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Content by JOHN REYNOLDS / Photo by MIKE KRAUS – Sports View America ….
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Tonight the #1 Louisville Cardinals take their second longest season opening record 8-0 (longest was 11-0 in 2014-2015) into an ACC matchup against the Pitt Panthers at 7-2. Louisville leads the ACC in scoring offense and field goal percentage. They are also number 2 in the conference in scoring margin and three point percentage.
Louisville’s last game was one for the books. Taking on #4 Michigan, beating The Wolverines 58-43. The Wolverines asked for the smoke before the game and according to Jordan Nwora “They got smoked”!
Louisville wins the tip and just like the Old School Dunking Cardinal painted on the floor, Steven Enoch has a massive dunk to start the Cardinal offense! At the under 16:00 time out the Louisville Cards have scored 9 of their 11 points on three pointers!
At the under 8:00 time out Louisville has been very patient in their offensive sets working to get the best shots(7 of 11 on three balls). At the half Louisville leads Pitt 35-21. The home team is again shooting very well! The Cardinals shooting 50% from the field with a 52.9% from behind the arc, while limiting a much shorter Pitt team shooting 35.7% overall with 25.0% from three land. The Cards are scoring most of their baskets on the extra pass with 10 assists at the half.
On a side note from my seat in the upper press area I see professional scouts from Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Sun, Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic! I would say that’s a pretty good indication that what Chris Mack is building in Louisville talent wise is reaching national prominence.
The second half is not playing out as smoothly as the first. The Cardinals are dribbling more than passing the ball around that got them so many open shots.
Jordan Nwora just got taken down in what would make any wrestling coach happy. He walked off the court nursing his left shoulder. Briefly went into the tunnel with the medical staff but emerged before the timeout was even finished. Nwora did return to the game after sitting out about two minutes of game time.
At 8:44 the game is getting pretty chippy and the Pitt bench was T’ed up. Ryan McMahon drained the freebies. Before the technical the Panthers had closed the scoring gap to 47-42. At the under 8:00 timeout the Cardinals have cooled off shooting 42.9% overall and 40% from three point land. While the Pitt Panthers have upped their production shooting 40% overall and 30% on treys.
Looks like Nwora is just fine !! After stealing the ball at mid-court he proceeded to give it a thunderous two handed dunk!! Pushing the lead out to 16 points and giving the #1 team a nice cushion. At the 1:07 mark Coach Mack empties the bench with five new players.
The stars tonight are Jordan Nwora leading the team in scoring with 19 points, but an even brighter star would be Malik Williams and his 13 points and 11 rebounds coming off of the bench!
Weird factoid of the night: the first 8 three point baskets were made by 8 different players.
The Cardinals walk away with this one and will take their #1 ranking to New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden to take on previously ranked Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic.
(Sportsviewamerica.com will be there to provide coverage)