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Friah reads

We'll start with the C-J where the mood is upbeat but the quoted are wary of a dangerous Providence squad coming to town.

"We're starting to play our best basketball now because of the Big East and the NCAA Tournament coming up," Knowles said. "We get more focused, and the practices start getting better."

It helps that senior forward Terrence Williams should be almost back to full strength for tonight's game, according to Pitino.


"They're very difficult to prepare for and very difficult to defend," said Pitino, adding that they present potential matchup problems like Notre Dame.

Providence, sixth in the Big East standings, starts four seniors and is the only team in NCAA Division I with five 1,000-point scorers. The Friars also average 79.2 points, tied for third in the league.

Knowles likened the Friars' shooting range to Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney, who leads the league in made three-pointers at 3.87 per game.

"Anytime you have a team like that, everybody is dangerous," Knowles said. "And we were watching film, and they shot from anywhere. It's like having four McAlarneys on the court because they'll pull at any time."

The AP goes hard on the Pitino stripping his team of their ordinary practice garb after the Notre Dame loss angle.

Coach Rick Pitino removed all practice shirts and shorts with the Louisville logo on them until the seventh-ranked Cardinals manage to win a game away from Freedom Hall.

"A generic shirt, that's what you've become," Pitino said he told his team. "You'll stay with those generic shirts until you win another road game."

A solid performance against surprising Providence (16-9, 8-5) on Wednesday won't get the Cardinals (19-5, 10-2 Big East) out of their ordinary gym clothes. Yet Pitino hopes his team starts at least looking like the one that seemed among the best in the country only three weeks ago.

Keno Davis' assistant coaches are finding that scouting in the Big East is just a tad different than scouting in the Missouri Valley.

“You don’t shake your head when Pitt does this or UConn does that or Notre Dame shoots the ball like it did against Louisville last week,” said Chris Davis, who is scouting Pittsburgh in advance of next Tuesday’s Pitt-PC game. “That’s the Big East.”

Davis has spent most of his coaching career at Kent State, Western Michigan and Drake. He came to Providence with head coach Keno Davis knowing the challenges that await, but walking into one of the most intense Big East races of all-time has been eye-opening.

“You see great teams every night,” said Davis, 47. “In other leagues, you might see teams that aren’t as talented as you. Here, it’s the best every night.”

The Providence Journal also has a nice little capsule for tonight's game which reveals, among other things, that the Friars are 0-4 all-time against Louisville at Freedom Hall, and haven't beaten the Cardinals since 1977. 

For more tidbits, peep (I'm allowed to say it because I lip-synched "Jump" by Kris Kross at a talent show) the U of L game notes.

The Sports Network offers up a stat-heavy preview of the game.

The ProJo hoops blog serves up a number of quotes from Pitino, including this one.

"I will be frank. I have said it all season long. I just have not liked the way we have been practicing. They give good effort and they pay attention to detail, the things we want to get better at. You know on paper you are going to be pretty good, but I have not believed one day that we were a very good basketball team. I believed that we could do certain things and we play hard. (Saturday) was the first time all season I thought we could be a good basketball team. First time all year I thought we did things from an execution stand point that stuck out. I thought we did that because the team played mostly zone, but I thought we executed in practice; getting other people shots. A lot of people think it is our shooting but it is our passing. Guys are open and we are a second late. We are also forcing some things. We're going for the home run pass when we could (make) a simple bounce pass."

Can I still be Mike?