By Joel Welser
Overall Rank: #18
#4 Big East
2005-06: 21-13, 6-10, 11th (t)
2005-06 postseason: NIT
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.
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.
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
Who to Watch:
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.
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
Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 points per game
Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 8.4 points per game
Junior, Forward, 10.2 points per game
Junior, Center, 11.8 points per game
Rick Pitino Preseason Interview
Complete Big East Preview & Ranking