The undefeated and 4th ranked Louisville Cardinals are home on Wednesday night for a midweek matchup with the Indiana State Sycamores (0-1). Louisville is 6-1 all time versus Indiana State. The two teams last played in 2008 at Freedom Hall, where Louisville won 83-43.
Through two games, Jordan Nwora leads the Cards in scoring at 22.0 points per game (9.0 reb, 1.0 ast). Ryan McMahon is the second leading scorer, having put up 16 points in both games while connecting on 57.1 of threes. Steven Enoch has been the other standout, averaging 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Indiana State is highlighted by its high scoring backcourt tandem of 5-10 senior Jordan Barnes and 6-2 junior Tyreke Key. Barnes had a breakout 2017-2018 season when he led the Sycamores in scoring at 17.6 points per game, up from only 6.5 as a freshman. Last season, Barnes’ per game numbers took a hit with the emergence of Key. He also moved off the ball more with the addition of Iowa transfer Christian Williams. Barnes averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds. He barely shot 30 percent from three after shooting 42.2 percent from behind the arc on 110 more attempts as a sophomore.
Much like Barnes the season prior, Tyreke Key broke out in 2018-2019 during his second year in Terre Haute. Key led the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game. He shot over 55 percent from the field and 44 percent from three point range.
Last season, Indiana State had the worst defense in the Missouri Valley, per KenPom. It is an undersized team that does not roster one player over 6-foot-8. That being said, they added a few bigger bodies to the roster this season and should be improved on that end as the front court develops together.
On Wednesday, Louisville is favored by 21.0 points. The Cards have the size advantage and will need to primarily focus on stopping the high powered backcourt. Coach Mack was not pleased with his team’s rebounding performance on Sunday, so expect them to be extra focused on the glass.
Louisville has never lost a November game at the KFC Yum! Center. That should not change tonight. Indiana State plays in the Missouri Valley Conference, though. As we all know, a Missouri Valley team is more than capable of waltzing into the state of Kentucky and grabbing a win over a power conference team. The Cards cannot afford to take this game lightly.
Prediction: Louisville 88 Indiana State 64