Pitino praises former asst. coach Kevin Keatts ahead of UofL gam - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Pitino praises former asst. coach Kevin Keatts ahead of UofL game against UNC Wilmington

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino heaped praise on one of his former assistant coaches at Pitino's weekly news conference Thursday afternoon.

Kevin Keatts is the head coach at North Carolina-Wilmington, UofL's next opponent. The Cards and Seahawks duke it out Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center at 6 p.m. in the 13th Annual Billy Minardi Classic.

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Pitino said he expects Keatts to have a long and successful career, but this season might not be the time to start cconsideringhim for Hall of Fame induction.

"I think he's gonna take his biggest jump next year," Pitino said. "This year he's playing 17 road games. He can do nothing about that."

Pitino praised Keatts' recruiting abilities, among others, and said his protege made a smart move for a first-year coach taking over a young program.

"He's done a very smart thing by gathering transfers," Pitino said. "Kevin's gonna do a good job. He's one of the best assistants I've had."

TIME CHANGE

The No. 4 Cardinals (8-0) also announced Thursday that their Dec. 30 game against Long Beach State has been moved up from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Louisville's Belk Bowl game against Georgia starts at 6:30 p.m., so the move was made to allow UofL fans to be able to attend the home basketball game -- or watch on ESPN3 -- and get home in time to watch the football game on television.

The Belk Bowl is being played in Charlotte, N.C.

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