It’s very simple why the Cards suffered their first defeat of the season last night: rebounding. The Cards forced Drexel to turn the ball over 23 times and defended them well resulting in a low percentage from the field (17-44).
However, Drexel strait destroyed the Cards on the backboards by a count of 46-26. Let me repeat.
At home, Louisville allowed someone to dominate them on the glass by 20 rebounds. That’s flat embarrassing.
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It was a total team effort in getting pounded on the glass by the Cards. Rakeem Buckles led the team with 6 rebounds and Stephan Van Treese added 4, which is 10 boards from the power forward spot. Not good, but not awful either.
What was awful was the rebounding at the 5, 3, and 2 spots. Terrence Jennings, Gorgui Dieng, and George Goode combined for 5 rebounds on the night. That’s horrendous from the collective center position.
At the 2 and 3 spots, Kyle Kuric, Preston Knowles, Chris Smith, and Mike Marra grabbed a grand total of 7 rebounds. I’m out of words to describe this, so I’ll default back to awful.
The sad thing is the Cards actually defended pretty well. As I said earlier, they forced 23 turnovers from Drexel and recorded a high number of deflections. They also blocked 7 shots to go with 11 steals, but those efforts were negated by not completing the possession and grabbing the rebound.
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Offensively, UofL was a mess. Regardless of the lineup, they had no rhythm and looked like they had never run an offensive set before. Give Drexel credit, they had something to do with it, but I don’t believe Drexel alone caused the Cardinals to look that out of sync.
Even with all the struggles, if Louisville shoots a respectable percentage from the foul line, this game is a different story. They shot 12-25 from the free throw line.
Let me rephrase. At home, the Cards made only 12 out of 25 attempts at the free throw line.
As we have said on this site for a couple years now, THEY’RE FREE!! NO ONE’S ALLOWED TO GUARD YOU!! MAKE THE SHOT!!
I need a moment.
Ok, having said all that, this does not change much for me. Every team is entitled a clunker or two during a thirty game season and maybe this was just one of those.
Perhaps this team developed a higher opinion of themselves after beating UNLV and simply overlooked Drexel. Maybe this was just an off game. Or maybe it was a simple case of Drexel was just being better last night.
Time will tell.
The Cards return to the floor Saturday against Gardner-Webb at 3:30. We’ll have our preview up shortly.