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Game Preview: Louisville opens 2015-16 season against Samford

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LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (0-0) vs. SAMFORD BULLDOGS (0-0)

Game Time: 7:02 p.m.

Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.

Television: ESPN3

Announcers: Kent Taylor (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst)

Officials: Mike Eades, Jerry Heater, Anthony Franklin

Favorite: Louisville by 23

All-Time Series: Louisville leads 1-0

Last Meeting: Louisville won 80-54 on Nov. 15, 2012 at the Yum Center

Statistics:


Relevant Video:

About Samford:

Guard Darius Jones-Gibson (12.2 ppg last season), a 6-1 senior from Lexington, Ky., was a preseason All-Southern Conference choice. Samford (13-19, 6-12 in SoCon last season) was picked to finish seventh in the league in a poll by both the coaches and media.

The Bulldogs are coached by Louisville native Scott Padgett, who played the first two of his collegiate seasons at Kentucky under UofL Coach Rick Pitino (1995-97). Padgett was a first round draft pick (28th overall) of the Utah Jazz in 1999 and spent eight years in the NBA.

In the only previous meeting between the two schools, Russ Smith totaled 18 points and three steals to lead Louisville to an 80-54 victory over Samford in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis, played in Louisville's KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 15, 2012. The Cardinals went on to win the NCAA Championship that season.

Notable

--Louisville has won 34 consecutive home games in November, last losing to Vanderbilt on November 30, 1972.

--The Cardinals have won 14 straight home openers, the longest such streak in program history.

--Louisville is 5-1 all-time on Friday the 13th.

--Louisville has just two players on its roster -- junior center Mangok Mathiang and walk-on junior guard David Levitch -- that have played with the Cardinals more than a year.

--Louisville has opened with an 11-1 record each of the last three seasons.

--The Cards return just 17 percent of their scoring and a quarter of their assists from last season's 27-9 NCAA Elite Eight team. It is the lowest percentage of scoring returning for Louisville since 1972-73 when UofL was without a returning starter from its 1972 Final Four team and returned just 9.7 percent of its scoring (254 of 2,614). Quentin Snider's 146 points in 2014-15 ranks him as UofL's top returning scorer.

--Louisville has won 36 of its last 37 home games against non-conference opponents.

Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 81, Samford 61