It appears at least one of the changes a large segment of the Louisville basketball fan base has been clamoring for is coming.
Rick Pitino said on his radio show Monday night that he plans on playing freshman center Anas Mahmoud more and sophomore Mangok Mathiang less, despite the first-year player's noticeable limitations.
"I've got to start playing him," Pitino said. "(Mangok) is just not catching the ball and finishing inside, so I've got to start playing (Anas) more and live with his weaknesses."
Pitino has repeatedly talked about Mahmoud's potential, while typically backing that comment up with one about the native of Egypt not being physically ready to compete against a quality frontcourt. Mahmoud saw a combined 60 minutes of action in wins over Ohio State, Indiana, and Western Kentucky, but hasn't played more than 10 minutes in a game since the calendar flipped to 2015.
After a strong end to his redshirt freshman season, Mathiang began the season as Louisville's projected starting center. Instead, he lost the starting spot to Chinanu Onuaku, and has struggled mightily while splitting time with the true freshman.
Mangok Mathiang is averaging 1 PPG on 8% shooting in 19.4 minutes per game in Louisville's 5 losses this year. Gross.— Trevor Joelson (@MountTrevorest) February 16, 2015
Get your "Narrow Pharaoh" shirts ready.