I’m not too sure what to say about this game other than, what a shooting display.
The Cards were white hot from behind the arc burying 17-23 attempts from deep and shooting 59% overall as they rolled Morgan State 104-74. Louisville started so hot, Morgan State appeared shell-shocked and before they knew it, were down 28-11 at the second television timeout.
Offensively, the three point shooting was the story, but defensively, the UofL press was very good. They forced Morgan State to commit 20 turnovers in the first half. The Cards were extremely active and on the night, recorded 47 deflections according to Rick Pitino.
In the second half, the game got sloppy and so did the UofL defense. Pitino called off the press and it seemed the players immediately lost a step. They quit moving their feet defensively and got beat off the bounce way too often. A decent part of it probably had something to do with being up 30 points, so I’m not going to worry too much about it, but at the same time, their on the ball defense needs some work.
Obviously, Kyle Kuric and Preston Knowles were the big story, combining for 56 points on the strength of 13-19 shooting from long range. The insane shooting was great, but I loved the fact Kyle showed a bit of an attitude. When he threw down that follow up dunk one-handed, the look on his face was one of a player who knew he was good. I’d love to see more of a swagger from him.
While Kyle and Preston were indeed unconscious, other guys had pretty good games as well.
Chris Smith continued his strong play scoring 10 points with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Smith also shot 4-4 from the field and despite being the Cards best three point shooter statistically, did not attempt a three. Terrence Jennings showed some life as well.
TJ set a career high with 15 points and ran the floor very well, but only grabbed 2 rebounds in 17 minutes of play. Terrence may never be a great rebounder, but he can become an effective rebounder if he would just give more effort on the glass. Gorgui Dieng is much weaker physically, but he is a better rebounder (6 rebounds in 14 minutes) due to his activity. If TJ can make a concerted effort on the boards, there’s no reason he can’t get 6-7 a game.
With the win tonight, the Cards improve to 11-1 and now face that one team from Lexington on Friday. We’ll begin our full coverage of that game after the Cats conclude their tune-up against Coppin State tomorrow night.