It definitely was not the most aesthetically pleasing display of basketball you’re ever going to watch, but the Cards turned it on in the second half to roll past an undermanned San Francisco squad 61-35. Peyton Siva had perhaps his best game of the season with 14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. And Terrence Jennings, despite not getting many looks, added 14 points and 9 rebounds.
It seemed clear to me the Cards either did not take this game seriously and were looking ahead to UNLV, or just weren’t aware they had a game tonight because they were only concentrating on UNLV because UofL was strait flat tonight. The Cards jumped out to a 9-0 start, but put it in cruise control right after.
The Cards settled for outside shots for a long period of time and for minutes on end completely neglected their post players. I have no problem shooting a lot of threes, particularly if open, but at some point you have to throw the ball in the post. I would have much rather seen the Cards work it inside out. Even if you still miss the shot, it will keep your post players interested and involved.
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This game was pretty strange. When you watched the game, you kind of cringed because it was so slow and sloppy at times. However, when you look at the stats, you get a different view. The Cards outrebounded USF 41-35. Not great, but considering how poor they rebounded in the first half, it’s a solid way to finish.
Looking at more numbers, Louisville had 17 assists on 22 made field goals, which is a very good percentage. The Cards forced USF to commit 15 turnovers, while only committing 5 themselves, and UofL had 7 steals.
Some other numbers aren’t so good.
The Cards only shot 36% from the floor and 28% from three point range. Although, it must be noted Mike Marra’s 1-9 from deep didn’t help. Take that away and the team hit 9-27, which isn’t terrible. Additionally, Louisville only went 7-16 from the foul line. That is terrible.
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Individually, Peyton Siva was really the only one who stood out to me. He was active early, particularly on defense as he got a couple steals. He played under control and got the Cards into their offense. Eric Crawford noted on his Twitter account that for the first time this season, it appeared Louisville dropped off a bit on the offensive end, especially in the half court, when Siva was out.
Outside of Peyton, the rest of the Cards were okay. Terrence Jennings played decent, but seemed disinterested for a bit. Part of that probably had to do with his teammates jacking up threes for about fifteen strait minutes without looking in the post. However, TJ let that affect him on the defensive end where he definitely seemed slower and a tad lackadaisical.
That shouldn’t happen. He needs to particularly focus on rebounds and blocked shots because those are far and away his strong suits.
Bottom line, the Cards got the win. Yes, it was ugly, but it’s still a win. Now, the focus shifts to a very tough UNLV team on Saturday at noon. Lon Kruger brings in a team ranked 5th in the Sagarin ratings and top 20 in both the AP and USA Today polls. Carl H will have a preview of that big match-up on Friday.