After such a big emotional win over Syracuse, Louisville only had one day to prepare for rival Cincinnati. The Cards didn’t need any more time than that as they came out an manhandled the Bearcats to the tune of a 16 point victory.
Peyton Siva is back and he is good at playing the game of basketball. Siva’s ability to read a defense was on display during the first half when he repeatedly drove to the basket after getting the Cincinnati bigs to switch onto him off of screens. Siva drove hard to the basket and either willed the ball onto the glass or dished out to the supporting cast for an open look. This is the Peyton Siva that was around at the end of last season and I love this version of him with all my heart.
Gorgui Dieng played great for like the billionth game in a row. If you are looking for a model of consistency in a college basketball season ridden with horribly inconsistent play…just watch Dieng’s game. Dieng is a force on the glass and disrupts any shot that comes down low.
It seems that Montrezl Harrell is starting to learn from Dieng also, which is as much as we can ask for out of a young player. Harrell is slowly becoming a fan favorite due to his insane amount of energy and hustle that he brings to the floor night in and night out. Anytime that you only play 14 minutes and a fan is stunned that you only played that little…you must have had a hell of a game. Same thing goes for Stephan Van Treese who also played a big role on the boards in the mere 9 minutes he played.
Russ Smith was Russ Smith once again as he scored and shot the most on the team. Ever since the Notre Dame game where Russ Smith was named the “anti-clutch” by many media members, Smith has been nothing short of remarkable. Smith was named to the 14 player finalist list for the Oscar Robertson trophy earlier today. Smith is just so fun to watch on a basketball court especially when he is playing well and passing the ball.
Again Luke Hancock is taking all the criticism that the fan base gave him earlier in the season and shoving it back into our faces. Hancock is by far the most improved player on this basketball team and I truly want him on the floor over Wayne Blackshear nowadays. I couldn’t believe myself when I thought to myself “Why isn’t Luke starting?” during pregame. But Blackshear is just not producing and needs to gain his confidence back. We are going to need production from Wayne in the tournament due to his ability to create his own shot.
Kevin Ware is very athletic and is turning into a vital part of what this team does on the defensive end. Ware has a distinct ability to turn defense into scoring opportunities which is what past Louisville teams have lived off of. Getting suspended was probably the best thing for him because ever since he got back from being suspended, he has been playing wonderful.
This game tonight created many headlines around the Louisville community:
- The Cards have clinched a double bye in the Big East tournament.
- Rick Pitino got his 300th win as the head coach at Louisville.
- Gorgui Dieng will participate in Senior Night versus Notre Dame. Which means that Dieng will almost certainly enter the NBA Draft at seasons end. Congratulations to him for fulfilling his dreams but it is very depressing from a fan perspective because he is such a dynamic and impactful player.
The Cards next game will be Senior Night at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville will take on Notre Dame which means that you can almost bet that there will be a couple overtime periods. They will play Saturday at 4 P.M. EST.