Game Time: 7:07 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum! Center: Louisville, KY
Announcers: Drew Deener (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color)
Officials: Jim Burr, Gene Steratore, Jeff Anderson
Favorite: Louisville by 27
Series History: Louisville leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Louisville won 78-61 on Nov. 19, 2005, at Freedom Hall
Conference: Ohio Valley
2010-2011 Record: 12-21 (6-12)
Preseason Conference Pick: 8th (11 teams)
Returning Starters: 3
Head Coach: Jason James, Third Year (16-46)
Probable Starting Lineups:
Quick Team Preview
Still adjusting to a post-Lester Hudson world, UT-Martin tripled its win output from 2009-2010 a season ago, going from four victories to 12. The Skyhawks won seven of their last 13 games to earn the No. 8 seed in the OVC Tournament, where they bested No. 5 Tennessee State in the first round before losing to eventual runner-up Tennessee Tech in the quarterfinals.
Third-year head coach Jason James' team is young once again, as no player on the team has more than one year of Division I basketball experience. Dane Smith is the lone senior on the Skyhawk roster.
UT-Martin does, however, boast three talented sophomores who combined to win the OVC Freshman of the Week award eight times a year ago. Mike Liabo (11.2 points/game, 52 made 3-pointers), Troy King (9.6 points/game, 50 made 3-pointers) and Terence Smith (11.3 points, 3.1 assists/game) will each see their roles grow in James' game plan this season.
A year ago, Liabo became the first freshman in UT-Martin history to lead the team in scoring in Ohio Valley Conference play (12.2 points per game). He also led the team with 22 double-figure scoring games.
I'm not sure who the guy holding the door is, but he's my favorite player on the team.
--A Cardinal victory tonight will make Rick Pitino the 37th coach in Division-I history to reach the 600-win mark.
--This game is part of the Global Sports Invitational, a round-robin preseason tournament featuring Louisville, UT-Martin, Arkansas State, Ohio and Lamar.
--UT-Martin defeated Webster 90-72 in its only exhibition game. Junior College transfer Eli York produced 21 points and five steals off the bench in that game to lead five Skyhawks who scored in double figures.
--Seven players return from UTM’s 12-21 squad that tripled its win total from the previous season and won its first Ohio Valley Conference Tournament game in the program’s history. Sophomore guard Terence Smith is the team’s leading returning scorer, averaging 11.3 points and 3.3 assists as a freshman last year. Freshman guard Martez Harris averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Seneca High School in Louisville.
--Rick Pitino has a 22-3 record in opening games collectively at his four collegiate coaching stops.
--Louisville’s opening game against Tennessee-Martin on Nov. 11 marks the earliest date in school history that the Cardinals have opened their season. The earliest previous U of L opener was last season’s Nov. 16 victory over Butler in the opening game of the KFC Yum! Center.
--Louisville has won seven-straight season-openers, and 16 of its last 18.
Card Chronicle Prediction: Louisville 81, Tennessee-Martin 59