Jerry Smith will play against California

Though he hasn't practiced since injuring his right thumb on March 6, senior guard Jerry Smith "will play" Friday night in Louisville's first round NCAA Tournament game against California, although head coach Rick Pitino says his minutes will be limited. 

No word on whether Smith or junior guard Preston Knowles will start the game. 

More quotes from Pitino and senior guard Edgar Sosa:

Edgar Sosa

-"It was scary. Us, Villanova and Notre Dame had not been called yet, and (Pitino) said, 'Guys, I don't think we made it. They're not going to put three Big East teams on one side of the bracket. We had watched a caveman commercial earlier and everybody was dying laughing. After Coach P said that, the same commercial came on you could hear a pin drop."

--"We need Jerry. He just gets all of us going on the defensive end. I definitely think we need Jerry for our NCAA game."

--"We were hoping be on the same side as Kentucky. That's something we all wanted."

-"I just like our chances. I'm not trying to get past the first round because Cal is a very good team. But let's say we do get past Cal, I think we match up with Duke pretty well. We could beat anybody when we come to play."

-"Everybody starts off fresh. It's a new season. We have to go in with confidence because one more loss means the season over."

Rick Pitino

--"(California is) a top-20 team; they're a dominant team. We realize we're facing one of the more underrated teams in the country."

--"They are, fundamentally, very sound. They play like a senior team; they're not going to beat themselves."

--"Several weeks ago it didn't look good for us. We were injured, banged up and not playing good basketball. The one thing this program has bought into is resiliency. Three years ago when we got blown out by Notre Dame, this town needed Prozac. But we never get down when we lose."

--"They're very tough to guard in transition. Randle is equally good off the bounce as he is pulling up. He'll pull up deeper than any player in college basketball. He's a good five feet past the pro line."

--"This is one of the more interesting seasons I've had as a basketball coach."

"We had to deviate this year. This is not our style where you go into a tournament and a Tennessee or Stanford comes against this pressing team that goes after you. That's not us this year. We had to play differently this year to win, and we accomplished that."

--"(Edgar Sosa's) playing as well as I've ever seen him play in all phases of the game. I don't think we have good leadership; it has to come from the coaches, and it's been that way all year. But Edgar Sosa's attitude has been great. I've been real proud of him. He's been quite special."

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