CRAWFORD | Pitino updates bigs: Minor surgery for Spalding, Math - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Pitino updates bigs: Minor surgery for Spalding, Mathiang out till November

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AP photo. AP photo.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino posted his first blog entry of the summer earlier today, updating the progress of his big men — including a couple of with medical issues.

Sophomore Raymond Spalding had minor groin surgery, Pitino said in his post at RickPitino.net. The surgery “set him back in his strength and weight gain,” Pitino said, but he should be back “in no time.”

The outlook isn’t so rosy for co-captain Mangok Mathiang, who missed most of last season after a fracture in his foot, then was shut down from offseason workouts after surgery to remove scar tissue. Pitino said Mathiang isn’t likely to be ready until Nov. 1.

Still, the coach was upbeat about his big men overall in the wake of losing Chinanu Onuaku to the second round of the NBA Draft.

As he did in a radio interview with Terry Meiners of WHAS last week, Pitino praised Jaylen Johnson as the team’s most improved player, in large part because of his improved physical condition.

“His downfall has always been his poor conditioning,” Pitino writes. “He has worked hard on transforming his body. Results: More energy, better decisions, and more activity rebounding the ball. If he stays conscientious, a big change will occur in his junior season.”

Pitino also said Anas Mahmoud lost 13 pounds during a trip home to Egypt, but is improving in many areas, and that Matz Stockman came back from a trip to Norway in good shape, and that, “his footwork is improving and his offensive game from the low post is getting better. Shot blocking is the next hurdle.”

You can read the full blog post, which includes longer updates on each player and more observations on the team, by clicking here.

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