The Cardinals will hit the hardwood again on Sunday afternoon getting back to action after an eight game lay-off. The Cardinals will spark back up an old Big East rivalry when they travel to the Petersen Events Center to play the Pitt Panthers. Louisville has an 8-5 advantage in its series with Pittsburgh, winning the last four match-ups. In the last meeting, the Cardinals won 64-61 over the Panthers in the KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 28, 2013 as Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 20 points. This will be the fourth true road game of the season for our Cardinals and they will play four of the next five on the road.
The Panthers have won two of their last three games and will be looking for their fourth ACC win. On the season, Pittsburgh is averaging 66.5 points on 44% shooting from the field, and 32.9% from the three. Leading the way on offense for the Panthers are Michael Young averaging 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds (15 double figure scoring games this season) while Jamel Artis is averaging 10.5 points and five rebounds. James Robinson is second in the ACC in free throw percentage 84.3% a game and is third in assists 4.7 a game. Cameron Wright is shooting 44.6 percent from the field. The Pittsburgh Panthers are a defensive team that’s allowing 62.6 points on 42.6% shooting from the field, 32.2% shooting from deep and they have given up 65 or less points in five of their last eight games.
Pitt’s 2014-15 Overall Rankings Offense | Defense
-POINTS PER GAME
-REBOUNDS PER GAME
-ASSISTS PER GAME
-FIELD GOAL PCT
-REBOUNDS PER GAME
-BLOCKS PER GAME
-STEALS PER GAME
Pitt’s 2014-15 Kenpom Rankings
Defense Adjustment Efficiency
-101.9 ranks 183rd
Offense Adjustment Efficiency
-109.5 ranks 43rd
-Per Kenpom’s game prediction he has Louisville winning the game 64-59 based on his indexes.
On the season, Louisville is averaging 72.6 points on 42.7% shooting from the field, and 29.4% from the three and are allowing their opponents 57.2 points on 37% shooting. Over the last 11 games, Terry Rozier has averaged 20.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals, scoring over 20 points in four games. He leads the ACC in steals. Montrezl Harrell is averaging 14.9 points and 9.2 rebounds while he is two points short of becoming the 66th career 1,000-point scorer at Louisville. His seven double doubles this season are tied for the ACC lead. Chris Jones is dishing out 3.7 assists and Wayne Blackshear is grabbing 5.2 rebounds a game. Our Cardinals have been relying on a defense that’s allowing 29.4 percent shooting from deep and has given up 63 or less points in six of their last eight games.
Louisville has a 46-26 record in conference games on the road over the last nine seasons (.648), claiming the best road record in both the Big East and AAC during its time in those two leagues. In order to keep that record on the positive side they are going to have to figure out how to get the ball in the basket. I expect that over the past eight days Coach Pitino has developed some new strategy to get these guys in the best position to be successful. I think we will see a more relaxed team on the offensive end of the floor with an emphasis on scoring in the paint, and working the clock during a possession. Quick jump shots and possessions haven’t been working very well for this group. I also think you will see Quentin Snider, Shaqquan Aaron, and Anton Gill start to become more important to this team and all will start to see their roles get bigger starting in the game against Pitt. I think we will see an improved Montrezl and one that stops letting the opposing defense dictate his offense.
Folks this group needed these eight days in the practice gym and I really think that we will see some great results. I look for a much more efficient group on offense and a more relentless group on defense. Pitt will be in the wrong place at the wrong time on Sunday. Cards will roll and look much better in the process.
Louisville 78 Pitt 63