You’ve already read the recaps and you know how the game went. Louisville plays North Carolina on Saturday, so let’s just get right to this so we can move on. Mental errors, forced shots, bad defense…film review after losses are not so fun.
- I have liked Christen Cunningham from the first game, while others were a bit skeptical. Now it seems like he is getting more and more comfortable as the season goes along. He is still looking to run the team first, but is not hesitant to take the shot, which is how you want your point guard to be. You want them to have the ability to score, but to try and get others involved first. His steady hand at the position has been a major positive thus far. He was a warrior in this game and kept the Cards within striking distance in the second half.
- Jordan Nwora just did not have it going, and it got worse as he forced shots and drives that led to turnovers. You will see in the film review where he had Ryan McMahon open just one pass away, and instead took a bad shot. On the next possession, he drove and drew the double team, which you are supposed to do. Rather than kicking it out, he was called for an offensive foul. This was when Chris Mack could be seen telling him to “pass the ball” about a million times. I agree, Coach. However, I’d like to see him get a few minutes on the bench after that, just to calm him down and let him maybe hit his own reset button.
- Louisville made it a point to switch on ball screens, and Pittsburgh actually didn’t seem to take advantage of it as much as they could. There seemed to always be a small guard on a Pittsburgh big man, and they would not look down there. Just seemed weird to me.
- Malik Williams tries to slip or pop on so many of his screens, that he never gets set. He got called for two illegal screens in this game. That can’t happen.
- Dwayne Sutton just continues to be the man. All I can say. Can we clone him?
- Pittsburgh’s best chance of stopping Steven Enoch was if Louisville just stopped passing him the ball. And that’s what happened down the stretch.
- Speaking of Enoch, I have no problem with his three-pointer at the end. He was wide open, and Nwora and McMahon were both covered. McMahon actually signaled for him to take the shot anyway. The alternative I would take is him driving and dunking because the defense wouldn’t have left those guys, but again, I was not upset with him taking it.
- This was a bad loss. But this team will probably beat a team or two that it shouldn’t. It’s just going to be one of those years. Year one of a brand new system in the toughest conference in the country, there are sure to be bumps in the road. Learn from it and regroup, because the ACC is unforgiving, and you have the Tarheels on Saturday. I still love my squad.
I really liked this play that UofL ran, they just didn’t execute it. Pass was in a tough spot and Sutton just missed it, but it worked until that point. The backscreen from Nwora got Sutton open. pic.twitter.com/CQUmhm1h1Z— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Cunningham gets no help on defense here. Also would like to see Fore step up quicker and take the charge. Too easy. pic.twitter.com/zA3SSTL7NM— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Beautiful seal from Enoch here. As the ball gets passed back to Nwora, Enoch has his man on his back for the high-low pass. If Sutton delivers it, it’s a steal. Passing it to Nwora allowed Enoch to have perfect position. He does the work before he gets the ball. pic.twitter.com/cd23c6p2L1— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
More Enoch. Shot goes up, and rather than just standing, he gets position and can box out, which the offensive player can rarely do. That lets him keep this ball alive so Sutton can score. Again, doing the work without the ball. pic.twitter.com/DpseiB5EX8— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Bad leads to worse. Forced drive by Nwora into three people leads to a turnover, which is bad. But then Enoch picks up his second foul of the first half as a result of the turnover. pic.twitter.com/nDXjLuY3os— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Louisville is playing great defense here, and then Sutton gets caught watching the ball for just a second and his man slips behind him. That’s all it takes. pic.twitter.com/lCM9dfOnXs— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
I know this one because they ran it early in the season. Nwora and Sutton are supposed to screen the middle man and far block man in the 2-3 zone (5 & 21). Agau comes over and should be open. But they both screen the same guy. Defender, who should be screened, gets a deflection. pic.twitter.com/wfzlCdwO2g— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Ryan McMahon inbounds the ball and goes to the corner, where he is open. And he wants the ball, but does not get it. pic.twitter.com/zsCKuibnvm— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
As soon as Sutton screens for McMahon, UofL has a 3 on 2 advantage on the right of the floor. Pass to Cunningham and then I’d like a quick pass to V.J. for the open shot in the corner. Instead, the defense was able to recover. pic.twitter.com/NC9pywnfqw— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019
Enoch takes a little too long getting back to his man here. V.J. has to stay with him and not give up the wide open dunk, making him too slow getting out to his man, who hits the three. pic.twitter.com/B1FFg60gat— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 11, 2019