Louisville coach Chris Mack jokingly compared Darius Perry’s sophomore season to the parable of the scorpion and the frog. The moral of the story goes that the scorpion can’t avoid harming interests of others even when it goes against their own interests.
The 6-foot-2 guard has competed with attitude and consistency in the preseason. Mack said Perry has been the same player every day in practice.
“We talked about him being a mercurial kid a year ago, that’s just inherently who he is,” Mack said. “Darius has responded and it’s exciting for our coaching staff.”
Perry, who averaged 5.4 points in 16.4 minutes per game last season, is more comfortable in Mack’s system in his second year.
“I have always been a confident basketball player, but it’s hard to show what you can do and do what you can do on the floor when you aren’t comfortable with your coach and not sure what you’re supposed to be doing out there,” Perry said.
With a mindset to distribute the ball to scorers like Jordan Nwora and Steven Enoch, Perry wants to be composed as a point guard. Perry had 50 assists last season, but also finished with 40 turnovers.
“You have to get your guys organized and try to keep a poise about yourself so your guys can keep a poise about themselves as well,” Perry said. “I don’t have to do much scoring. I think my time will come to get open shots and get my layups on fast breaks in the lane, but my main focus is to distribute to other guys.”
Mack says Perry has played with a chip on his shoulder after an up-and-down sophomore year. The Cardinals’ second-year head coach believes it takes longer for some players to mature.
Perry appears to have matured in his third year in the program. He made his initial impact on the defensive end of the floor as a freshman, a role he plans to continue.
Perry believes Louisville has the potential to be a good defensively as long as the team understands to its priorities. His energy and vocal leadership will help Louisville.
“I think energy is something that is contagious and everybody really feeds off it, so as long as I come out with the right mindset,” Perry said.