1. Chris Jones becoming a true point guard. It's no secret that Chris Jones struggled at times last year both with the transition to major college basketball and playing in the same backcourt with Russ Smith. Now with an offseason to prepare for being the point guard and getting himself into great physical shape, Jones is beginning to blossom into an all-around point guard. Though he didn't have a great night shooting (4 of 13 from the field), Jones contributed a great deal everywhere else. In just 22 minutes Jones had 10 points but added 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. There are bona fide scorers both inside and outside in Montrezl Harrell, Wayne Blackshear, and Terry Rozier. Jones can be more of a distributer and score when needed. If he's going to be that productive in other aspects of the game, Louisville is going to be very successful this year.
2. Blackshear and Onuaku complete the starting lineup...when they aren't in foul trouble. We didn't get to see much of the Louisville starting lineup against Minnesota due to Onuaku and Blackshear getting into foul trouble. I think that probably kept that game from being more of a blowout than it was. With both staying in the lineup, Louisville was longer on the defensive end and far more productive with the ball. Combined, the two contributed 24 points and 19 rebounds, and 6 assists in just 43 total minutes. Of particular importance, they added 11 offensive rebounds. Wayne simply must figure out how to be aggressive while staying under control. Onuaku gives Louisville the big body down low along side Harrell that they really didn't have against elite teams last year. There's a reason he's already relegated Mangok Mathiang to reserve status.
3. So much for redshirting. We all heard so much about neither Anas Osama Mahmoud and Matz Stockman redshirting this season because physically they aren't ready and a real lack of understanding how to play college basketball. Last night, that was all shown to be idle chatter as both were inserted into the game, Mahmoud in the first half. It's clear Rick wants more depth up front (perhaps a reflection on Mangok? I don't know). So both played. He did give a hint in the postgame press conference that Matz works harder in practice than Anas, but that Anas seems more naturally skilled and ready to play. That being the case, he played both to reward Matz for working as hard as he is and to possibly motivate Anas to work harder or else Matz will get those precious few minutes. We'll have to continue monitoring this as the year rolls along.