Tonight at 8:00, the 25th ranked Louisville Cardinals (16-5, 4-4) will face Seton Hall (15-5, 4-4) in an attempt to get their third straight victory. With a 4-4 Big East record, both the Cards and Pirates are tied for 9th place in the conference. However, Georgetown and Marquette are tied for 2nd place with 6-2 records. So the difference between 2nd place and 9th place is 2 conference games, which makes every game huge for the standings.
After starting off 4-1 in the Big East, Seton Hall has lost their last 3 games. They have, however, already beaten West Virginia and UConn, so this is not the Seton Hall we are used to seeing. Former UofL assistant Kevin Willard has the Pirates playing much better basketball this season.
Willard is in his 2nd season as the head coach for Seton Hall. Before that, he spent 3 years as the head coach at Iona. But in for 6 years before that, he was one of Rick Pitino’s top assistant coaches for UofL. He was in charge of game preparations and scouting, so the Cards probably will not do anything that Willard is not already prepared for. That is just something you deal with when coaching against a former assistant.
Seton Hall’s best player is Herb Pope, a 6’8 senior who is averaging a double-double with 16.1 ppg and 10.3 rebounds per game. He already has 10 double-doubles on the season. In their last 3 games, all losses, Pope is only averaging 8.3 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game. So when he does not get his usual numbers, the team struggles.
For the Cards, it will be important to see Peyton Siva continue to play well. After getting off to a rough start this season, the junior point guard has played two solid games in a row. If he continues to play well, the Cards can do some big things this season. Also worth watching for is the continued growth of freshman Chane Behanan. Against Pittsburgh and Villanova, the only person who could stop him was himself if he got into foul trouble. Since Rakeem Buckles went down with another ACL injury, Behanan has stepped up and proven that he can handle the power forward position by himself, again as long as he stays on the floor.
Peyton Siva vs Seton Hall
The game tips at 8:00 and can be seen on WHAS, or on ESPN3.com. It can also be heard on WKRD 790 AM with Paul Rogers and Doug Ormay.
Here is another great video from last year’s game from VillenHD