Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

October 16, 2009

Top 347 countdown
No. 20 Louisville
Coach: Rick Pitino (ninth season).
Last season's record: 31-6 overall, 16-2 in Big East (first in league)
Postseason: Lost in NCAA tournament Midwest Region final to Michigan State
Final regular-season RPI: 4th.
Last time didn't make NCAA field: 2006.
Returning starters: 2.

OVERVIEW

After winning the toughest conference in the country and ending the regular season ranked No. 1, Louisville suffered a disheartening setback against Michigan State in last season's Elite Eight. Coach Rick Pitino wants to make up for that team's NCAA tournament shortcomings -- no matter how long it takes. "I'm going to be the coach here until I retire," Pitino said during the offseason, a tough one for him because of disclosures about his personal life. Cardinals fans needed something to count on following the graduation of Terrence Williams and the early departure of Earl Clark. Both were selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Still, even with its two leading scorers gone, Louisville has plenty of firepower to be a contender once again in 2009-10.

Samardo Samuels was one of the top freshmen in the Big East last season.

PROJECTED STARTERS
C Terrence Jennings, 6-9/220, Soph.
F Samardo Samuels, 6-9/260, Soph.
G Reginald Delk, 6-4/200, Sr.
G Jerry Smith, 6-2/200, Sr.
G Edgar Sosa, 6-2/175, Sr.
KEY RESERVES
F Rakeem Buckles, 6-8/200, Fr.
F Jared Swopshire, 6-8/205, Soph.
G Preston Knowles, 6-1/190, Jr.
G Peyton Siva, 5-11/180, Fr.

FRONTCOURT

Forward Samardo Samuels was among the top freshmen in the Big East last season, when he averaged 4.9 rebounds while ranking third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. The departure of leading scorer Clark means the Cardinals will rely even more on the 260-pound Samuels in the paint. Another sophomore, Terrence Jennings, should give Samuels some help down low. Jennings is ready to take on an increased role after averaging 11.9 minutes last season. Also in the mix is sophomore Jared Swopshire and freshman Rakeem Buckles, a touted signee who teammates said "played like a beast" during summer pick-up games.

BACKCOURT

Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith received congratulatory phone calls in June from Pitino, who informed them that they had been selected co-captains of the 2009-10 squad. Sosa, a senior point guard, has had a roller-coaster career. He averaged 7.3 points last season and saw his minutes dwindle toward the end. With Andre McGee gone, Sosa will be Louisville's top point guard. That could change if high-profile freshman Peyton Siva outplays Sosa early in the season. Smith is hoping for a strong finish to his career after averaging just 7.8 points as a junior, his lowest point total at Louisville. Preston Knowles, who averaged 6.1 points as a sophomore, should contribute on the perimeter.

OUTLOOK

Louisville will be competitive in the Big East because of its depth, but youth and a lack of star power might keep the Cardinals out of the conference title race. Not to worry, though. Pitino remains one of the game's top coaches. If Louisville is indeed down, it won't be for long.

More Rivals.com 2009-10 Preseason 347 Countdown

Preseason rankings were compiled by basketball writers David Fox, Mike Huguenin, Jason King and Steve Megargee.



Nebraska NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos HuskerOnline.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.