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Saturday evening Cardinal news and notes

We'll know who and where we're playing in less than 24 hours. Keep it cool.

I_medium First Saturday night without a title game to watch since, like, "Friends" was still on, so I guess we'll news and notes it up. I don't know ... I don't know how to handle this situation. I guess this is what we do.

I_medium Oliver Purnell has stepped down at DePaul. I would like to have the job and I would like all of you to be my assistant coaches. We will be the first Internet community-run program in the history of men's college basketball, and we will be remarkably successful. Stay tuned.

I_medium Rick Pitino sat down with the C-J's Jeff Greer yesterday to talk about a number of things, most notably an added emphasis on the play of Chinanu Onuaku ....

The second reason is (freshman center Chinanu Onuaku) in two games has not blocked a shot or gotten an offensive rebound and a putback ...

In order for us to make a run in the NCAA (tournament), we have to stop taking challenged shots when the game is on the line. If you're not a great shooting team, you can't take challenged shots. (Sophomore guard Terry Rozier and freshman Quentin Snider) were the major culprits in that game. And the second thing is -- Chinanu is the only person capable of blocking shots and getting offensive putbacks and scoring, and he's not doing it.

(Freshman Matz Stockman) is physically ready but not mentally ready to play. He doesn't remember all the plays because of the language issue. (Freshman Anas Mahmoud) is not strong enough to play major minutes.

So I had a long talk with Chinanu, and I told him, 'If you don't block shots and get offensive rebounds and putbacks, then we're playing 4 on 5.' He agreed with me. Effort-wise, he's playing about 60 percent of the game. When you're 6-10, 250 pounds and you're not a scorer, if you don't block shots and get offensive rebounds, then what good are you? So I said, 'If you don't step up and do this, then we're going to get knocked out. The onus is on you. I don't need you to score -- I need to get scoring off offensive rebounds, and I need you to block shots.'

Q: Is there a specific stat line that you want to see from him?

Pitino: He had the opportunity to block 10 shots (against North Carolina) and didn't go after one. (On offense) we want him to go after 80 percent of missed shots. He went to the offensive glass 40 percent in that game.

....and a pretty dim take on the future of Anton Gill, at least this season.

Q: You said you were considering a change at center. Have you thought about going small?

Pitino: Well, we've done that before with Kyle Kuric. The only thing when you go small is it's probably (freshman forward Jaylen Johnson) and Montrezl (Harrell). If you go small -- you know, (freshman wing Shaqquan Aaron) and (sophomore guard Anton Gill) aren't playing very well. I've gone long enough with Anton, trying my best to be patient ... I've gotten to the point that I'll go with David Levitch.

You can read the complete interview here.

I_medium Speaking of Greer, he avoided having to write a guest post on this site about Titus Teague with a miracle buzzer-beater, and was very excited about it.


I_medium Mark Titus, the former Ohio State walk-on and current entertaining college hoops writer over at Grantland, opened up during a recent Reddit AMA about his struggles with depression. It's a really good read, even if you've never struggled with any of the same issues.

I_medium The Louisville Cardinal takes a closer look at Dan McDonnell's culture of winning.

I_medium Levine looks like Luke Hancock in this picture, so I'm giving him a pass. Just on the L, not on the whole, you know, music thing.

I_medium Kevin Ware came off the bench to score 9 points and dish out a team-high 6 assists in Georgia State's victory in the Sun Belt semifinals. The Panthers will play Georgia Southern in tomorrow's title game for a spot in the dace, where they could be a 12 seed, a situation which would certainly be enticing for the Selection Committee if Louisville is a 5.

A lot of people have brought up the potential matchup over the last 24 hours or so, and I'd hate it both because R.J. Hunter might drop 50 on us, and it because it would bring Kevin the kind of attention that he left U of L with the hope of avoiding. I suppose we'll see. He talked about that very thing in an interview on Friday.

I_medium A rare find:

I_medium The U of L softball team remained unbeaten in ACC play with a walk-off win over Virginia this afternoon.

I_medium The 8th-ranked Cardinal baseball team is also having success in league play this weekend, sweeping a double-header with Boston College this afternoon by a combined score of 18-4.

I_medium SB Nation's James Dator was in a North Carolina hospital during the Tar Heels' win over Louisville Thursday afternoon, and he recounts his experience.

Strangers gathered, united in one thing: They all wanted to see Carolina win. The huddled group rotated members regularly, people leaving to see loved ones when their buzzers went off. Some returned after meeting with surgeons. Others were gone for good. Those that came back had one question, "Did I miss anything good?"

The Tar Heels pulled away late after several Louisville mistakes. People tried to mute their cheers when reminded they were in a hospital, but it did little good. Shortly after the game ended a woman was wheeled past the waiting area in a wheelchair, her left leg in a cast, wearing a Tar Heels T-shirt.

"Did you see they won?" a doctor passing in the hall asked.

"Yes! I'm so happy. I was supposed to be there today, but this happened," she said, pointing to her leg. "It's okay because they did it. I'll be there tomorrow night."

The Bosnian man wasn't conscious enough from his anesthetic in time to see the Heels win, but his son later told me he let his dad know what happened. The pair watched highlights on his phone. They'd already planned to watch the game Friday together, but just needed to make sure it was okay with the nurses that he stayed late with his dad.

Something told me there would be no problem.

I_medium At least we're in a league where the people are as batshit crazy as we are.

I_medium Preston Brown ranks No. 8 in the NFL in performance-based pay distribution.

I_medium Ted.

I_medium All of the action you could possible want recapped from today is right here.

I_medium And finally, Selection Sunday is officially mere hours away. We'll have our annual post up in the morning taking a look at all the potential first round opponents Louisville might draw, as well as some baseless predictions for the evening ahead. Enjoy the basketball this evening and know that we will be re-joining the party very shortly.