LOUISVILLE — Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino said Sunday that guards Mike Marra and Elisha Justice are out for Monday night's game against Morgan State.
Pitino said forward Jarred Swopshire, who hasn't played this season, will remain out for the Cardinals' final two games, including against Kentucky, before Big East competition begins.
Justice is dealing with the effects of a concussion, and Marra has a sprained ankle. Neither played in last week's game against Western Kentucky, the first missed game for both this year.
Pitino said the Cards will be looking for a solid contribution from Russ Smith, who came off the bench against WKU and scored nine points in 11 minutes, and the coach suggested that Preston Knowles could spell Peyton Siva at point guard, The Courier-Journal reported.
The Cardinals (10-1) face Morgan State Monday at 8 p.m. in the KFC Yum Center. They complete non-conference play Friday against Kentucky.
Pitino said he wanted the Cards to improve their transition and half-court defense.
"If you had to look at a weakness of our basketball team, it's our defense," he said.
The Cardinals didn't need it against the Hilltoppers as Siva led five players in double figures with 29 points, and U of L rolled 114-82. And they are holding opponents to 37 percent shooting overall and 29 percent from three-point range. They're also forcing just more than 18 turnovers a game, albeit against mostly inferior competition.
And Morgan State isn't much more of a threat than their previous opponents. In the Bears' five losses, they've averaged 60.6 points, and they're coming off a 97-55 throttling at No. 5 Syracuse.
DeWayne Jackson (14.7) and Kevin Thompson (14.1) are the only two Morgan State players averaging double-figure points. And the Bears commit 14.6 turnovers a game.