After nearly a week long break from Monday’s shorthanded loss at Virginia, the Cards are back in action today by hosting Miami at 2pm on ESPN.
Today, Louisville will have 3 of the 4 players they sorely missed on Monday, Quentin Snider returns from his hip injury that sidelined him for 6 games and Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel are both back after serving their 1-game suspension for missing curfew. Tony Hicks still has some recovering to do, but the Cards are getting everyone back at the right time.
Miami (16-7, 6-5) is led by senior guard Davon Reed at 15.9 PPG. Junior guard Ja’quan Newton carries the scoring load with his backcourt mate at 15 PPG. A staple of Miami teams in recent years has been stellar guard play, this team isn’t as good as the Miami teams of late, but they have the guards to light up the scoreboard if given the chance. Louisville will have to force the Hurricanes into bad shots and turnovers in order to get the bounce-back win the Cardinals need today.
I like Louisville’s chances today. Coming off a poor performance with only 7 scholarship players, Q returns from his injury absence, Mangok and Deng return from their punishment after their lapse in judgment, for the first time since Duke, we get to see a full team (albeit without Tony Hicks). Q has a solid return day with 7 assists and 10 points and Donovan Mitchell shows he can still score and be the guy with Q at the point, which is a question I’m not really sure I understand? So many analysts were saying the Cards are better since Q’s injury. True? Technically, yes, if you factor in Louisville didn’t play the same level of competition outside of FSU and Virginia (both losses) during Q’s absence, and like all good teams, they’re supposed to get better. My point is, saying this team is better without Q is ridiculous and he will show why today.
Louisville 85-Miami 69.