Since Louisville's run to the Final Four concluded, the Cardinals roster has undergone a slight makeover this summer as three players have transferred from Rick Pitino's program - Jared Swopshire to Northwestern, Stephan Van Treese (undecided) and Rakeem Buckles to FIU.
Even before Buckles' departure Thursday, Louisville's scholarship crunch for next season had been solved. Now, the Cardinals, who have 12 players on scholarship for the 2012-13 season, have an available scholarship to give out for next season even if Terry Rozier qualifies academically.
Rick Pitino addressed his roster situation for next season Friday morning on WKRD with Early Birds morning show host Drew Deener.
On late signee Montrezl Harrell:
"He's not only a fierce rebounder, runner and dunker, but he's also an unbelievable competitor," Pitino said. "He just plays every second. He tries to get involved in every possession. He'll play both the four and five. He's going to play significant minutes."
On the possibility of adding another player for next season:
"There are still players out there that we may still pick up or we may hold the scholarship. There are fifth year players, there's players that are finishing their first semester of summer school who are thinking of transferring. There are a lot of options out there. We're a very strong basketball team without the scholarship so we're not sure what we're going to do."
On players going pro early:
"I don't see anybody on our basketball team right now leaving early at this stage in the game. Now, next year if Chane Behanan improves dramatically with his jump shot and defense he's a possible candidate and we look at that. That's why Montrezl Harrell is so important. If Gorgui improves his offensive game he's someone you could look at. We have to look down the road and project for that to happen. But right now it's not reality."
On which players stand out this summer:
"I'm very excited about this basketball team because they still have the same attitude they had last year but a little more ability. Guys that have stuck out [during workouts], No. 1 Kevin Ware. If you had to rate players 1-13 he's playing the best right now. He's hitting the midrange jumpshot and athletically he's a scary basketball player.
And the second person that sticks out is Russ Smith. He's gotten a lot stronger. We're working on him cutting down his turnovers and poor shots. That being said, nobody can guard him and he's the most difficult defensive guy to go against. Peyton Siva is becoming a terrific basketball player because Russ doesn't let him breath."
On Terry Rozier qualifying for next season:
"It's all about summer school and the re-take of the SAT. I think he'll make it. If I had to guess I'd say it's 70-30 I think he'll make it. But it still has to be done."