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Scouting the Cards


Peyton Siva. JR. G. 6’0. Seattle, Washington:

Once known on Louisville message boards as the incoming freshman point guard who was better than John Wall, now Siva is considered an up and down player who struggles with consistency. It was rumored that he used to miss layups because he got to the rim too quickly. That has proven untrue in recent years. On the season, Siva has averaged a little under ten points per game and a little over five assists. He was 2-13 from the field in the first meeting on his way to eight points and four assists. Barring a Joe Mazzula performance out of him, it would probably benefit the Cats if Siva tried to take the game over like he did in the first meeting.

Fun fact: Siva’s three point shooting percentage has dropped every season since he entered as a freshman!

Russ Smith. SO. G. 6’0. Briarwood, New York:

Russ Smith is a good friend of Doron Lamb’s and is a notorious prankster. While they played AAU basketball together, Lamb said that if Russ caught you sleeping, then you’d wake up all wet the next morning. I think I could ask ten people what that meant and get ten different answers. Smith is the Cards’ most prolific scorer, averaging almost twelve points in 21 minutes of game play. He went for 30 against the Cats in the first meeting, which is a daunting number. However, consider that he scored eight uncontested points in the last thirty seconds and it’s less impressive. Neither Russ nor Siva has any height on them, so that mismatch should be exploited all day long – especially if we can get one of them on Darius.

Fun fact: Few people know he can sleep all day! (h/t University of Louisville Athletics)

Chris Smith. SR. G. 6’2. Millstone, New Jersey:

Chris is the best three point shooter by percentage on Louisville’s roster but is nowhere as prolific as Kyle Kuric. Since there will be a longer defender guarding him at all times, it will be imperative for them to put a hand in his face on the perimeter. He had a relatively unimpressive outing in the first meeting, only scoring seven points, but tied for the team lead in steals with three. Chris is the younger brother of the NBA’s J.R. Smith and considers him the best player he has ever played against. That’s good news for nearly every player in Kentucky’s starting five because he is vastly underrating them.

Fun fact: Chris Smith’s parents will have one son who played in the NBA!

Gorgui Dieng. SO. C. 6’11. Kebember, Senegal:

Every story mentioning Gorgui Dieng this week has made a point to remind everyone that he is an accomplished polyglot, but what’s less known is that his counter part, Anthony Davis, knows a second language as well. Davis is fluent in smack talk. By that I mean, anytime Dieng tries to shoot the ball, Davis will smack it away. It’s the only language that’s actually useful on the basketball court. Dieng isn’t a slouch in smack talk either, though. He led the Big East in blocks at almost four per game and recorded six rejections against the Cats in December. Russ Smith believes Dieng is just as good as Davis and should provide a good matchup for him. Did I mention that Russ Smith was not the smartest guy on the roster? Considering the lack of height everywhere else on the court of the Cards, Dieng will be relied upon for help defense often. If Terrence and Anthony keep passing in the block like they have been, then the Cats should benefit from a lot of open looks.

Fun fact: Gorgui Dieng is an accomplished polyglot!

Chane Behanan. FR. F. 6’6. Cincinnati, Ohio:

Chane ‘Nostradamus’ Behanan is known for one thing and one thing alone: bold, often incorrect predictions. Before the first UK game, he predicted that Louisville would not only beat the Cats, but run the table and claim the national championship. Louisville proceeded to lose five of their next seven games. Before this UK game, Chane predicted the exact same thing. Second time’s the charm, right guys? Behanan is a good, if undersized player. He rebounds well and is strong in the paint, but he’ll have the tall task of defending Terrence Jones. You may not remember Behanan from the first meeting because he fouled out and only saw 15 minutes of court time. If he gets in early foul trouble again, he may lose his cool. If that’s the case, I’m predicting another technical foul in his future.

Fun fact: Chane said he chose Louisville over Kentucky because he wanted to see “what he could do for a team with less pieces in place”. Gorgui Dieng would translate that as, “I was scared I wouldn’t get playing time”!

Kyle Kuric. SR. G-F. 6’4. Evansville, Indiana:

Kyle Kuric was a nonfactor in the December meeting, mainly due to the excellent defense by Darius Miller. Look for Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to once again take the point on guarding Louisville’s leading scorer. On this stage, I can’t imagine Kuric only shooting four shots like he did in Rupp, but if the Cats can stick to the gameplan then shutting Kuric down is once again a possibility. Kuric, like his fellow vertically challenged teammates, will have to defend a much taller player. If UK utilizes a particularly tall lineup like in games past, Kuric would be at a major disadvantage. John Calipari has already stated that the team is preparing for this game like an Indiana redux. If we’re going to outpace the Cards, then it will have to be done by exploiting these matchups all over the court.

Fun fact: If Kyle could meet anyone, it would be Michelangelo! That may be more confusing than how Russ Smith gets players wet when they’re sleeping.

Article written by Matthew Hays

21 responses to “Scouting the Cards”

  1. UK's Freshmen

    Boo Cards!

  2. wolfcreekbrian

    Funny stuff!! GO BIG BLUE………….

  3. wolfcreekbrian

    KEY, Keep a hand in their face. That will send them down the lane. Guess who will be waiting………..

  4. UnionMike

    UK has a definite height advantage. Exploit this by going to the rim…only taking 3′s when Lamb is wide open….or Miller….

  5. Big Blue 66

    we are just too big and too athletic for UL. I can not convince myself to be worried, I think we roll by 12 or so.

  6. Big Blue 66

    I also think Lamb will be important early, I dont see any way that Rick 2 stakcs tries to let Chane B guard TJ on the block without sliding down and doubling, leaving either teague or lamb open for a 3, just hope we are patient and we run it on Lambs side

  7. bluefan

    Watching Brawl in the Bayou. So proud of our guys and how they sound in interviews and so glad they’re not smack talking and sounding like idiots like the other team. Focused and Ready.
    Go CATS!!!
    Two more.

  8. Go C8S
  9. Holmes Hall Alumni

    Come on CATS, lets put a boot in uofl’s azz!

    Lets blow these punks out!

  10. Big Blue 66

    Cards have a major emotional problem too, they are either soaring super high or pouting and crying, I like our team this year, we look the same whether we are up 20 or tied. Let the cards expend energy with their huge emotional swings while we just take care of business

  11. Big Blue 66

    just for fun, Cal should go big for about 4 minutes, put lamb at point, miller or MKG at the 2 Wiltjer at the 3, Jones or Davis at the 4 and eloy or davis at the 5, go zone and let them try to shoot from 30 feet out lol

  12. Kim

    Everyone talks about Pitino being the better coach. Really? The numbers don’t show it.

    Pitino has won 616 games and lost 227, for a winning percentage of 73.1%

    Calipari has won 543 games and lost 155, for a winning percentage of 77.9%

    Even if you take the vacated wins away from Calipari, he still has 503 wins, and 152 losses, for a winning percentage of 76.8%

    Pitino is obviously overrated. I will take Cal any day of the week!

  13. Big Blue 66

    12. both are excellent coaches, I think Cal is a better developer and probably a better in game adjustment coach, pitino is one of the best at preparing a team

  14. Condescending Willy Wonka

    No worries, the Swag Cats got this.

  15. jas8907

    #14– Totally forgot to change my name back…

  16. capt. price

    If we can’t beat this team, someone else deserves the championship. Baylor is better the UL.

  17. Troy

    Hope these guys have some Vaseline because they’re going to get their asses kicked.

  18. Holmes Hall Alumni

    #13 – Really? pitino better at preparing a team? As in having 5 days to prepare? Seems like there have been several instances where pitino had time leading into tournament games where his ‘time to prepare’ didn’t work out so well. We still have the horses, and uofl doesn’t. Doesn’t matter how much prep pitino has, he is stuck with the players on his roster, no trading or cutting at this point…

    Darrell Griffith, Pervis Ellison, and Denny Crum are NOT walking thru that door…

  19. Go C8S

    16- word

  20. Big Blue 66

    18. calm down, but Pitino is a very good scheme coach, you are talking about someone that beat chris jackson and Shaq with feldhous and pelphrey ok. Dont get me wrong, I think we roll tonight, as I said earlier, I can not convince myself to be worried about this game and I call it an 11 or 12 point win. But there are not alot of coaches that can prep and do film breakdown like Ricky 3 stacks. Now that also works against him because he falls in love with his gameplan and limits his in game adjustments.

  21. UK's Freshmen

    Cards! (Bad karma editing the first comment).