LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville center David Padgett held the
ball at the top of the key, made one quick dribble and tried to
underhand a pass through the lane to wide-open teammate Juan
The ball, however, deflected off a surprised Palacios and out of
It might take awhile for Padgett's new teammates to get used to
a big man who passes like a guard.
The turnover was one of Padgett's few missteps during
Louisville's (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) 90-65 win over Prairie View A&M in the Colonial
Playing in his first game in almost two years -- he sat out last
season after transferring from Kansas to Louisville -- Padgett
finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Cardinals (2-0)
overcame two weeks of rust to run by the Panthers (1-3) in the
"It was awesome being out there, I was looking for that for a
year," Padgett said. "I was extremely nervous, but that's not
unusual, I get nervous every game."
Padgett played 27 minutes and showed no ill effects from a
sprained left knee suffered during an intrasquad game three weeks
"I always set high expectations," Padgett said. "I always try
to play within my game. My teammates got the ball to me in position
Palacios led the Cardinals with 19 points and Louisville shot 59
percent from the floor in the second half. The Cardinals
out-rebounded Prairie View 45-29 and forced 22 turnovers. Phillip
Scott led the Panthers with 19 points, but Padgett made sure there
would be no upset.
Showcasing the deft shooting touch and floor vision coach Rick
Pitino has been talking about since he transferred following the
2003-04 season, Padgett shot 7-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-3 from
the line while adding four assists.
"He's out of shape, but for the shape he's in, he played
great," Pitino said. "He hasn't played basketball in three weeks,
but under the circumstances, he played awesome."
During one sequence midway through the second half, Padgett took
a pass at the left elbow then hit a cutting Dean for a layup. On
the next trip, Dean returned the favor, lobbing the ball the length
of the floor to Padgett.
"I know a lot of people didn't know what to expect (out of
Padgett)," Palacios said. "He's 6-11 and can run the floor like a
point guard. He's a real smart guy who knows where everybody is."
It was a remarkable turnaround from the last time Padgett played
in front of a crowd. During a scrimmage on Nov. 12. Padgett fell to
the floor clutching his knee and immediately feared the worst.
Three weeks later, he ran the floor with relative ease.
"The knee felt good and once the game started I didn't have any
problems," Padgett said. "I'm not in shape. Once I slowed down, I
Louisville's pressure helped the Cardinals build an eight-point
lead early, but the Panthers were able to cut it to one midway
through the first half.
The Cardinals were able to push the lead to 46-33 at the half
before extending it over the final 20 minutes as Louisville's size
and depth wore down their opponents from the Southwest Athletic
Louisville hosts Arkansas State in the second round of the
Colonial Classic on Sunday while the Panthers will take on
Richmond. Arkansas State beat Richmond 56-37 on Saturday in the
opening round of the Classic.