If you guys don't know our sister site Card Chronicle, I don't know where you've been for the past couple of years. Mike Rutherford was nice enough to answer some questions on their injury situation, the KFC Yum! Center, and of course Big East expansion.
1. Gorgui Dieng and Rakeem Buckles have been hampered by injuries over the past couple of weeks. Do either have a chance to play Sunday?
CC: Dieng actually played about 20 minutes against Seton Hall, so there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to go. Buckles is probbaly going to be out at least three or four more weeks after shattering his finger.
2. We know that Pitino likes to press. With going to the smaller lineup, what has Rick done to combat the lack of size down low?
CC: This will only be Louisville's third game since the Buckles injury, and nothing much (outside of the starting lineup) has changed so far. Pitino did experiment with different, bigger, lineups against Seton Hall, but only after the game was well out of reach. With Terrence Jennings struggling mightily and Dieng hobbled a bit with that ankle injury, George Goode -- who didn't play a second against Kentucky -- got the start at center on Wednesday.
Basically, no one knows what the hell to expect right now.
3. On a scale of Steve Kragthorpe (1) to Charlie Strong (10), how nervous are you about USF scoring the upset in Tampa?
CC: Lee Corso (3). I'll be surprised if the game isn't at least mildly competitive, but I'm sorry, I've completely forgotten what losing to South Florida in basketball feels like and can't acknowledge it as a possibility
4. Even though the KFC Yum! Center's name is horrible, how big of an upgrade is it to Freedom Hall?
CC: From the standpoint of aesthetics, a massive one. It's been referred to by a number of national personalities as the best college basketball arena in the country, and that's a position that's pretty hard to disagree with once you've been inside the arena.
That said, it still doesn't quite feel like home yet for Louisville fans, an issue that can only be resolved by time.
5. What are your thoughts on football expansion, and who else do you want the Big East to invite, if anyone?
CC: I'm completely fine with taking TCU, having Villanova bump up, and then calling it a day. But if we're going to invite one more team to get to an even number for basketball, then I think it has to be Central Florida. They're going to finish in the top 25 for football, they're in the top 25 for basketball, they're in the most bountiful area in the country as far as recruiitng; it just makes sense. With TCU on board, I'm not behind inviting anyone other than UCF.
6. Any predictions?
CC: Cards start fast, Bulls claw back but can never quite get the game into the danger zone. Louisville 76, South Florida 65
Thanks to Mike, and if you haven't already, check out CC and follow him on Twitter.