Preston Knowles (Photo by Menefee Seay)

One final home game for Preston Knowles.

Where did the time go? Four 30-plus-game seasons behind him already.

The kind of player who comes along once in a great while. Plays with an attitude, a positive attitude, believing in himself and his abilities, with high expectations of his teammates as well. Doesn’t care who gets the credit, as long as the job gets done.

His all-out approach to everything has permeated the current University of Louisville basketball team, a team with no returning starters from last season, a team heavily challenged by injuries to key players, a team no one, not even Rick Pitino, believed would finish higher than 10th in the Big East Conference.

Preston is the sole senior, in a position to be the leader. That’s expected. But Knowles takes that concept much further, like he’s been doing everything else during his career at UofL.

He was the shooter when Louisville had none, when other players were still feeling their way, going through shooting slumps. He was the playmaker or the role player when other people found their shooting eyes. The passer when someone is open. He is the one setting people, providing the synergy, the energy.

After Rick Pitino, he is the man. He will leave shoes that will be hard to fill.

Not saying goodbye just yet.  There is one more game at the KFC Yum! Center, but hopefully three or four more weeks of basketball to appreciate Preston Knowles.

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By Charlie Springer

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