In our last look at the Cards through the eyes of mathematics, we saw a clash of Vanderbilt's offensive firepower and Louisville's defensive focus. The scales tipped in favor of the Cards, thanks to a little grit and a lot of free throw defense. With a pair of games looming where Louisville has win probabilities that exceed 95%, it's the perfect time to take a look at where we're at nationally.
Louisville has slipped in overall offensive rating to (65) and an overall ranking of (11) nationally.
One of primary culprits that is driving down the offensive rating is turnover percentage (220). The Cards are turning the ball over on 22.3% of offensive possessions. On the other hand, Louisville is forcing turnovers (16) on 26.8% of defensive possessions, which looks to be a large part of how they've been able to overcome offensive deficiencies.
Among the national individual leaders in steal percentage are Russ Smith (31) at 5.2%, Peyton Siva (296) at 3.3%, and Kyle Kuric (357) at 3.1%. It's hard not to love Russ's ability to defend like a mutant squirrel, but he's committing an alarming 6.5 fouls per 40 minutes. We can expect this improve as he learns to keep himself in check.
Speaking of defense, Louisville's defensive rating holds at (3). One of the four factors that feeds into this is defensive effective FG percentage (7), which has been stellar at 39%.
Only 14.8% of offensive possessions are ending with a shot or assist from Chris Smith. This lumps him into the "Limited Roles" category. He's positively effecting the game in many other areas, but given his relative offensive efficiency (47) for players in this category, it would be safe to say that an extra emphasis on his shot-making and passing ability could help cure some of the team's offensive woes.
The only shining spot in Louisville's offensive rating is offensive rebound percentage (47). The Cards are successfully crashing the offensive glass at a rate of 37.3%. Gorgui Dieng (53), Chane Behanan (109), and Jared Swopshire (426) are all ranked in the top 500 nationally for this statistic.
I'm still not sure if it's a magic spell, a gust of wind, or a fart from the heavens, but Louisville's free throw defense (3) continues to hold at 57.3%
After the Cards take care of business this week, we'll do some Memphis math.