The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 4th loss of the season today to No. 10 Florida State on the road by a score of 73-68.
In a game in which the Cardinals never led, Louisville squandered virtually every opportunity it had to take control of the game. Tony Hicks scored 16 points and while his last shot wasn’t a good one, fans desperately need to relax with their criticism of the grad-student’s play today. Hicks was the only consistent offense the Cards had all game, aside from Mangok Mathiang who added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals travel to Tallahassee to face the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles today at 2pm on ESPN. Today’s game marks the end of a 6-game stretch against top-25 ranked opponents, a stretch that the Seminoles have taken advantage of with a record of 4-1 with the lone loss coming at UNC after FSU throttled Duke 88-72.
Highlights from the ACC Digital Network:
Head Coach Rick Pitino
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).
All of college basketball is aware of the many tripping incidents from Duke’s Grayson Allen. We have also seen temper tantrums when he didn’t get the call he wanted or when he felt he was unjustly called for a foul. Based on what we have seen, we have all formed opinions about what kind of kid he is. Unjustly or not, that is human nature. Rick Pitino knows the players better than any of us and he thinks it’s a reflex. “I happen to think (the times Allen has tripped opponents), it’s a reflex action like someone throwing an elbow,” Pitino said.
The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals defeated the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils today by a final score of 78-69. If you watched the entire game then you know the score doesn’t exactly reflect just how dominant the Cards were today. After a back and forth beginning to the game, the Cardinals appeared to settle in and capitalize on the stout defense they had been playing by connecting on a few shots, and more importantly, building confidence.
Louisville entered halftime with a 4-point lead, lead for nearly 75% of the game, and never allowed Duke to get into a rhythm from the 8 minute mark of the first half, on. It was a balanced effort from the Cardinals, Anas Mahmoud recorded a career high of 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell added 15 points, Quentin Snider chipped in 13 with 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and Ray Spalding scored 11 points, as well.
This win was huge for the Cardinals now, and going forward. Anas Mahmoud continues to look better each game and he dominated today. A 2-0 week to build on when the Cards play Clemson on Thursday at 9pm at the Yum! Center. The game can be watched on ESPN.
The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals host one of their old Big East rivals in the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-4) tonight at the KFC Yum! Center at 7PM on the ACC Network. Despite the one win/loss differential in the teams’ records (Louisville 13-3, Pittsburgh 12-4), the Cardinals currently stand as 11-point favorites for tonight’s game.
After falling 77-70 on Wednesday to Notre Dame, the No. 9 Cardinals bounced back with a solid road victory over Georgia Tech by a score of 65-50.
It was an ugly game and aside from a late push by the Yellow Jackets, the Cardinals controlled the whole way. Donovan Mitchell led the Cards with 20 points, Quentin Snider had 12 points and 7 assists, Anas Mahmoud chipped in 10 points and added an assortment of blocks as well, and Ray Spalding owned the boards for the Cards by grabbing 12 rebounds.
It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t entirely impressive, but the Cards got their first conference win and their first conference road win by 15 points. Deng Adel was injured during the first half when he took a knee to the head and walked off with help and what appeared to be a concussion (which the commentator believed was “nothing but hurt feelings”). Donovan Mitchell had his 3rd straight 20+ point game and did it with his long-range shot. Anas continues to be an enforcer, and Quentin is running the offense with minimal turnovers. Hopefully Deng doesn’t miss much time because the ACC is a grind this year and there are no easy wins. However, the Cards took a step in the right direction with their win today.
Up next, the Cards host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 7pm, the game can be seen on the ACC Network.
The No. 9 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 3rd loss of the season on the road at No. 23 Notre Dame, by a score of 77-70. The Cardinals started slow, but appeared to shake off the rust at times; however, they never put together consistent stretches of play and in the end it doomed the Cardinals.
The Louisville Cardinals earned a much-needed bounce back win over the Indiana Hoosiers by a score of 77-62. The Cardinals smothered the high-powered Hoosiers and held them to 26 points below their season average.
The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals continued their struggles against Virginia with a 61-53 loss to the No. 12 ranked Cavaliers tonight inside the Yum! Center. Like all Louisville vs Virginia games, Louisville looked lost and then appeared to find their groove but not before it was too late.
The Cards entered halftime down 15 points, outscored Virginia 32-25 in the second half and looked better but it wasn’t enough to overcome the first half deficit. No Cardinals scored in double-figures tonight, Snider 8, Adel 8, Hicks 8, Mitchell 7, King 6.
Thankfully for Louisville, they won’t face Virginia again until February 6th, which will hopefully allow for Rick Pitino to find some answers against the patented pack-line Virginia defense. Up next, the Cards face Indiana (also lost their conference home opener tonight to Nebraska) in Indianapolis on Saturday the 31st. That game will not be anything like the one we saw tonight.
Minor setback, Virginia may have lost some scoring off last year’s team, but they clearly did not lose their defensive edge, which has been the staple of all great Virginia teams. Coming off a win like last Wednesday’s, a letdown is possible but hopefully avoided. It was not avoided tonight. Look for the Cards to bounce back on Saturday against the Hoosiers.
A week after the Cardinals big win over in-state rival Kentucky, the now No. 6 Louisville basketball team will host Virginia tonight at 7pm on ESPN2. As of now, Louisville is a 3-point favorite over the Cavaliers.
Virginia is a team best-known for their smothering half-court defense and low scoring games. Virginia lost many key players off last year’s team, they looked to reload with transfer Austin Nichols but he was dismissed from the team early this season. London Perrantes will be the biggest threat to Louisville tonight, he’s a pass/defend-first point guard who has given Louisville fits in their last few meetings. Still, their offense leaves a lot to be desired (69.8PPG). Both teams are top 5 in defensive efficiency (UVA 2, UL 4) so this game will more than likely be low scoring which plays into Virginia’s favor more often than not. Louisville will have to find offense in a defense dominated game in order to win tonight.
While Virginia’s defense is staggering (47.2 points allowed per game), their offense is lacking. Louisville is riding high after the win a week ago, that confidence is key going into this game. The first few shots might not fall, but the Cards find a way to win tonight by a final score of 68-60 with big performances from Deng Adel and Jaylen Johnson.
Head Coach Rick Pitino
As if the title doesn’t say it all, the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals host the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats tonight at 7pm, the game can be watched on ESPN.
Kentucky comes into the game with an identical record to Louisville (10-1) but both teams have had different ways of getting here. Kentucky once again is known for it’s solid slate of freshmen phenoms. Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo are the headliners of this year’s group. While this Kentucky team is scary on offense (95.2 PPG), they are noticeably lacking on the defensive end. UK is allowing a Cal Era worst 71.6 PPG, and if you truly think that offense is more important I’ll refer you to the last 10 NCAA champions. Only 1 out of the last 10 NCAA Tournament Champions has allowed over 70 PPG (UNC ’09), my point being: defensive style teams typically best their offensive counterparts.
After a slow start, the No. 11 Louisville Cardinals asserted their dominance in a 87-56 blowout of the visiting Colonels. The Cardinals were led in scoring by Donovan Mitchell (15 points), Quentin Snider (13 points), Tony Hicks added a nice spark off the bench with 10 points, the grad-transfer finally showcased the reason he was so highly regarded coming from Penn.
As said earlier, it was a slow start but it didn’t take much to shake off the week-long rust thanks to a 20-0 run led by Quentin Snider to close the first half. It was a solid team performance in the last of the “tune-up” games before the difficult slate ahead. Mangok Mathiang set a school-record for most rebounds without a point (13 rebounds, 0 points on 0-3 shooting). While this is a nice stat, Mangok’s offense has to improve for this team to reach its full potential. After the first half, the Cards coasted in the second by scoring 51 points but allowed 40 points compared to the 16 allowed at halftime.
All in all, Louisville escaped the first half the schedule with 1 loss to now No. 4 Baylor in the Battle for Atlantis Championship. The Cards next opponent is the No. 6 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. The in-state rivals come into town next Wednesday for a 7pm tip-off. While the Cards have certainly looked improved with each game, this will be the real test heading into conference play.
The Louisville Cardinals host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels today at 12pm in the Billy Minardi Classic. The Colonels (6-5) enter this game after losing their last outing against Ball State in OT. Before that, they had won 4 games in a row, including a big win by 19 points over in-state rival Western Kentucky.
The Colonels are led by 6′-9″ sophomore forward Nick Mayo who averages 19.3 PPG on the season. If the Cards can slow him down, the No. 11 team shouldn’t have much trouble at home today. EKU impressively puts up 80.2 PPG but gives up 79.5 PPG, so while their offense may be clicking at times, their defense isn’t anything to write home about.
This is the last chance for Louisville to experiment with lineups, sets, and defenses before the thick of their schedule. After today’s game, the Cards host UK on Wednesday. It’s important Louisville handles business today and looks impressive doing it, opponent aside this team needs to come out confident and look like a top-10 team if they’re going to beat one in a few days. I think the Cards roll today behind big performances from Donovan Mitchell and VJ King which help Louisville to a win with the final score reading 87-59.