By Paul Sykes
Offering a brief respite from the trials and tribulations of a football season gone awry, Rick Pitino’s University of Louisville basketball team begins the 2009-10 season with an exhibition game against Georgetown College tonight in Freedom Hall. The 7 p.m. tip will be televised locally on WHAS.
ThingsÂ to watch:Â
- Early season blahs? The Cards are notorious for getting off to slow starts at the beginning on basketball season. Georgetown is a perennial NAIA power that gave the Cardinals fits in 2006 and last year. The 2006 game saw the Tigers narrowly lose 94-92 and last year they pulled within two with less than a minute go to before UofL pulled away 74-67.
- Guard play. Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith will likely get the start for the Cards but Preston Knowles and freshman Peyton Siva should see plenty of playing time. The foursome has looked impressive in practice and in the Red/White game and they’ll get the chance to play against a school that has been practicing since August.
- Newcomers. In addition to Siva, Pitino expects to give Rakeem (rock) Buckles, Mike Marra and Stephan Van Treese generous court time to get them ready for regular season play. The three could be in the battle for starting roles, competing against Reginald Delk and Jared Swopshire at the “3” and “4”.
- Life after Earl. The Cards will need to find playmakers and rebounders since Clark, Terrence Williams and Andre McGee have graduated. Besides Preston Knowles, the Cards have no proven defensive stoppers and there are questions about the team’s ability to guard people without help.