Cardinal Basketball

Could David Levitch Be The Next Tim Henderson?

Levitch Media Day

During his first season with the program, Louisville walk-on David Levitch appeared in 18-games averaging 2.6 minutes. To say that Levitch was an integral piece to last year’s team wouldn’t be true, but the former North Oldham Mustang played more than a lot of people expected.

Levitch admits that he himself didn’t expect to play as many minutes as he did.

“It really was,” Levitch said when asked if he was surprised by the amount of minutes he played in year one. “But we didn’t have a very good schedule last year so that really helped a lot.”

The Louisville program has had a number of players over the years who have played  big roles, despite not being on scholarship. The most recent walk-on to crack Pitino’s rotation was Tim Henderson. Levitch spent just one season with Hendo, but learned a lot from man we now all know as “Wichita.”

“I’ve really looked up to Tim,” Levtitch said. “He’s told me what it takes to continue working as hard as possible. He says there will be some tough times, but you’ve just got to work through it.”

David Levitch – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Louisville Commit Donovan Mitchell Already Embracing The In-State Rivalry

Photo: Kelly Kline Under Around

Photo: Kelly Kline Under Around

Louisville commit Donovan Mitchell still has another season of prep ball before he’ll suit up in a Cardinal uniform, but he’s already embracing the Kentucky rivalry. Mitchell sent out this Tweet to the other two Louisville commitments from the 2015 class.

Mitchell is rated as a five star prospect and is considered to be one of the top 20 players in the country. Fans sure are going to love him.

H/T to CollegeSpun.com

Freshman Matz Stockman Is Eager To Learn From Rick Pitino

Matz Stockman

Matz Stockman is one of the more unknown recruits in recent history for the Louisville basketball program. Most had never even heard of Stockman when he signed with Louisville last November. The Norway native wasn’t listed in any of the national recruiting websites and didn’t have scholarship offers from other programs.

Stockman spent last year at The Canarias Basketball Academy, one of the top basketball institutions in Europe. He then started to receive some attention and it didn’t take long for him to realize that Louisville was the place for him.

“It was because of Coach Pitino,” Stockman said at media day when asked why he chose to come to Louisville. “He is the main reason. I know if I have him as my coach I know I’m going to improve. If there is anyone that can bring out my potential it is him.”

It may take a little time for Matz to develop, but he certainly has a lot of potential. Last summer he played for the Norway team in the U18 European Championships over and averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.

‘I can play the pick and role pretty well,” Stockman said when asked to describe his game . “I can hit the 15-foot jump shot, I have post moves and I think I’m pretty athletic for my size. I would say that I’m an all around big man.”

Matz Stockman – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Chinanu Onuaku Is Physically Ready To Compete

Photo: Jacob Zimmer - ZymagePhotos.com

Photo: Jacob Zimmer

During a recent radio interview Rick Pitino stated that 6-foot-10 center Chinanu Onuaku was the only true freshman that the staff thinks is ready to play right now. He went on to say they’re still working with the others, but noted that “Nanu” is definitely physically ready to play right now.

When arriving at media day this past weekend, had it not been for the #32 and the last name stiched on his jersey, some may not have recognized Chinanu Onuaku. The Marlboro, MD., native didn’t actually lose any pounds, but he has transformed his body.

“I’ve just been working out every day,” Onuaku said. “When I was in high school I didn’t have to work out everyday because it was just easy for me. When I got here I was out of shape so they whipped me into shape and got me stronger.”

At 6-foot-10, 230-pounds, Onuaku will provide some much needed depth for the Louisville front-court.

Chinanu Onuaku – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

Montrezl Harrell Says He Models His Game After Two Current NBA Players

Montrezl Harrell Media Day

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Montrezl Harrell surprised a lot of people when he decided to return for his junior season. Harrell could be on an NBA roster right now had he wanted to, but fortunately for Rick Pitino the Tarboro, N.C. native decided to spend another year in college to work on his game.

Harrell was asked at media day which current pro players he models his game after. His answer may surprise you.

Montrezl Harrell – Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

The Memphis Grizzlies Have Waived Earl Clark

Photo: NBA.com

Photo: NBA.com

With the 2014-15 NBA regular season less than a week away, teams around the league are starting to make cuts to trim their roster to the 15-player maximum.

Unfortunately former Louisville forward Earl Clark was a causality of the roster trimming process.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced on Thursday morning that they’ve released Clark along with former Marshall center Hassan Whiteside.

Clark signed a free agent/training-camp tryout deal with the Grizzlies in late September. The former Cardinal had a decent showing for Memphis early on the their preseason games, but unfortunately the club decided his services weren’t needed.

E5 averaged 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists on .474 shooting in 12.5 minutes in four preseason appearances.

He is the second former Cardinal that was released by the Grizzlies in the past week. Luke Hancock was waived by Memphis last week after appearing in just one preseason game.

With the NBA regular season just five days away, I imagine it’ll be tough for Clark to land with another team. I assume he’ll now look into his overseas options.

 

 

Bruce Pearl Says Rick Pitino Is The Toughest Coach He’s Ever Faced

Photo: Butch Dill - AP

Photo: Butch Dill – AP

Bruce Pearl returned to the SEC’s annual basketball media day on Wednesday. Pearl was the head coach at Tennessee from 2005-2011, but was let go after being sanctioned by the NCAA. After a three year hiatus, Pearl was hired to take over the Auburn hoops program in the spring.

Pearl attracted a ton of attention from the media members in attendance on Wednesday. When asked about the toughest coach he ever went up against, Pearl said it was Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

I’m sure Pearl isn’t the only coach who considers Pitino to be a tough coach to go against. That said, from what I can tell, Pitino and Pearl only went against each-other one time.

Pitino’s 2007-08 team eliminated Tennessee’s highest seeded team in the history of the program. The Vols were the number two seed in the East Region, but fell to the third seed Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet 16.

Despite Big Expectations, Wayne Blackshear Isn’t Feeling Any Pressure This Season

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

It’s now or never for senior forward Wayne Blackshear. The former McDonald’s All American has had an up and down first three years with the program. Blackshear has had success during his career, but he’s struggled with consistency to say the least.

When the Chicago native committed to Louisville in Dec. of 2009, fans were ecstatic. Throughout his high school career Blackshear was considered to be one of the best scorers in the 2011 class and was a consensus five star prospect. Unfortunately for Wayne, he had some terrible luck with injuries once arriving to Louisville and hasn’t become the dominant player that he was in high school.

As soon as the 2013-14 season came to an end, Rick Pitino sat down with Blackshear and told him that the hour glass is running out. Pitino expects a lot from Blackshear in his senior year, but he’s not feeling any pressure.

“I don’t look at it as pressure,” Blackshear said at media day. “I look at it as a great opportunity. He’s going to let me play and he believes a lot in me to say those words. I really don’t look at it as pressure.”

Wayne Blackshear Louisville Media Day from The Cardinal Connect on Vimeo.

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