Sports

Louisville veterans, newcomers show impressive offense in defending champions' first scrimmage

  • Louisville's Terry Rozier, center, throws an outlet pass over the defense of Anton Gill during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

    Louisville's Terry Rozier, center, throws an outlet pass over the defense of Anton Gill during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)  (The Associated Press)

  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino gives instructions to the red squad during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino gives instructions to the red squad during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)  (The Associated Press)

  • Louisville's Montrezl Harrell goes up for a dunk during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

    Louisville's Montrezl Harrell goes up for a dunk during the NCAA college basketball team's scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)  (The Associated Press)

Louisville doesn't buy into midnight madness.

Confusion created by its defense is another matter, and Saturday's first Red-White scrimmage featured flashes of the trademark pressure that helped win last season's NCAA championship.

However, that aspect took a back seat to impressive offense before 8,280 at the KFC Yum! Center as both squads shot at least 46 percent.

Not bad considering Cardinals coach Rick Pitino must replace starting point guard Peyton Siva and center Gorgui Dieng from a 35-5 title team while introducing six freshmen and a transfer to his high-energy playing style.

Not surprisingly, senior guard and leading scorer Russ Smith set the tone for a strong returning nucleus and the newcomers with 24 points and eight assists in the first of three public scrimmages over consecutive Saturdays.