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An Early Look At Louisville

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Louisville will play two games this week before it meets the Cats in Rupp Arena on Saturday. The Cardinals will first host Missouri Kansas City tomorrow night, followed by Mark Pope and Utah Valley on Wednesday. Merry Christmas!

Here in Lexington, Coach Cal gave his players the early part of the week off to spend time with their families. They will meet back up in the Craft Center in a few days to begin preparation for Saturday’s big showdown.

Tonight, let’s take an early look at our arch rival as we anxiously await that game. We know they like hookers, but, believe it or not, there is much more to learn.


Louisville leads the nation in scoring margin.

The Cardinals are defeating opponents by 30.4 points per game, good enough for best in the country in that category.

Meanwhile, Kentucky ranks 41st with a scoring margin of 12.7 points per game.

Louisville ranks sixth in field goal percentage.

Only St. Mary’s, Maryland, SMU, Indiana and Kansas are shooting better than Louisville’s 51.8 percent per game. The Cards rank fourth in field goal percentage defense.

The Cards have played a very easy non-conference schedule.

Outside of a road game at Michigan State, its only loss, Louisville has played some very bad teams. Only two of its 10 opponents rank in the top 115 teams in the country.

The Sagarin Ratings have Louisville nine points better than UK.

Louisville’s 95.6 predictor score is the best in college basketball. Kentucky’s 86.03 ranks 28th.

If you give Kentucky the four points for home court advantage, Sagarin predicts a five-point UofL advantage in Saturday’s game.

Damion Lee is the team’s leading scorer.

The former Drexel Dragon is scoring 18.3 points per game in his first and only season in Louisville. He and fellow fifth-year transfer Trey Lewis have been great so far with their new team. Lee is among the best in the country in both offensive and defensive player ratings (the only player to make both lists) while Lewis’ 13.8 points per game is second best on the team.

Jamal Murray versus Damion Lee is going to be a blast to watch.

Chinanu Onuaku still shoots free throws like this…

To his credit, Onuaku’s foul shooting is up six percent since the switch to underhand. He is shooting it better than Isaiah Briscoe, Marcus Lee and Charles Matthews.

Mangok Mathiang is out 6-8 weeks.

Mathiang suffered a broken foot over the weekend that will keep him out against Kentucky and on into conference play. Louisville’s most experienced player was averaging 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game when the injury occurred. Pitino considered him the team’s defensive leader and most physical rebounder.

They’re going down.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

21 Comments for An Early Look At Louisville

  1. bigblue2284
    8:21 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    After the last game Uk’s offense should run only through Murray, even if that means setting picks to free him up.

  2. BMT
    8:22 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    After the losses to UCLA and OSU, I really think a loss to UL (even in Rupp) is a very real possibility. Yes, Louisville’s SOS so far is very weak. But Pitino will have them ready to play. Like every other team, we’re going to get their best shot. Obviously the UL game means a *lot* to the fans. I don’t know that the players see it any differently than any other game and therein lies my concern because aside from the Duke game, this team just hasn’t played well. Other than the Duke game, I don’t feel like I’ve really seen us come out focused, energized and aggressive. While I keep hoping, I’m not sure if we’ll see it next weekend, either.

    • bigblue2284
      8:25 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

      I agree with most of what your saying and I’ll add that they have to play better defense. This is a better offensive team that UL has compared to past teams and lets be real our defense is awful at the moment.

  3. bosshogg24
    9:04 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    Briscoe and Lee need to shoot their free throws underhanded like U of L’s Onuaku!

    • Leuther
      11:57 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

      And why not? Doubt they could do any worse…

  4. bigblueforever
    9:26 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    UL wins big against whoever those two teams are this week. UL fans will be crowing. UK wins easily on Saturday. Every time we play these douchebags, they are talking crap leading up to game. Then we smack them down, like every time. Does anyone realty think this game, at Rupp, will be different ? Nope.

  5. buzzard
    10:09 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    no way Loserville beats the Cats in Rupp. they will not be able to press us. we’ll have a bunch of fast break dunks! GO BIG BLUE!

  6. WeareBBN
    11:06 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

    Makes little sense to make fun of someone shooting free throws. You do know we are usually a bad ft shooting team every year, this year we are horrible. No excuse for it but hey, we are athletic, would rather see more fundamentals and less athletic ability.

    • Leuther
      11:57 pm December 21, 2015 Permalink

      Good points…

    • Catsby80
      8:27 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      You do realize that this isn’t even Cal’s worst free throw shooting team since he’s been at UK, right?

  7. Lip Man 1
    2:02 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

    Well everyone said UCLA and Ohio State were “going down” too…didn’t happen though did it?

    Look I expect them to beat Louisville, I HOPE that they beat them again…but if they shoot like they have been for most of this season INCLUDING FROM THE LINE, they’ll get embarrassed by another mediocre club.

  8. Long Dong Silver
    5:57 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

    Lee and Lewis can play. The rest of that team, who knows? They have only played one real game. I don’t like where our team is, right now. Ulis hasn’t been the same since injuring his elbow. Skal is not ready. Thin inside, defensive rebounding and defense period are terrible. Cal is struggling to figure out this team. I would love a Christmas gift of a big win.

  9. Gitback Coach
    6:31 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

    Just another AAU game on the way to Draft Day for our rent-a-Cats. Yawn.

    • bigblueforever
      8:28 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      Kudos. Well said…….

    • Catsby80
      8:30 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      If you don’t like it, then go cheer for a team that has 4 year players… Like Louisville.

    • cats paw
      8:45 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      sorry…but you werent chosen to determine what team fans can root for or what areas of the team they disagree with. your opinion is just as irrelevant as theirs!

    • Laker Cat 18
      9:45 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      Draft picks give you your best chance to win. How many Final Fours for us in the last 6 years again?

    • Catsby80
      9:59 am December 22, 2015 Permalink


      The way his comment is worded makes it seem that he is not a fan of the team. This is the system that Cal runs. It has been this way since day 1. If you aren’t used to it by now, or haven’t accepted it by now, then perhaps he should find another team to cheer for.

    • Booby Petrino
      10:00 am December 22, 2015 Permalink

      You’re pretty much the only person bored with our Cats so no pity here. Louisville is now trending in the 1 and done direction too, Rick said it himself. Of course he can’t get future NBA players so he’s getting fifth year seniors. Enjoy going 1-8 against us since Cal’s been here. L1C8

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:37 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

      cats paw November 17, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink
      Like It (0)
      but ill help you all out here for future knowledge. if Duke plays us again, pick Duke! they will not miss that many 3’s again. Hate all u wish but i can fill this thread full of my predictions that are generally 100% on! and thats why i get under your skin so much!!

    12:48 pm December 22, 2015 Permalink

    THE OHIO STATE LOSS WAS GOOD FOR UK. Especially the way they played at the end of that game that sense of desperation and desire to win, they just came up short. They just need to play like that the entire game and Skal NEEDS more playing time and touches. So he can get into a grove. Why not play him, Alex and Marcus together some, esp since Alex is shooting well. That might be the only front line tough enough to compete against these physical teams. Ohio State beat them up, and Louisville is going to try to do the same. The just look young out there and not yet mature enough to FIGHT like their scholarship depends on it. They’ll get better as the season goes.