Pregame Breakdown: Louisville v. Miami (FL)

The Louisville Cardinals look to get back on track as the Miami Hurricanes come to town on Tuesday night. Louisville is now 11-3 on the year and 2-1 in ACC play after losing to Florida State on Saturday. Miami enters at 9-4 and 1-2.

Louisville defeated Miami (FL) in the season opener on Nov. 5. The Cards won 87-74 in Coral Gables and it was not even that close. Louisville led by 19 at the half and by as many as 32 in the second half. Miami cut it to 13 with a run at the end when Louisville brought in its lineup of freshmen to close the game.

Since then, Miami has three losses, two on a neutral to Florida and UCONN and to Duke at home this past Saturday. The Canes’ best win by far came at Illinois in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge last month. Chris Lykes leads the team at 15.3 points and 2.8 assists per game. Kameron McGusty (14.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Dejan Vasiljevic (14.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg) round out the loaded backcourt attack.

For Louisville, it needs to find someone other than Jordan Nwora to step up. After his worst game of the season at Kentucky, Nwora responded by tying his career high of 32 points on 5-6 from three and 10 rebounds. Steven Enoch scored 10 points, but no one else for the Cards was able to step up when the team needed a bucket.

Florida State was a bad matchup with its long lineup, but the point guards again struggled to make a difference in the game. Fresh Kimble got his first start of the season in place of Ryan McMahon. Kimble earned the start after his performance at Kentucky, but he struggled against FSU and left the door open for someone else to take that spot from him. David Johnson played 19 minutes on Saturday despite going only 2-9 from the field and turning the ball over three times. With a lighter schedule over the next three games, Coach Mack could see this as an opportunity to integrate Johnson into the lineup for good. We’ll see if Johnson gets some significant minutes tonight early on in the game.

Louisville already knows they can beat Miami, but they have lost two straight and have struggled in some games that they have eventually won by big margins. The Cards don’t have another marquee matchup until they travel to Duke next weekend. These next three games against Miami, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh can be used as a way for this team to get right if it comes to play and takes care of business as big favorites.

The game tips on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2.

Prediction:

Louisville 83  Miami 65

 

 

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