Louisville vs. Kentucky: Breaking Down the Big 4

With the big game just hours away, I took to twitter to see who people thought the most important Card scoring wise was. I think it's Peyton Siva. A couple of people said Gorgui Dieng. Another said Kyle Kuric. Yet another said Chris Smith. The Cards spread the ball around a lot and all of those people make good cases for why that guy is the most important scorer. For this post, I have broken down the made shots, and only made, from the Georgetown game Wednesday.


First bucket of the game goes to Dieng. The scorer is in red, assist man in white. As you can see, Chris came on a drive. Dieng slipped behind the defense for a lob.


This bucket comes in transition. Once again Smith sets up someone, this time Kuric from the corner. Of course it's good.


This bucket comes for Kuric again on a simple pass. The man in yellow is highlighted because he's in the air off a killer ball fake. It was a 3.


Smith this time is the recipient of a Siva drive and dish. You can see the 4 Hoyas in the paint.


After 2 assists, Siva goes strong on a drive after a Dieng screen lets him blow by. That layup made the score 14-5.


None of 4 scored for a while, and as you can see, Georgetown cut the lead to 2. This bucket came off an offensive rebound. If you remember, Kuric saved to Russ, who drove and kicked back to a wide open Kuric.


Once again Siva burns the Hoyas on a screen from Buckles. The big man in the lane is flat footed and has no chance. Siva got off another crazy layup.


The 4 don't score a FG for a long time. As you can see, the Hoyas took the lead. Kuric gets a look right in front of Rick Pitino from Dieng.


Seconds later UofL forces a steal. Siva makes a Euro-step between the defenders and scores a layup.


Once again Siva makes something happen. Dieng gets a dunk.


This comes off a tipped out offensive rebound. As you can see, Siva is nearly on the ground when he puts the ball up. Kind of sick.


None of the featured guys score for 5 minutes and the Cards score 2 points. Kuric drills a 3 off a hand off from Dieng.


Dieng is circled not because of an assist, but because of a killer screen. Siva ran the ball up the court, jumped into the Hoya big man and ended up with that fancy looking shot. It was a man's move.


The final shot comes off a Georgetown miss. Siva pushed the pace and dropped to Dieng. He went up for a dunk and the guy at the foul line got called for a goal tend.

For a final tally of how they got their FGs, we have

Halfcourt buckets - 8 of 14.

Transition - 4 of 14.

Offensive rebound - 2 of 14.

Off assists - 9 of 14.

Off screens - 3 of 14

Now what does this tell us? Well 1 game isn't a great example, but we can tell a number of things. First off, half of the shots see the person who ends up shooting catching the ball and squaring up. I counted the last Dieng shot in this. The Cards don't run many plays in the post. If you look at the play by play, many of Dieng's shots are jumpers. Kuric primarily goes wing to wing, same with Chris Smith. Louisville relies a lot on screens, especially Siva. The other 7 FGs came off 5 Siva drives, 1 alley oop and a Kuric shot fake. Siva had a particularly strong offensive game. He assisted on many of those shots and he got to the foul line 6 times, making 5.

I see 3 problems for the Kentucky game.

1) Siva does everything off the dribble.

A lot of guards do this, but Siva almost exclusively gets his points and assists off the dribble. He is in his head about his 3 ball and will pass up open looks. If the Cats keep him from going to the line and driving, I don't know how great a chance the Cards have. That said, Siva is very quick and picks his spots well. Vandy knew he was driving and he got the game winning shot anyway.

2) Offensive rebounding .

Gorgui is a pretty solid rebounder, but he was pretty much a non-factor on the offensive glass against the Hoyas. He drew a foul on 1 rebound and the other 2 were on the possession featuring the crazy Siva layup. Chane got 3 offensive rebounds as well against the Hoyas, but like Dieng, he had only got 2 points from them. Unlike Dieing, he went up with all 3, only getting a dunk. The guys are going to have to get stick backs on the misses. If they can't get those, they have to keep possessions alive. The Cards kill off of 3 on offensive boards.

3) Forced shots.

For the most part, the Cards don't force up a ton of shots


But as we saw at the end of the Georgetown game, when guys think the Cards need a basket, they put the ball up. Kuric normally doesn't force that many shots, but he did late. Chris Smith just took horrible looking shots all day. With a team like UK, you can't throw up wild shots, because like the Cards do to people, you get hammered in transition.

All in all, I'm pretty confident about the game tomorrow. For this 1 reason, f--- Kentucky.

Go Cards.

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