October 26, 2015

Louisville Preview Capsule

The Associated Press=


Last season: 27-9 (12-6 ACC), lost in NCAA East Region final.

Nickname: Cardinals. Coach: Rick Pitino.

Conference: Atlantic Coast.

Key returners: Point guard Quentin Snider is the Cardinals' top scorer back at just 4.1 points per game. But he blossomed as a facilitator down the stretch and in the NCAA Tournament and looks to take a step forward this season. Ditto for 6-10 pivot man Chinanu Onuaku (4.6 rebounds), a starter who hopes to build on his experience of helping Team USA's Under-19 team win the gold medal at the World Championships last summer.

Who left: Leading scorer Terry Rozier (17.1 points, 5.6 rebounds per game) and physical power forward Montrezl Harrell (15.7, 9.2) were NBA draft picks. Small forward Wayne Blackshear (11.6 points) graduated, while starting point guard Chris Jones was dismissed in February. Reserves Shaqquan Aaron and Anton Gill transferred to Southern California and Nebraska, respectively.

The Skinny: With one starter back on his youngest roster in years, Pitino has his work cut out for him. His toughest job will be guiding his team through a scandal in which an escort has alleged a former program staffer hired her and other dancers for sex parties at the players' dormitory.

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