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Ware’s horrid injury motivating Louisville teammates ahead of Final Four clash with Wichita State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Related Stories Long and winding road: Beilein arriving at Final Four stage with decades of help, friendship from BoeheimCoaches reflect on Rice video, defend professionNot just yet: Boeheim reiterates he doesn’t plan on retiringBuild up: McGary develops from raw talent into focal point of Michigan offenseTheir game: Syracuse entered the 2002-03 season inexperienced, unranked but they ended it national championscenter_img ATLANTA – The fright eventually turned to relief, and soon after, turned to pride. Rick Pitino watched Kevin Ware crash to the court as Ware’s leg broke in a horrifying way.After Louisville shook the shock of witnessing the injury, the Cardinals put together a dominant performance to bury Duke in the second half to advance to the Final Four. Ever since, it has been a constant outpouring of support for their injured teammate.One that Pitino gushed about on Thursday.“I don’t think I could be any prouder of young men. The outward emotion of love that they showed each other was, for me, just a great thing as a basketball coach to witness,” Pitino said. “Now we are refocused.”It’s a scary thought for the other three teams here at the Final Four. Louisville’s already an explosive team with a stifling defense. Now the Cardinals are even more driven to take the championship trophy home to Louisville after Ware’s injury, which required immediate surgery and will leave Ware with a long, arduous road back to the court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWare was released from the hospital Tuesday and traveled with the team to Atlanta. Louisville plays Wichita State on Saturday at 6:09 p.m., and Ware will be on the bench to support the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Louisville will be doing everything it can to win the game and the championship for Ware.“It’s just incredible how adversity brings out the best in people,” Pitino said. “It certainly brought out the best in Kevin, as well as his teammates.”But Ware’s loss still has a significant effect on Louisville. Without him, the Cardinals are down a guard off the bench. It disrupts a rotation Pitino called “great,” one that helped Louisville earn a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.With the Cardinals’ fast-paced style and full-court press, having extra bodies to turn to can be key. Louisville’s bench is now so depleted that it will have to turn to a non-scholarship player as a reserve.“Now we can’t change our style of play because we won’t win or have a chance of winning, so now we have to play a walk-on,” Pitino said. “He’s got to do the best job he can do.”Pitino said Thursday that the team learned a lot about Ware this week. The way he fought through the injury and urged his teammates to win the game for him gave this tournament extra meaning for Louisville.The injury, which has captured the country’s attention beyond college basketball, could make the Cardinals a more dangerous team.Said Pitino: “I think it’s going to be a great motivator for us.” Commentslast_img read more