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Rick Pitino shaking up Louisville’s starting lineup for Syracuse game

Three new names will be called inside the Yum Center Sunday afternoon.

Duke v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Louisville has just three games left in its 2016-17 regular season, but that doesn’t mean Rick Pitino is afraid to shake things up when it comes to his starting lineup.

When the Cardinals tip-off against Syracuse at 2 p.m. Sunday inside the KFC Yum Center, there will be three U of L players on the court who did not start Wednesday night against North Carolina.

"Starting means very little to us, but we're going to have three new starters for this game," Pitino told WAVE-3’s Kent Taylor. “Hopefully it gets us off to a good start. We'll go with VJ King over Deng Adel, we'll go with Anas in place of Mangok and we will go Ray Spalding over Jaylen Johnson."

Pitino says the moves are being made partially because of how thoroughly Louisville was dominated on the glass by UNC, and partially because he thinks it gives the Cards a better lineup against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone.

"I want to obviously get better passing against the zone, Anas is a better passer. I want to give VJ a chance at that position. I haven't been too happy with Deng Adel's lack of rebounding and defense and toughness in that last game. And in the other position, Ray, Jaylen just didn't rebound the ball and let's see what Ray can do."