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October 12, 2013

Jones, Rozier shine in Louisville's second scrimmage

New guards Chris Jones and Terry Rozier led the Red Team to a 70-65 win over Russ Smith's White Team using an old wrestling maneuver - the tag team.

Jones finshed with 24 points and Rozier had 14 points and eight rebounds during defending national champion Louisville's second preseason scrimmage. Smith, who finished with 22 points on 6 of 16 shooting, was hounded the entire game by Jones and Rozier.

"They switched off on him," coach Rick Pitino said. "They were smart about it because neither one wanted to come out of the game. They just switched off of Russ when one of them needed to catch a blow, and then they'd switch back later."

Pitino said the Red Team had the advantage because Tim Henderson, the other White Team guard, is not a ball-handler. Pitino noted the Red Team guards also did a better job of rebounding and getting their big men involved.

Looking at the roster coming into the scrimmage it appeared the White Team would have the advantage. Returning starters Russ Smith and Chane Behanan led a roster that also included Montrezl Harrell, Anton Gill and walk-on Dillon Avare. But Jones said he knew he would win.

"I told the guys ahead of time I was a winner," Jones said. "I told them it didn't matter who they put on the roster, my team is going to win because I am a winner."

Jones was right. He finished the scrimmage 8 of 15 from the floor with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

"I felt more comfortable out there today (than in the first scrimmage)," Jones said. "I needed to get used to the tighter rims and the space (of the arena), you know."

Jones was the team's leading scorer, but Rozier had the game's biggest play, a steal and dunk with 33 seconds left that gave the Red Team a comfortable five point lead.

Rozier, who stole the ball from teammate and roommate Anton Gill, was gracious as Gill sat next to him in the post-game locker room.

"I'm not going to say anything because I know he'll get me back when he can," Rozier said with a laugh. "... I got lucky on that dunk."

Wayne Blackshear had 14 points and seven rebounds, Stephan Van Treese had seven points and 11 rebounds and Mangok Mathiang had nine points and seven rebounds for the Red Team. Behanan finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, Harrell had 14 points and six rebounds and Gill and Henderson had eight points a piece.

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