Rick Pitino press conference highlights


--Preston is the captain. Pitino is very proud of what he accomplished this summer and how he bounced back from a little adversity. There's no question that he's the leader of this basketball team.

--Gorgui Dieng hasn't played basketball in a long way, so he's got a lot of ground to make up, but the good news is he's probably the second smartest basketball player on the team (behind Preston). He's picking up things very quickly and he's in very good shape. He will likely play 15-18 minutes during Sunday's exhibition game.

--This team probably has the best overall attitude of any he's had at Louisville.

--Stephen Van Treese has returned from his ankle injury and Elisha Justice ("Bullet") will start back practicing tomorrow.

--Jared Swopshire not being able to improve at all has been the biggest disappointment of the offseason. He's not getting any better (injury-wise), which is very frustrating. It's been eight weeks and there has been no significant improvement. Surgery is not an option.

--Swop suffered the injury running on a track with his dad and brother this summer.

--"He's not coming back anytime soon...we've tried everything and nothing seems to be working."

--Wants to play Kuric 35 minutes a game. He will start at the three and also serve as the backup to Rakeem Buckles at the four. Kyle and Preston have separated themselves from the rest of the team in terms of the way they're playing.

--Defending the three will be the biggest test against Northern Kentucky.

--Kuric is improving in the way Larry O'Bannon did a few years ago. He's really coming out of his shell.

--Preston could have a special season if he stays healthy, which is a concern since he's "not the most flexible person."

--The great thing about Preston is that he's one of the few athletes who truly just cares about his team winning. If Louisville wins, he's ecstatic and if Louisville loses, he's crushed. Every guy on the team follows him.

--This team will play much more man-to-man than recent Cardinal teams. They'll do anything to speed up the pace of the game and generate turnovers.

--If Terrence Jennings can become a runner, rebounder and shot-blocker, then he has the chance to pay at the next level. If he wants to show everyone that he can shoot the jump shot, he'll play in Yugoslavia.

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