Louisville went into Winston Salem, North Carolina on Wednesday night and handled Wake Forest from the start. The game was close when it was 2-0, and that’s about it. It was a dominant first half, a really good start to the second half, some let up that looked a little sluggish, and it finally ended with the Cards leaving town with a 28-point ACC road win. Sounds good to me. Let’s get some quick hitters and film review done.
-The first thing that sticks out to me is the scoring balance of this team. Christen Cunningham only took two shots and he had two points, and they still end up scoring 82. Jordan Nwora had 20, Dwayne Sutton had 17, Malik Williams had 13, Ryan McMahon had 12, and Steven Enoch had 9. That is incredible scoring balance and this team is going to need that the rest of the season as the competition gets better.
-Dwayne Sutton is a beast. I mentioned his 17 points, but he also had 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. He doesn’t have to score to impact the game. He is going to play his tail off and that’s how you end up with a stat line like that.
-Malik Williams continues to impress me with the energy that he plays with. I was kind of indifferent on him when the season started because he seemed a little too finesse to me, but he is changing my mind with his effort on both ends of the floor. He is rebounding better and seems to be getting tougher.
-If Jordan Nwora ever starts to make that extra pass when he is double-teamed and has an open teammate, this team takes another step. He scores a lot. He forces a lot. It can change though.
-Darius Perry made his way out of the doghouse and then picked up four fouls in 10 minutes, including a technical. Not ideal.
-I would love to see the Wake Forest scouting report where they tell their guys to double down on VJ King in the post and leave Jordan Nwora wide open for three. That didn’t seem like a great idea.
-As I am typing this, Donovan Mitchell just scored seven straight points for the Jazz. He would be a senior this year, by the way. That’s just silly to think about.
-Louisville ends the month of January with a 7-1 record in the ACC. Incredible. Business, however, is about to pick up. This schedule is about to get crazy, and I’d honestly rather it be this way. Get the “easy” games done early to get some wins, confidence, and continuity in the system, and then head right to the meat of this brutal February schedule. Can we beat North Carolina again? Beat Duke? Beat Virginia? Beat Virginia twice? Buckle up. February is about to be wild.
We are all Chris Mack when this shot goes in. pic.twitter.com/W3oUcZg9Sp— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Malik Williams always hedges pretty far out on screens. His man would be open, but Christen Cunningham is helping down on him. That awareness makes all the difference until Malik gets back to his man. pic.twitter.com/gnLiZrV2Rg— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
More Cunningham. He gets switched on a bigger guy, shot goes up, and watch his box out. Without that effort, the rebound comes right to his man. He pushes him out just enough that UofL secures the board. pic.twitter.com/HIRegZQYsO— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Remember the first play where CC helps down on Malik’s man? This is why that was so important. Look what happens when that doesn’t occur.— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Also, I think Fore got through the screen fast enough that Malik could have gone back to his man sooner. pic.twitter.com/r87Hy5NVAg
Throwing this in because I have mentioned it before. Darius needs to take another dribble in and then use the screen. There is too much space between he and Enoch. His defender stays with him because the screen is not used. pic.twitter.com/OODAJULEVf— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Defense is scrambling here. I’d like to see VJ kick this out to CC in the corner. You can see Malik pointing for that also, since he has CC’s man screened. pic.twitter.com/tJLGIjMtNO— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
This is a solid defensive possession by Fore, Sutton, and Williams. My favorite part is the effort they are showing with the score the way it is. Nothing easy, challenged shot. pic.twitter.com/x6zi20D88Y— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Although this ends with a monster dunk, I still wanted to see VJ take this shot. He just had a dunk in transition, and this could have been a big shot for his own confidence. You love the result, I just wanted to see him take this one. pic.twitter.com/G6iVkHp4F3— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Nwora and Sutton aren’t on the same page this whole time in transition. Then Sutton tries to spin and go under the screen. Wake hits the 3, but this was miscommunication the whole way down court. pic.twitter.com/3dRfJXbw76— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Nwora runs to the rim instead of blocking out the shooter. Ends up leading to two points for Wake. Doesn’t matter in this game, but little things like that definitely will in this next stretch of games. pic.twitter.com/0pJGJ9cF31— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019
Ending on a positive. Set play here for the guy that had already buried a couple threes. McMahon passes and cuts to set his man up, and then uses the screen by coming right off of Malik’s shoulder. Gives him just enough space and time to get the shot off. pic.twitter.com/nB2xUdVoIi— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 31, 2019