I will attempt to get this post done without getting in foul trouble, but there are no promises. Louisville moved to 2-0 on the young season by handling Southern 104-54. There were 65 fouls called. There were 63 free throws taken. Obviously, when you win by 50, there will be some positives to take away. But if you are like me, you also spot some things that can be worked on. Yes, even in a 50-point win. That’s just how I am. Let’s take a look at some points from this one.
Enoch is a force
I said it after the Nicholls game, and it continued against Southern: Steven Enoch is a beast down low. He carves out space around the block and the guards make the effort to get him the ball, and he isn’t passive at all. He is looking to make a post move and score, and dunk on you if need be. I understand the level of competition to this point, but it’s great to see how aggressive he has been to start. He only played 12 minutes against Southern, but finished with 13 points and four rebounds. It will be interesting to see how he plays as the schedule gets tougher. Having a legit post presence will open things up so much for shooters on the perimeter.
Nwora bringing offense from the bench
I have no idea if Joran Nwora will continue to come off the bench, but I have no problem with it if he does. He comes in and provides an instant spark on the offensive end. There are still some defensive issues that need to be worked out, but he can obviously score. If he ends up starting, I’m sure that will be fine. But for now, opposing defenses have to be frustrated when they begin to make subs and then the Cards counter that with subs of their own like Jordan Nwora and Ryan McMahon. You have to be alert at all times when one of those guys are on the floor, so when you have both of them, it opens up the driving lanes because the defense can not (or should not) help off of those shooters.
Defense was better
It’s going to take time. This is a different defensive philosophy than what these guys have been trained to do. But Southern’s leading scorer for the game only had 14 points, and it took him 12 shots to get there. No one else on the team reached double figures. In a game with 4,284 fouls, that is pretty impressive. The Cards held them to just 39.1% shooting from the field. They had six assists and 23 turnovers, not an ideal ratio. For comparison, Louisville had 17 assists and 13 turnovers.
Let’s get right to this. There isn’t much need to break down every facet of a game with this many fouls and
free throws. Here are some plays that stood out to me. And yes, I am one to find flaws in a 50-point win. That’s just what I do. There are definitely some defensive things that can get better, even though the overall effort was improved.
First play of the game. This is where scouting comes into play. Southern typically switches ball screens, so the Cards take advantage of it and get a guard switched on Steven Enoch. He draws the foul. Little did we know that that would be the theme. pic.twitter.com/L2RRnOhdX0— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 14, 2018
Jordan Nwora doesn’t close out very well here, but Malik Williams is way out of position. He has to be in help under the basket. He even gives the “my bad” chest tap. It would then be on Cunningham to drop and help on Malik’s man. pic.twitter.com/flBsPpzs9R— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 14, 2018
This one is quick. Sutton gets the ball, V.J.’s man helps down on Malik Williams. V.J. walks towards Darrius Perry, so one defender can guard two guys.— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 14, 2018
If he flashes to the free throw line, he gets the pass, his man comes up, and Malik seals his man for an easy dunk down low. pic.twitter.com/bnNwZthmFK
Malik Williams takes a bad angle here with his man setting the ball screen. There is way too much space, allowing the ball handler to split the defense. Jordan Nwora ends up with a foul that should not have happened. Another “my bad” sign from Malik after the play. pic.twitter.com/pTOE8NyaPO— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 14, 2018
Jordan Nwora is slow getting back on defense. Malik Williams stops ball, but no one picks up his man. Kwahn Fore should probably help down low and Nwora can pick up Kwahn’s man. But if there is no communication, nobody knows where to help. pic.twitter.com/rHj2w16gio— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 14, 2018