(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The Cardinals keep rolling right along tonight completing their 7th undefeated February in the last 100 years as they easily take care of business against Temple beating the owls 88-66. The Cardinals (24-4, 13-2) have now won seven straight and will be heading to #21 Memphis on Saturday.
This team is starting to look like a typical Rick Pitino team this time of year. Louisville fans have always enjoyed the month of February and March knowing they are going to see their team play the best basketball of the season. Our guys are playing with a purpose right now and are having fun in the process. Pitino on his team: “I think they like each other. I think they have a good time. We’ve been blessed with great chemistry for 3 years.” They are exciting from a fundamental standpoint as well. They had 9 turnovers tonight and this is the seventh game straight that they’ve had single digit turnovers. They have 14 single digit turnover games this season. Pitino: “This is not a selfish team in any characteristic. It’s what we believe in.” Tonight the Cards had 17 assist on 32 made baskets. Pitino: “It seems like we’re a better offensive team this year than last, and I’m not sure why that is.” The Cards shot 53% from the field and 40% from three tonight. They had great ball movement and it gave them some good looks.
The Cards had three guys in double figures tonight. And these guys were 25 of 34 from the field and nearly outscored Temple all by themselves. Russ lead the way with 24 points, 3 assist and 4 steals. He moved to eighth on Louisville’s all-time scoring list tonight, and also passed Darrell Griffith in career steals tonight for 2nd place all-time. He is stepping up and leading this team at the right time.
Montrezl continues his great play and had 21 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. He has provided a big lift to this team with his aggressive play, but will need to improve on his performance at the free-throw line. He was just 3-7 tonight.
Terry Rozier has been getting better and better and continues to look like one of the best freshman in the country. Tonight he was 8-10 from the field and scored a career high 19 points. This was his fourth straight game scoring in double-digits, averaging 14.8 points per game the past four games. He has a 5:1 assist to turnover ratio, and has played over 530 minutes this season and only committed 15 turnovers.
Chris Jones is another player that deserves a mention. It’s great to see him finally settling into his role in this team. It had to be a hard transition from being the star of the show at the Juco level to just another good player on a team full of them. He had 9 points and 8 assist tonight. Pitino on Rozier and Jones: “They both have tremendous upsides and they were both outstanding tonight.”
It’s all coming together Cardinal fans. Momentum is building and it’s looking more, and more like this team is going to make a decent run at this thing again. The team has taken a huge step forward in the last few weeks, but it’s what they do in the next 3 games that will say a lot about just how far they can go. I know it’s been a lot of fun and I’m excited for the post season. My beard is itchy but it’s all worth it. No Shave Till Dallas! Go Cards!
Coach Pitino after the game:
Chris Jones after the game:
Russ Smith after the game:
Luke Hancock after the game:
Terry Rozier after the game:
Montrezl Harrell after the game: