The day after: Cards drop a game to Duke

Rick Pitino

The Morning After is a new feature at Cardinal Authority this season for men's basketball games. The feature will be five thoughts from the game the night before. Sorry, this one is a little late in the day. I was trying to wait to get an update on Gorgui Dieng but haven't heard anything.

1. Gorgui Dieng and his wrist: I am sure you know by now but Gorgui Dieng missed the game with a wrist injury. He was to be evaluated when the team returned to Louisville on Sunday. If it's a sprain, Dieng will likely miss next week's game against Illinois State but would then return. If it's broken then it's four to six weeks, which would not be good for the Cardinals. Dieng is a tough kid and I've heard he's taking this well, hoping for the best but if it's broken he won't be one of those guys who is going to sulk. I know it's something new all the time with injuries. But at least with a wrist, no matter how bad, he'll stay in shape and won't miss a beat when he does get back into the lineup.

2. Price and Van Treese give Cards solid minutes: Sophomore Zach Price and senior Stephan Van Treese gave the Cardinals really solid minutes and I am not surprised. I know a lot of folks question both guys and have wondered how they help the team. But Price really has improved his conditioning drastically and he's getting there on his skills. VanTreese is solid and isn't going to hurt the Cardinals when he's in the game. He had eight points and eight rebounds in this one and did a fine job on defense against Mason Plumlee. The two didn't block a shot but they did hold Plumlee under his averages.

3. Behanan has to play better: Sophomore Chane Behanan has been a disappointment, so far. I think what coach Pitino has said all preseason is that Chane is just a little behind everybody else because of his lack of offseason progress. It looked like to me last night he was pressing a little bit also, but he did pass up a three-pointer and dribbled in a little closer, making it an easier shot. Look he's talented and he's going to get it, just going to take a little longer.

4. Coach K praises Siva/Smith: After the game coach K did say the backcourt duo of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva are one of the best backcourts in the country and he's right. Not too many backcourt duos can match those guys and they're only going to get better as the season goes on. Smith is becoming a better basketball player all the time and Siva is playing the best I can ever remember. Both still have some things to work on, but lets enjoy them.

5. A few leftover observations: Pitino talked about not converting on a pair of 2-on-1 fast breaks, including one when Kevin Ware was blocked by Ryan Kelly. That play changed the game. . . . Duke had too many run outs for baskets and that will get changed. One was Luke Hancock's fault. Those will get corrected. . . . Montrezl Harrell is getting there. Just needs a little more work on defense and you will see his numbers go up. . . . U of L is off until Saturday against Illinois State.

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