For the last several months Rick Pitino has been telling anyone willing to listen that for his team to be successful, he's going to have to rely on his freshmen more than he ever has before.
You can't chalk this one up to Pitino-speak.
All four scholarship freshmen hit double figures as Louisville's White team beat the Cardinals' Red squad 85-77 in an intrasquad scrimmage at Cardinal Arena Friday night.
Point guard Edgar Sosa led the youngins, scoring 23 points on 8-of-13 sooting in 32 minutes for the victorious side. Sosa also had three assists and three steals.
But it was the much maligned Derrick Caracter who most impressed the packed house of Cardinal fanatics last night. Caracter, who was allowed to play only after meeting Pitino's weight and body fat requirements, dominated the low-post scoring 19-points and snagging a dozen rebounds.
"I was surprised today," said Caracter. "I was running up and down the court and didn't really get tired. I'm just going to keep running and working hard. I need to keep rebounding, running the floor, and Coach wants be to do a better job hitting the guys coming off screens. Whatever Coach tells me to work on, that's what I'm working on."
So the stats love Sosa, the fans love Caracter, what about the coach?
"I thought the best guy on the court tonight was Earl Clark," said Pitino. "He hasn't practiced much lately because he's coming off a stress fracture, but he went out and competed to grab 17 rebounds."
Clark, the only McDonald's All-American of the four, played for the Red team and scored 13 points to go along with his 17 boards.
Jerry Smith, the player of the year in Wisconsin a season ago, scored 15 points and hit three-of-five shots from beyind the arc, the area where he is expected to help this team out the most. Smith played 37 minutes for the White team, second only to senior Perrin Johnson who contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 39 minutes.
Sophomore guard Terrence Williams led all scorers with 30 points, but was just 10-of-33 from the field and 8-of-23 from three.
Sophomore center David Padgett played for the first time this season on his surgically repaired knees, and snatched four rebounds in six minutes.
Of course it wouldn't be Louisville basketball if there weren't injuries and last night did not disappoint. Juan Palacios bruised his left knee in a collision with another player and played just 10 minutes. Terrance Farley bumped the back of his head on the knee of Clark after colliding with Caracter and left the game in the first half with a mild concussion. Andre McGee (cramps) and Chris Current (bloody nose) also left the game with minor injuries.
No one is expected to miss significant time.
"We were going hard," said Sosa. "Coach Pitino told us to take it like a real game, not just a scrimmage."