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King, Nwora lead White team to victory in Red-White Scrimmage

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Basketball!

The Chris Mack era of Louisville basketball began in earnest Sunday afternoon with the annual Red-White Scrimmage at the KFC Yum Center.

V.J. King scored a game-high 19 points and Jordan Nwora added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the White Team defeated the Red, 55-41 in front of about 5,000 Cardinal fans. Steven Enoch chipped in 10 points and seven boards.

For the Red Team, grad transfer Christen Cunnigham showcased why he’s the most likely candidate to earn the job as Louisville’s starting point guard this season. Cunningham showed terrific command of the offense, finishing with 15 points, four assists and five rebounds.

If you’re wondering about the lower than usual final score, the second half was played with a running clock and lasted just 10 minutes. The first half was a full 20 minutes, and played with a standard clock.

Quick thoughts:

—If Louisville is going to overachieve this season, you’re going to need to see a lot of box scores like today’s where V.J. King and Jordan Nwora are both at, above or around the 20-point mark.

—It’s obvious that the staff wants to see Malik Williams play primarily in the post. He’ll get some perimeter time when he’s playing the four, but when he’s in and Steven Enoch and Akoy Agau are both out, Malik is going to have to stay in the paint, which still feels unnatural for him. One of Chris Mack’s most enthusiastic eruptions today was when Williams scored on a nice post move.

—Expct to see Dwayne Sutton continue in the “do a little bit of everything” role he solidified for himself last season. There was a stretch where Sutton’s effort alone made him the best player on the floor.

—Mack’s first comment after the game was that he got what he wanted most: No injuries.

—Really impressed with Christen Cunningham. He’s going to need some help from Ryan McMahon, Darius Perry and the other capable ball-handlers, but CC is your point guard.

—This team may took more losses before the turn of the calendar than we’re used to, but they’re going to bust their asses every night for four months straight and be really easy to root for. That’s exciting.

Full box score should be out in a bit.