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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

October 29th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Louisville Cardinals

 

Overall Rank: #18

Conference Rank: #4 Big East

 

2005-06: 21-13, 6-10, 11th (t)

2005-06 postseason: NIT

 

Louisville rarely lacks talent and this season will be no different.  The keys will be Coach Rick Pitino bringing all that talent together and the injury bug staying away for at least a little while.  The injuries have already been a problem during the off-season, with projected starting point guard Brandon Jenkins breaking his leg.  A speedy recovery could have the senior back in full form before the season is over.

 

Who’s Out: Of course the big loss for the Cardinals is Taquan Dean.  Issues can be raised about his leadership and team play, but the guard averaged 17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest.  Bryan Harvey and Chad Millard likely would not have been major contributors again this year and have opted to transfer.

 

Who’s In: With the injury to Jenkins, incoming freshman point guard Edgar Sosa will likely be thrown into the ring right away.  The 6-1 New Yorker, can control the fast break and is a good decision maker for a freshman.  Bred as a two guard, Sosa can knock down the long balls with consistency.  Earl Clark and Jerry Smith will be needed to provide depth on the wings.  At 6-8, Clark is a big guard who can get to the basket and handle the ball.  His versatility could have him bringing the ball up court one minute and posting up the next.  There are a few rough spots to work on, but Clark is expected to develop into a big time player for the Cardinals.  Smith is more of a natural two guard with good athleticism and finishing abilities.  Walk-ons Stuart Miller and Will Scott, a three-point threat who transferred from Cornell, will bolster the depth on the perimeter.  It seems like we’ve been hearing about Derrick Caracter for about ten years now.  Finally the 6-9, 275 pounder will play some college ball.  Caracter is a great rebounder and post scorer, who can also step out to the three-point arc.  When he has wanted to, Caracter gave Greg Oden a run for his money as the best big man in the class.  Inconsistency and weight control put Caracter a notch below Oden’s level, but if he can straighten all that out, Caracter will be one of the best in the conference sooner or later.

 

Who to Watch: For this year, Caracter will have to battle with an extremely strong frontcourt.  When healthy, David Padgett can be a beast in the paint.  Last year he averaged 11.8 points and 6.1 boards.  Juan Palacios struggled with a foot injury much of last year, but still managed to start every game and averaged 10.2 points and a team high 6.3 rebounds.  With a clean bill of health, Palacios is expected to be a much better player.  At the small forward spot Terrence Williams returns after a very successful freshman campaign, in which he averaged 8.4 points and 4.7 boards.  When Padgett was injured, Terrance Farley stepped in and did a decent job.  With that experience, Farley will be even more effective off the bench this year.

 

Final Projection: Without Jenkins, the backcourt has become very young.  Andre McGee showed promise as a freshman and earned 12 starts.  He’s a decent outside shooter, but really needs to hit the long ball with more consistency or the opposition can pack it in under the basket.  There is some depth here so Coach Pitino can run and gun, but with the inexperience in the backcourt, Louisville might have some trouble running the half court offense early in the year.  Sosa is a smart point guard and will need to take care of the ball or the Cardinals hopes and dreams could be over soon after they started.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA

 

Projected Starting Five:

Edgar Sosa, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Andre McGee, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 points per game

Terrence Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 8.4 points per game

Juan Palacios, Junior, Forward, 10.2 points per game

David Padgett, Junior, Center, 11.8 points per game

 

Also: Rick Pitino Preseason Interview

Also: Complete Big East Preview & Ranking

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