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2007-2008 Louisville Cardinals Preview

by Andrew Force | November 12th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 24-10 (12-4), T-2nd
Postseason Games:

3/8/2007 West Virginia Big East Tournament W 82-71
3/9/2007 Pittsburgh Big East Tournament L 65-59
3/15/2007 Stanford NCAA W 78-58
3/17/2007 Texas A & M NCAA L 72-69

Returning Statistical Leaders:
12.4 ppgTerrence Williams
7.0 rpgTerrence Williams
3.8 apgTerrence Williams

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C David Padgett 6’11 Sr. 82% FT shooter, best in Big East frontcourt
PF Telo Palacios 6’8 Sr. 27—times led UL in rebounds (career)
SF Terrence Williams 6’6 Jr. logged 266 more minutes than all Cards
SG Jerry Smith 6’1 So. 3-time All-State Wisconsin—1st ever
PG Edgar Sosa 6’1 So. 23 ppg in NCAA games

Key Player Losses: Exported transfer Jonathan Huffman. Pitino once said JH was intriguing with “a Taquan Dean jumpshot.” Apparently value and intrigue are not synonymous.

Huffman is the fifth Cardinal transfer in less than three years.

Key Fan Loss: Perrin Johnson.

Perrin busted his butt everyday which earned him “fan favorite” status.

Impact Newcomer: None.

Tough Question: How many games will Derrick Caracter play?

When Caracter played last year, his contributions were glaring.

Coach Pitino intimated the 16 healthy scratches were entirely attributed to weight control issues.

His quick hops, soft hands and strength around the basket are the envy of every tall basketball player. There are no illusions of stepping outside and shooting or dribbling. Caracter hammers the point home.

When Caracter plays…

Too Much PT: Will Scott. A three-point specialist needs to be on the floor 30 seconds before the three-point attempt and zero seconds after it.

Get Him on the Floor: Earl Clark.

The guy can do some things. It would be nice to see him get some legit minutes in a crowded rotation.

Point Guards’ Impact: Not since DeJuan Wheat have the Cards been led by a traditional lead guard. Edgar Sosa and Andre McGee give the current team two.

Expectations: Andre McGee. The heir apparent to Taquan Dean at the critical point guard slot, McGee hardly played a year ago. Because the bumpy road was injury-riddled he managed to stay in Pitino’s good graces.

After a strong offseason, the coach gleams “At 5’9 ½, he’s dunking the ball with ease, playing his best basketball, and looks great.”

Final Word: The dip following the Final Four run is over. Louisville is loaded with talent just begging to be molded into a top-5 team. Few weaknesses exist and outstanding backups exist at every conceivable position.

–Andrew Force

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