Just a nice, easy 80-54 win over Samford in one of those early season learning sessions for the University of Louisville basketball team. A far cry from the edge-of-the-seat games in which they will soon be immersed.
The only person really getting worked up is Rick Pitino as he experiments with varieties of player combinations, some players needing encouragement, others needing experience, some requiring extra attention.
- Inserting Wayne Blackshear into the starting lineup, Blackshear responding, playing more assertively, with the confidence and poise befitting his credentials. He will contribute 13 points, five rebounds and two steals. Some day soon, the switch will turn on again for Blackshear and there will be no stopping him.
- Keeping the pressure on Luke Hancock, expecting him to shoot three-point shots no matter how of them he misses. Hancock allowing the pressure to get to him for now during the gimmes. He may one of those players who requires serious competition to excel. Maybe that’s what Pitino sees in him.
- Giving Zach Price six minutes of playing time, probably the most since he arrived at UofL, Price getting aggressive on defense for a change, costing him three personal fouls during his limited time on court.
- Allowing Kevin Ware to become more familiar with the offense, giving the youngster time to learn the offense while usurping natural skills. Ware making lay ups when spectacular dunks were an option, knowing Pitino is taking notes.
- Returning Chane Behanan to the starting lineup, observing that Montrezl Harrell isn’t sulking. Behanan responding with 18 rebounds and 12 points. Harrell not taking anything personally, knowing he’s more than capable when Pitino looks his way.