After a very good week of games for the now No. 12 Louisville Cardinals, the Cardinals were bitten by the injury bug. Quentin Snider suffered a hip injury in the Duke game but finished the game, it was released Monday that he will miss the next 2-3 weeks due to the injury. Still, the Cardinals notched a win against then No. 7 Duke on Saturday and a win against Pitt on Wednesday pushing the Cards to 15-3 (3-2 in ACC).
Tonight, the Cards welcome the Clemson Tigers (11-6, 1-4 in ACC). The game tips off at 9pm inside the Yum! Center and can be seen on ESPN.
Don’t let Clemson’s record fool you, they’re a solid offensive team and have a decent defense as well. They’ve lost 4 in a row, but took UNC to OT (lost by 3), Virginia and Notre Dame needed all 40 minutes to put the Tigers away (lost by 4 and 5, respectively), their only “bad loss” thus far was at Georgia Tech by a score of 75-63. Records aside, this is a team that isn’t easy to put away.
The Tigers are led by Senior forward Jaron Blossomgame, he averages 18.4 PPG and 6 RPG. The key to beating the Tigers is slowing down Blossomgame, he has scored 20+ points in their last 4 games. As mentioned earlier, the Cards will be without Quentin Snider tonight. Earlier in the week, Pitino mentioned Ryan McMahon’s name to start in place of Q. This could be a ploy to throw Clemson’s gameplan off, or the sharpshooting redshirt-freshman could get the nod tonight. I think Pitino starts out with Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, VJ King, Ray Spalding, and Anas Mahmoud tonight, McMahon and Tony Hicks will be called upon to produce as well.
The injury to Snider definitely raises some concerns, but it could also force the “next man up” situation to come to fruition. This team has depth, and the stretch of games without Q could add to it for when March comes. Tonight, Clemson gives the Cards all they can handle, but it’ll be Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Johnson stepping up to put the Tigers away. Louisville wins by a final score of 73-69.