Posted January 08, 2013 on AP on Fox
While his team continues to win with offense, Louisville coach Rick Pitino insists its defense remains far from the program's own high standards. The third-ranked Cardinals might have to make some quick strides in that area with one of their top scorers expected to miss up to four games. Louisville will try for its ninth consecutive win Wednesday night when it visits Seton Hall, which looks for its ninth victory in a row at home despite having its own injury concerns. The Cardinals (13-1, 1-0 Big East) have built a reputation as a tough, defensive-minded club under Pitino, but they rank second among conference teams in scoring at 78.4 points per game after averaging 68.2 on their way to the 2012 Final Four. Louisville, however, took a hit Monday when sophomore forward Chane Behanan suffered a left high ankle sprain in practice. Behanan, averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds, is expected to miss about 10 days, putting him in danger of missing four games - the last of which is a Jan. 19 showdown with Syracuse. "Without Chane, we'll have to make some adjustments," Pitino said. Freshman Montrezl Harrell, who has scored 6.6 points per game, will replace Behanan in the starting lineup. Russ Smith, though, should continue to lead the Cardinals. The junior guard ranks third in the Big East at 20.0 points per game after scoring 23 last Wednesday in a 80-62 conference-opening win over Providence. Louisville shot 52.6 percent from the field against the Friars, the third time in six games it's made at least half of its shots. "Once our defense catches up to our offense we have a chance to be a really special team," Pitino said. After limiting teams to 37.2 percent from the floor in its previous five games, Pitino's club has allowed a 46.5 field-goal percentage - including 43.9 (18 for 41) from 3-point range - in its last two. The Cardinals rank in the bottom half of the conference in defensive field-goal percentage (40.2) after finishing sixth nationally in that category last season. Louisville will try to tighten it up against a short-handed Seton Hall team that won seven straight games before falling 93-74 at then-No. 21 Notre Dame on Saturday. Playing with just seven healthy scholarship players due to injury, Seton Hall (12-3, 1-1) won 73-72 at DePaul to open Big East play last Wednesday. The Pirates, though, couldn't repeat the trick while playing only eight against the Irish. "It becomes tough to play in this league with just one power forward and one center," coach Kevin Willard said. Guard Fuquan Edwin has done all he can to keep the Pirates competitive, ranking second among Big East players with a 52.1 field-goal percentage and just behind Smith in scoring at 17.9 points per game. Backcourt mate Aaron Cosby, a Louisville native, chipped in with a career-high 24 points at DePaul and added 21 in South Bend. The sophomore went 9 for 16 from beyond the arc on that road swing. The Pirates have been dangerous from long distance, hitting at least nine 3-pointers in six straight games and leading all Big East teams in 3-point makes (133) and attempts (348) while sitting second at 38.2 percent. Seton Hall, however, has shot just 29.7 percent from the field - including 19.0 percent from beyond the arc - in three straight losses in the series since Willard took over. Peyton Siva had 14 points and six steals in the most recent meeting, leading the Cardinals to a 61-55 win in March in the second round of the Big East tournament.

Pitino ecstatic following Sugar Bowl

In case anybody was wondering, Rick Pitino was raving about the University of Louisville football team’s 33-23 win over Florida in the BCS Sugar Bowl. “That was absolutely awesome,” he said during Saturday morning TV show. “The coaching staff found out what Louisville’s supporters are really like. They show up 30,000-plus, the Gators had under 10,000. The football coaches...

Recap: Rick Pitino’s Press Conference Previewing Seton Hall

As you probably expected, Rick Pitino opened his press conference this afternoon by telling the media how tough the Seton Hall Pirates are. Pitino also discussed Chane Behanan’s ankle injury and his disappointment with the Cards defense. Here is a brief recap of the press conference. “Seton Hall is a team that can give anyone in the country a lot of problems,” says Pitino....

The Rundown: Seton Hall Pirates

Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals will play their first Big East road game this evening against the Seton Hall Pirates. Kevin Willard’s team is 13-3 on the season and 1-1 in league play. The Pirates are coming off a 93-74 loss to Notre Dame. Both teams are currently going through some injures. Unfortunately for Seton Hall, they’ve had more bad luck with injuries than any...

Defense concerns Pitino at Seton Hall, a good 3-point shooting team

Like everyone else in Louisville, Rick Pitino appeared to be enduring flu-like symptoms during his Tuesday press conference at the Yum! Practice Center. Seemed to be going through the motions. “A couple of the coaches have been sick, including myself, Chane and Russ,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the flu because everybody on the team gets shots, it’s more of severe colds...

Getting To Know The Opponent: Seton Hall

Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals will travel to Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday to take on the Seton Hall Pirates. Let’s take a closer looks at this week’s enemy. Location: Newark, N.J. Seton Hall University is located in the heart of New Jersey’s Gateway Region, Newark is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area. Newark is considered to be one of...

Marquette about to face another road test

The road has not been kind to Marquette. Though the Golden Eagles have played just two true road games this season, the results in both have been dreadful. First came an 82-49 drubbing at the hands of then-No. 7 Florida. Two weeks later, Marquette struggled mightily in a 49-47 upset loss to UW-Green Bay. Now, as Marquette prepares to play its Big East road opener Saturday at Pittsburgh...
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