Louisville basketball fans are all too familiar with the "January clunker," but that didn't make the performance the Cardinals gave against Clemson Sunday afternoon any less disappointing or surprising.
One of the nation's top offensive teams heading into the game, U of L misfired on 19 of its 22 3-point attempts, shot just 35.8 percent from the field for the game, and was dealt its first upset loss of the season via a 66-62 Tiger win. Clemson actually shot a worse percentage from the field than Louisville (32.6), but took advantage of a season-high 44 trips to the free-thow line, where they scored 32 of their 66 points. The Cardinals, conversely, went to the line just 16 points and scored only 11 points there.
Examining the final box score this one only makes the result more frustrating. Louisville outrebounded Clemson by 22 (53-31), had one more assist than the Tigers (11-10), but the Cards simply couldn't make open shots ... regardless of where they were being taken.
The good news, if there is any, is that I don't think you can chalk this loss up to lack of focus or lack of effort. Louisville played hard for 40 minutes, they just didn't play very well. U of L was due for a game where no one stepped up offensively the way Quentin Snider did against NC State, and you just had to hope that when that day came they would find some way to escape with an ugly victory. It didn't happen, and now Rick Pitino's team heads back to the Derby City with a 2-1 conference mark.
We all have an extremely salty Sunday ahead of us, but let's not forget the pact.
Can we all make a pact right now to not freak out after the next January loss?— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 28, 2015
If you feel like you must break the pact, please do so alone in a locked room. Utilizing a moist towel is optional.
Here's your final box score from a gross afternoon in Greenville:
|Chinanu Onuaku, C||7-8||0-0||0-0||5||5||10||0||0||3||1||5||14|
|Jaylen Johnson, F||4-6||1-1||0-1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||9|
|Trey Lewis, G||3-19||1-11||3-4||2||6||8||3||1||1||2||3||10|
|Damion Lee, G||2-12||0-7||2-2||0||2||2||2||1||0||1||3||6|
|Donovan Mitchell, G||0-3||0-2||2-2||0||2||2||1||0||0||2||4||2|
|Matz Stockman, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Anas Mahmoud, F||3-8||0-0||1-2||7||3||10||1||1||2||4||5||7|
|Raymond Spalding, F||2-2||0-0||1-2||2||5||7||1||3||0||2||4||5|
|Deng Adel, F||0-2||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Quentin Snider, G||3-8||1-2||2-3||2||1||3||3||0||0||4||4||9|
|Landry Nnoko, C||0-2||0-0||2-2||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||4||2|
|Donte Grantham, F||4-9||4-6||0-0||0||1||1||1||2||1||3||3||12|
|Jaron Blossomgame, F||5-11||1-4||6-9||3||6||9||1||3||3||2||0||17|
|Jordan Roper, G||2-6||0-3||6-8||0||1||1||4||1||0||0||3||10|
|Avry Holmes, G||2-8||1-5||11-14||1||2||3||3||1||0||2||1||16|
|Sidy Djitte, C||1-5||0-0||7-11||4||8||12||0||1||2||2||4||9|
|Josh Smith, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Gabe DeVoe, G||0-2||0-2||0-0||0||3||3||1||0||0||2||1||0|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None