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Samuels stars in debut for Louisville

Nov 23, 2008 - 3:30 AM LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Freshman Samardo Samuels gave coach Rick Pitino an early indication that Louisville will be okay inside.

Samuels scored 18 points in his debut as third-ranked Louisville defeated Morehead State, 79-41, in the Billy Minardi Classic on Saturday.

The top prospect from the Cardinals' newest class, the 6-8 Samuels shot 8-of-12 from the field to lead four players in double figures. He also grabbed five rebounds.

"He did okay," Pitino said. "He's gotten about 20 percent better above the rim on offensive moves as well as dunks. He's still playing below the rim as far as moves. Looking for the foul, you're not going to get it all the time. Referees get tired of calling it. So you have to finish above the rim with a jump hook, you have to finish above the rim."

Samuels' encouraging start helped Louisville (1-0) deal with the fact that it needs to replace four front line players, most notably David Padgett and Juan Palacios.

The presence of Samuels inside freed up swingman Earl Clark to look for holes in the Morehead State defense, scoring 13 points.

After a tight first half where the Eagles had a 14-12 lead midway through, the Cardinals (1-0) extended a 10-point halftime advantage with a 21-7 run that was capped by a layup from Samuels.

The freshman had eight points during the run and Jerry Smith sank one of his two 3-pointers.

Smith ended up with 12 points and Preston Knowles added 10 for Louisville, which shot 68 percent (19-of-28) in the second half to blow open the contest.

The Cardinals' improved passing had a great deal to do with that.

"Pretty much every time we open the first half we have opening-night jitters," Pitino said. "Then we just relaxed and we started passing. We had five assists at halftime. We had 21 for the game, which is outstanding."

Junior point guard Edgar Sosa ended up with 10 of those assists, a career high.

Despite the solid start of Samuels, Louisville's one main trouble spot was rebounding, finishing with only a 42-38 advantage over Morehead State.

"The two areas I'm concerned about is our transition defense and our rebounding," Pitino said. "I don't like the way Earl and Samardo are rebounding the basketball. Samardo not active enough and Earl isn't hitting people enough."

One player that did not have those issues was Terrence Williams, who grabbed 11. However, the senior forward struggled to score, managing just two points. Two years ago, Williams was the team's leading scorer with 12.4 points.

Despite its last start to the season, Louisville will be in action again on Sunday when it faces South Alabama, which beat Florida A&M, 93-64.

Leon Buchanan scored 10 points and Kenneth Faried added six and 11 rebounds for Morehead State (0-4).








  • BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
    NCAA BB BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
    FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
    --- --- -----
    MOREHEAD ST 20 21 41
    LOUISVILLE (3) 29 50 79 FINAL

    Nov 22 8:18 PM
  • 15
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Morehead State 39, Louisville(3) 75  2nd - 4:00Nov 22 7:28 PM


  • CORRECTION
    BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
    NCAA BB MOREHEAD ST 20
    (3) LOUISVILLE 29 HALFTIME

    Nov 22 6:22 PM


  • BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
    NCAA BB BILLY MINARDI CLASSIC
    FINA 1ST 2ND TOTAL
    --- --- -----
    MOREHEAD ST 20 20
    LOUISVILLE (3) 29 29 FINA

    Nov 22 6:21 PM
  • 5
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Morehead State vs. Louisville(3)Nov 22 10:20 AM