Louisville to play six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this August

Rick Pitino’s association with the Puerto Rican national team is a catalyst for the trip. (USATSI)

Louisville will take a trip to Puerto Rico this summer as prep for its 2015-16 campaign.

The school announced the trip on Thursday. U of L will go up against pros, playing against national teams from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, as well as the Puerto Rico junior national team in a six-game exhibition spree that will go from Aug. 10-17.

Dates/game times/etc. will be announced down the road.

This trip was expected, as Cards coach Rick Pitino is also going to coach Puerto Rico’s national team this summer, prior to Louisville’s trip. So the fun twist is this: Pitino will coach Puerto Rico in the games that team plays the Cardinals. U of L assistants will run the ship for the Cards. This will come after the Pan American Games, which will be in Toronto from July 21-25. Pitino will coach Puerto Rico there and then.

This schedule means Pitino won’t be on the road recruiting for Louisville as much this summer, as his duties with the Puerto Rican team will take priority.

“He will also coach the team in a 10-team, pre-Olympic FIBA qualifying tournament in Monterrey, Mexico on Aug. 25-Sept. 5, where the top two teams qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” according to Louisville’s sports information office.

Schools get one foreign trip every four years, per NCAA rules. So Louisville’s turn is up. You’ll recall in-state rival Kentucky had its foreign trip last summer. The Wildcats went to the Bahamas and played the Dominican national team as well as pros from France.

The scenery won’t be foreign for most Cardinal players and coaches. Louisville was in Puerto Rico last November, when the Cards played Minnesota to open the season. It was a game that put Pitino against his son, Richard, who coaches the Golden Gophers.

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