# NAME HT WT POS CL HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)
0 Terry Rozier 6-1 190 G SO Youngstown, Ohio (Shaker Heights/Hargrave Military Academy)
1 Anton Gill 6-3 190 G SO Raleigh, N.C. (Ravenscroft/Hargrave Military Academy)
2 Quentin Snider 6-2 180 G FR Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)
3 Chris Jones 5-10 175 G SR Memphis, Tenn. (NW Florida State College)
4 Dillon Avare 6-0 150 G RS FR Lexington, Ky. (Lexington Catholic)
5 Matz Stockman 7-0 240 F/C FR Oslo, Norway (Canarias Basketball Academy)
10 Jaylen Johnson 6-9 215 F FR Ypsilanti, Mich. (Ypsilanti)
12 Mangok Mathiang 6-10 220 F/C RS SO Melbourne, Australia (IMG Academy (Fla.))
14 Anas Mahmoud 7-0 200 F FR Cairo, Egypt (West Oaks Academy)
15 Trent Gilbert 5-10 180 G FR Georgetown, Ky. (Scott County)
21 Shaqquan Aaron 6-7 170 G FR Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)
22 Akoy Agau 6-8 230 F SO Omaha, Neb. (Omaha Central)
23 David Levitch 6-3 180 G SO Goshen, Ky. (North Oldham)
24 Montrezl Harrell 6-8 240 F JR Tarboro, N.C. (Hargrave Military Academy)
25 Wayne Blackshear 6-5 215 G/F SR Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)
32 Chinanu Onuaku 6-10 230 F/C FR Lanham, Md. (Riverdale Baptist)
Rick Pitino – Head Coach
Kenny Johnson – Assistant Coach
Wyking Jones – Assistant Coach
Mike Balado – Assistant Coach
Doug Davenport – Director of Video Operations
David Padgett – Director of Basketball Operations
Michael Bowden – Asst. Video Coordinator
Stephanie Diebold-Davis – Basketball Receptionist
Ray Ganong – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Fred Hina – Head Men’s Basketball Trainer
Jordan Sucher – Executive Assistant to Rick Pitino
Vincent Tatum – Equipment Manager
Wayne Turner – Assistant Strength Coach
Brandon Williams – Program Assistant
Anthony Wright – Director of Academic Services
The Kentucky Wesleyan game taught me a great deal about our team. With a large lead with just over four minutes remaining, I substituted liberally. It almost cost us in a big way. Lesson learned!
This team needs time, continued effort at the defensive end and someone at the power forward spot to separate themselves. Without question, Mangok is our strongest player up front. He doesn’t take plays off and gives you solid defense each time down the floor.
Here is a chart from our last game. Mangok was M.V.P.
Friday starts a new and exciting season.
*2011-12: 30-10, BIG EAST Tournament Champion and Final Four
*2012-13: 35-5, BIG EAST Co-Champion, BIG EAST Tournament Champion & NCAA Champion
*2013-14: 31-6, AAC Co-Champion, AAC Tournament Champion & NCAA Sweet 16
*2014-15: 27-9, ACC Top 4 and Elite 8
It’s been an incredible four-year run! Can it continue? Yes, if the following is met by February:
Freshmen mature into players that are ready physically and mentally.
Nanu, Jaylen and Anas rebound and improve their offensive fundamentals.
We sweep all home games.
Keep our turnovers low.
Stay strong on the road. Been a staple for UofL the last five seasons.
Friday starts another exciting season with all our goals set. It’s time to execute!
Bellarmine Exhibition Shows Progress, Potential
It was a worthwhile exhibition game and I learned quite a bit about our team. Before I list what that is, here is a chart of the stats that lead to MVP, as explained in my previous blog:
MVP- Chinanu Onuaku +27
What I learned for us to make our offense run smooth is Quentin must be on the floor for major minutes. He makes us go and gets paint touches the best on our team, along with Damion. His final hurdle is defensive rebound or get deflections, which he did not get any against Bellarmine. Now you may say, “why do you need your point guard rebounding?” Simple. Very few point guards hit the glass; they run back for transition defense. Q has free reign to chase the ball down. I told him we expect five-to-six rebounds per game and six-to-seven deflections.
I also learned we are further along defensively than I thought. Holding a great shooting and passing team to 32% from the field and 22% on three point shooting is excellent for the initial outing. Bellarmine has some legit post players and will be an excellent contender this season.
Our front court played hard and intelligent. Donovan has shown big improvement in his jumper, but zero rebounds with his athleticism is unacceptable. Ralph Willard said it best, that a few of our freshman would be a deer in headlights the first time out in the Yum! Donovan, Ray, and Ryan showed that, but will be better next time out. Really pleased with our performance. The magic word is potential that leads to great upside.
Kentucky Wesleyan has four starters back and will play a totally different style. They run a lot of set patterns. They press multiple ways, trap the pick and rolls and run a variety of zones. Like Bellarmine who helped us learn to defend movement, we will learn to defend physical post play. Should be fun!
I have always said, “defense on three” when we break our huddle. This team says “family!” After every break, I realize how lucky I am to be teaching such an outstanding group of young men. When they chant “Who has my back?” during the starting lineups video, they mean it!