You love the picture, don’t deny it…
Well that certainly was an entertaining game on a late Tuesday night. Indiana shot lights out for a half, but couldn’t keep up as the Cards hit them with their signature “boom” in the second half and pulled away with a 20 point victory. The 4th ranked Cardinals moved to 8-0 on the season and Indiana fell to 7-2.
The trio of Montrezl Harrell, Chris Jones, and Terry Rozier were phenomenal. They combined for 71 points, only being outscored by 3 by the whole Indiana team. Here are some of my quick reactions from right after the game…
*Terry Rozier – It seemed like anytime a big shot was made, it was Terry Rozier hitting a 3 from the right wing. Maybe it only happened two or three times, but it seemed like a lot more. Rozier finished with a career high 26 points on 8-17 shooting. He made 5-8 from three and 5-8 free throws. He also had 6 rebounds. He struggled early in the game, missing a couple of easy layups, but definitely came up big in the second half. I am sure it won’t be long before we see Terry playing well on more NBA courts. It had to be surreal for Tom Crean to see a little Dwayne Wade out there lighting up the Hoosiers.
*Chris Jones – For a long stretch in the second half, Chris Jones was carrying the team on his back. People may complain about some of the shots he takes, but without him, the Cards may not have held their little lead long enough to deliver the “boom.” Jones finished with 24 points, which was also a career high. He also shot 8-17 from the field. He was 2-4 from three and 6-8 from the free throw line. He also threw in 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. This very well could have been his best game in a Louisville uniform.
*Montrezl Harrell – I think the final number was 7 dunks in this game for Montrezl. He passed Pervis Ellison on the all-time dunks list at UofL and is in sole possession of that record. He had the type of game you would expect, which is just full out energy, rebounds, and dunks. He had 21 points and 11 rebounds, 6 of those rebounds being on the offensive end. None of the Hoosiers could contain him down low. I would be ok with less flexing though, especially after a miss.
*Wayne Blackshear – Wayne had a very solid game. He only made 1-9 three pointers, but it isn’t all about that. The senior captain never got down on himself for missing shots, as he shouldn’t because there is way more involved in a basketball game. He still had 14 points, but he also chipped in 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 0 turnovers. The shot wasn’t falling, but he impacted the game in other ways for sure. It was good to see that from Wayne.
*Anas Mahmoud – I thought the big man played some good minutes. His stats only show 2 points and 4 rebounds, but he was very active when he was in the game. Of his 4 rebounds, 3 of them were offensive. That is a sign of effort and hustle. Defensive rebounding is easy. You box your man out and go get the ball. To get an offensive rebound, you have to want it and not just settle for being boxed out. His two points came on a putback where he was fouled in the process. He gave a simple fist pump. Montrezl could probably take a note there on when/when not to flex.
*Overall I thought it was a very good game for the Cards. Indiana isn’t the best team in the country by a long shot, we knew that. But to win a neutral site game at MSG when there is a lot of hype surrounding the game is still something positive. And when you have three guys scoring over 20 points each, you will win a lot of games. For as many threes as it felt like Indiana hit, Louisville made the same amount, eight.
Another big difference was turnovers. Louisville turned the ball over 12 times and forced 19 from Indiana. The Cards won the rebounding battle 49-34. You win those two stats and you put yourself in prime position to win ballgames.
Go Cards! Beat UNC-Wilmington!