Pitino may be signaling slow start for Louisville basketball

The University of Louisville opens the 2014-15 basketball season in just over a week but Rick Pitino is saying he doesn’t have a good handle on his team.

A curious revelation coming an individual who micromanages every aspect of his program. Maybe this is Pitino’s way of telling fans not to expect much from this season’s edition, at least early on.

His team showed some visible signs of weakness during two intrasquad scrimmages and in the first exhibition game against Barry University. Shortcomings in rebounding, three-point and free-throw shooting to name a few, and the Cardinals could get off to a slow start.

Pitino has said some of the newer players aren’t quite up to speed on University of Louisville basketball, playing hard but not yet comprehending or prepared for the challenges they will face this season.

The news that Shaqquan Aaron, one of the better-shooting newcomers, is restrained by an NCAA issue further muddles the outlook. Aaron was practicing with the team over the summer, indicating that he had been cleared academically.

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Roger Williams
Roger Williams

Roger Williams, who has served as the pitching coach for the Uofl baseball team since 2007, has been promoted to Associate Head Coach,  A good personnel move by Coach Dan McDonnell who lost Chris Lemonis during the off season to assume the head job at Indiana University, taking Kyle Cheesebrough one of the leading recruiters with him.

Which raises the question of whether Williams may have turned down an offer to IU as well. He has been pitching coach at UofL since the 2007 season, with 20 of his pitchers selected in the Major League Baseball draft during that span.

He served as an assistant at Georgia during its 2006 College World Series season and worked 11 seasons as an assistant at North Carolina. A two-time All-ACC performer as a pitcher in 1984 and 1985 at the University of North Carolina, Williams ranks seventh in career wins with the Tar Heels with 24. He tied an ACC single-game record with 19 strikeouts against Duke in 1985.

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The UofL soccer team was awarded the sixth seed in the ACC soccer tournament, which begins Wednesday at Greensboro, N.C. The Cardinals line up against No. 3 seed North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. Notre Dame and Syracuse are seeded first and second, respectively. A disappointing season thus far for the Cards with an 8-6-3 record.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.