Kyle Kuric has been on a marvelous ride during his four years playing basketball at the University of Louisville.
And he will finish that career in the place where every major college basketball player wants to be. The Final Four.
U of L faces in-state rival and No. 1 seed Kentucky late this afternoon, with a berth in the NCAA championship game Monday as the prize.
“It’s been great, coming in playing behind T-Will (Terrence Williams), the long season we’re having now, the run we’re on has been great,” Kuric said. “A lot of credit goes to the coaches, helping me along the way, on the court and off the court.”
Kuric went to Memorial High School and felt like he had the best chance to play at U of L. He played behind Williams as a freshman, and Kuric learned a lot from the NBA Lottery pick.
“Stuff like when to come off a screen, and if he decided you’re not coming off a screen, then you’re not coming off the screen,” Kuric said Friday in U of L’s locker room at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “He was a great person to learn from. If you’re going to come in as a freshman and learn from somebody, might as well be a lottery pick.”
Preston Knowles, another former U of L standout, also had a hand in Kuric’s progress, telling the solid jump shooter not to hesitate when he had an open look.
Kuric made a huge assist off the court by volunteering to give up his scholarship before his senior season so U of L could bring in a large freshman class.
“When I first came, coach (Rick Pitino) said he might need your scholarship in the future, and would you be OK with it,” Kuric said. “I talked to my parents, they were fine with it, they could afford it.” Kuric’s father, Steve, is a neurosurgeon in Evansville.
Kyle Kuric’s breakout moment came as a sophomore, when he scored 22 points in the second half of U of L’s upset of then-No. 1 Syracuse in the last game played at Freedom Hall.
He was one of two double-figure scorers on this U of L team at 12.7 points a game. His favorite spot on the floor has always been the left corner.
“It started when I started playing basketball, we had a driveway and the left corner was regulation, and the right side went off downhill,” Kuric said. “ l always practiced shooting in the left corner. When I came here my entire job offensively is pass the ball, make a screen, when Peyton (Siva) comes off the pick and roll, and I get to the corner. It just happens to be where I’m open most.”
Kuric’s career may be close to over at U of L, but he isn’t finished with basketball.
“As of right now don’t have plans to go back (to Evansville)” Kuric said. “I will probably be staying in Louisville, working out, do whatever I can to get ready for the draft or to go play overseas.”