Before the season started, today’s match up looked like it would be one of the best games of the day. Now it ends up being a game with two of the more disappointing teams in the Big East so far. Louisville (14-5, 2-4) comes into the game off of a disappointing loss at Marquette, in which they started out the game with an 18-2 lead. Pittsburgh (11-8, 0-6) already has losses to DePaul and Rutgers this season. They currently are on a 7 game losing streak. If there is any team that can relate to UofL in the injury department, it would be Pittsburgh.
Travon Woodall, the Panthers’ junior point guard, has missed 10 of the last 11 games with an abdominal injury. This moved shooting guard Ashton Gibbs to point guard, which isn’t his most comfortable spot. In the 8 games that Woodall has played, he has averaged 12.4 ppg and 7.5 assists per game. It appears that Woodall will make his return today, so this will move Gibbs back to his natural shooting guard position. He averages 16.5 ppg.
The Cards may be without Kyle Kuric again today, as well as Kevin Ware. Kuric is still dealing with an ankle injury, and Ware injured his knee in practice this week. Of course we know that Rakeem Buckles is out for the season now. This has been an issue all season for UofL, and of course that will continue today. Other players will need to step up.
The most important player on the floor for the Cards could be Gorgui Dieng. Without a proven backup, Dieng has to stay out of foul trouble. He has not been able to do that much this season. But when on the floor, Dieng is always a threat for a double-double. He has totaled 7 double-doubles for the season, and has already passed his rebounding total from all of last season.
In the series, the Cards and Panthers have split the last 10 games. Three of the last four games have been decided in overtime. Here are highlights from last year’s game at the KFC Yum! Center. The infamous “cheerleader” game for the Cards. The game tips off at 9:00 pm and will be on ESPN.