Louisville Cardinals (6-2) At Indiana Hoosiers (7-2, 2-0)
Game Time: 2:37 p.m.
Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall: Bloomington, Ind.
Announcers: Joe Davis (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter)
Officials: Terry Wymer, Lamont Simpson, Mike Eades
Favorite: Indiana by 6.5
Series: Indiana leads, 10-9
Last Meeting: Louisville won 71-62 on Dec. 9, 2017 in Louisville
Probable Starting Lineups:
Indiana’s Season to Date:
Entering Saturday with a 7-2 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in the Big Ten, Indiana may possess the top home court advantage and 1-2 punch that Louisville will face all season.
Former New Albany High superstar Romeo Langford, once a top U of L recruit, leads Indiana in scoring at 17.9 ppg. The freshman has scored 12 points or more in all nine of IU’s games, and has breached the 20-point mark four times. Senior forward Juwan Morgan is the team’s other star, averaging 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Morgan had been hampered in recent weeks by a left leg injury, but returned at full strength in Tuesday night’s win at Penn State. He needs just 30 points to become the 52nd player in IU history to score 1,000 points or more in his career.
Turnovers and finding consistent point guard play have been Indiana’s main problems thus far in 2018-19. IU ranks 276th in the country in turnover percentage, but thankfully will be going up against a Louisville team that is just 256th nationally in opponent turnover percentage.
Indiana has been great this season when it comes to limiting the production of their opponent’s best player(s). The Hoosiers held Markus Howard to just 18 points in their romp over Marquette, and limited the Penn State duo of forward Lamar Stevens (22.4 ppg.) and guard Josh Reeves (11.7 ppg.) to just 15 points in the IU win in Happy Valley. Both had season-lows in points with Stevens at 12 and Reeves with just 3.
As a team, IU ranks 20th in the country in defensive efficiency, and 22nd in three-point percentage defense.
—Louisville has won four straight games against Indiana, but hasn’t beaten the Hoosiers in Bloomington since 1984. All-time, U of L is just 1-4 in true road games against Indiana.
—Louisville is second in the nation in free throw attempts per field goal attempts (247/442, 55.9 percent) and is second in the nation with 28.3 percent of its points coming from free throws.
—Over the last seven years, Louisville has won 11 of its 12 road or neutral games in December, with the exception of three games at Kentucky.
—U of L has scored over 80 points in six of its eight games and ranks 39th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 83.5 points per game.
—Indiana doesn’t have a mascot. Isn’t that weird? Have you ever thought about that?
—Louisville has a 39-7 record during the month of December over the last six years.
—Indiana is sixth in the nation in field goal percentage (.517) and 27th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense (.270).
—Louisville hasn’t won its first two true road games in a season since 2014-15.
—Louisville has won 147 consecutive games when scoring at least 85 points in regulation.
—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: Indiana 77, Louisville 71