Louisville Cardinals (1-0) vs. Southern Jaguars (0-2)
Game Time: 7:01 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: ACC Network/Watch ESPN app
Announcers: Kent Taylor (play-by-play) and Jody Demling (analyst)
Officials: A.J. Desai, Tony Chiazza, Jeffrey Anderson
Favorite: Louisville by 25.5
Series: First Meeting
Probable Starting Lineups:
Southern’s Season to Date:
Lost at Alabama (82-62)
Lost at Baylor (80-53)
Southern is led by first-year head coach Sean Woods, who played at Kentucky from 1988-1992. He was the head coach at Morehead State from 2012-16, but was forced to resign in the middle of the 2016-17 after allegedly assaulting two players during halftime of a game against Evansville. Woods spent last season as an assistant at Stetson, and now returns to the SWAC, where he was the conference’s Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Mississippi Valley State to the league’s regular season and tournament titles.
Senior guard Eddie Reese is the team’s unquestioned standout. He is the team’s leading returning scorer after averaging 11.1 ppg and hitting 61 three-pointers last season. Through two games this season, he’s the only Jaguar averaging double figures at 17.0 ppg.
Redshirt senior forward Sidney Umude was a Preseason All-SWAC Second Team selection at forward after averaging 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in just 18.3 minutes per contest. He’s had a tough go of it so far against the bigger Alabama and Baylor sqauds, averaging just 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
The strangest thing about Southern is how many players Woods will throw on the court on a given night. Through two games, 14 Jaguars are averaging at least six minutes of playing time per game, and only two are averaging more than 22 mpg. Eleven different players have scored at least two points, but Reese is the only player who has scored in double figures.
Southern prides itself on defense, but the thing it does better than most low/mid-major teams is rebound the ball. Despite winning only 15 games last season, the Jaguars were the top rebounding team in the SWAC, earning a plus 2.4 rpg average.
Coming into Tuesday’s game ranked No. 343 out of 353 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, Southern plays at just the 193rd-fastest pace in the country, meaning fans should expect to see a healthy amount of possessions that go deeper into the shot clock than they did in the season-opener against Nicholls.
—Louisville has won 47 consecutive home games in November, a streak which dates all the way back to a loss to Vanderbilt on November 30, 1972. The Cards are 34-0 in November games played inside the Yum Center.
—Louisville has won 66 of its last 69 non-conference games at the KFC Yum Center.
—With a record of 27-0, the ACC is the only remaining undefeated conference in college basketball.
—Sean Woods has never coached against Louisville (as a head coach), but he averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 assists in three games against U of L as a player. That includes totaling 20 points and four assists against the Cardinals in 1990.
—Southern will be Louisville’s 320th different opponent in men’s basketball. The Cards are 238-81 in first-time meetings, including 49-2 over the past 15 years. The only two losses came against California and Baylor.
—Louisville’s 42 made free-throws made against Nicholls in the season opener were its most in 63 years -- since hitting 44 vs. Canisius on Dec. 10, 1955. The 55 free-throw attempts were the most by a Cardinal team since making 41-of-59 at the line against Texas on Dec. 9, 1995.
—Louisville is 7-0 all-time against current members of the SWAC.
—Louisville is one of just four schools which have won 20 or more games on the court in each of the last 16 seasons (also Kansas, Duke and Gonzaga).
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 85, Southern 61