It's a homecoming for New York natives Ash Yacoubou and Jermaine Bishop who are among nine returning scholarship Billikens who are ready to face Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals Saturday night in Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational.
Coach Jim Crews is exited his team is playing in New York but he has to keep his team's emotions in check.
"We have to talk to the players to tell them to focus and do their jobs. We should be OK," said Billikens coach Jim Crews.
Guard Ash Yacoubou leads the Billikens with 15 points per game average.
At 4-0 this will be the first test for the Billikens. Despite losing four starters to graduation, Louisville comes in 4-0 and several transfers who make this team formidable.
"They are very athletic and like to push the ball," said Assistant Coach Calbert Cheaney.
Cheaney joins Crews who are both products of legendary coach Bob Knight. Cheaney and Crews played for Knight and was also was a longtime Knight assistant.
The Billikens and the Cardinals are no strangers. Two years ago they met in the second round of the NCAA tourney. The Cardinals won 66-51 but this year's Billikens team was in high school back then.
The Billikens say the key to upsetting Louisville is shot selection and keeping the Cardinals off the board.