Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino got a chance to see the newest Cardinal, Montrezl Harrell in practice for the first time yesterday. A new NCAA rule allows for a once-a-week, two-hour summer practice. Yesterday the team had a full workout. Pitino calls Harrell a "raw talent." The 6'8" forward with a 7'4" wingspan has a lot of potential according to the coach. Pitino is also getting the chance to see how Harrell fits in with the other players. Harrell is helping to push Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng. According to Pitino, Behanan had his best practice of the summer on Wednesday. Coach says Behanan and Dieng will play hard in practice because they won't want to be embarassed by Harrell and vice versa. Pitino believes all three will get better as a result of the competition.
Peyton Siva dominated Wednesday's practice session. Pitino said Siva "kicked Russ' (Smith) little butt". The two push each other in practice but coach says Siva is the best. Pitino said the entire team looked good, even Stephan Van Treese. However, he said four players really stood out and they were Siva, Kevin Ware, Behanan and Dieng. When Deener asked about potential starters, Pitino said the only definite starters were Siva and Dieng. "I don't think there's a player in the country that can out block Gorgui," said Pitino. Coach believes this is a deep team.
Pitino is on the road recruiting. After today's interview, he was heading to Indianapolis and then to Washington, D.C.