certainly noticeable. Jones finished with 18-points, eight assists and five steals. I think Jones will have a much bigger impact now that he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot more. Shot selection is still an area to work on, but I think Jones will be much improved from a season ago.

Freshman 7-footer Anas Mahmoud was without question the biggest surprise from the first scrimmage. We hadn’t heard a lot about Mahmoud other than he was more skilled than the staff initially expected. That certainly showed on Sunday afternoon. He finished with 12-points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Pitino said during and following the scrimmage that he was surprised and pleased with how well Mahmoud played.

You’ll have another chance to see the Cards in action next Sunday at 2 PM for their second and final Red & White scrimmage.

Video: Charles Gaines & Will Gardner Discuss The Win Over NC State

Cornerback Charles Gaines and quarterback Will Gardner were two of the handful of Louisville football players that were made available to the media following Saturday’s 30-18 win over North Carolina State.

Gaines discussed the defense taking somewhat of a step back as they allowed their first touchdown in over a month. He also talked about the progress that the offense is making. Gardner discussed how much it helps to have DeVante Parker back.

Will Gardner NC State Post Game from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Charles Gaines NC State Post Game from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Louisville 30 – NC State 18: Bobby Petrino’s Post Game Press Conference

Following Saturday’s win over NC State, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino spoke to the media for about six minutes recapping the game. As expected, he spent a lot of time discussing the return of DeVante Parker, Michael Dyer’s breakout performance and the bye-week. Here is the full presser.

Bobby Petrino NC State Post Game from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

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