-Louisville should be ranked #1 in the country next week. Just wanted to get that out there. Look, for those that don’t want the ranking because teams have lost with it this year, get ready, it’s going to happen again. Louisville isn’t going 40-0 so whether we lose when we are #1 or #5, it doesn’t really matter. Regardless of how long the ranking will last, it will still be pretty cool. Let the guys feel that target on their backs, and then feel it taken away, and want to get it back. Doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Our problems could be much, much worse.
-Or maybe we will go 40-0? Don’t get the tattoo yet, please.
-I’ll go ahead and get this one out of the way so I can say something positive about him. But the Jordan Nwora assist/turnover watch for this game was 0 assists and 6 turnovers, bringing his season totals to 11 assists and 23 turnovers.
-Now onto the good. Take away the turnovers and Nwora was great on offense. When the Cards needed a bucket, he either got one or got himself to the free throw line. The game didn’t get too close, but when it was close to single digits, he was usually the one to knock a shot down and give the team some breathing room to extend the lead back out. He had 25 points on 8-15 shooting, was 4-9 from three, and 5-5 from the line. That’s a very good shooting night.
-Samuell Williamson played over 20 minutes in the first four games of the season. In the last three, he has played 15, 18, and 10 minutes. Just something to keep an eye on. We knew when Malik Williams and David Johnson came back that those minutes would have to dip for someone. It seems like it’s been Williamson and obviously Aidan Igiehon, which wasn’t unexpected for him.
-I thought Steven Enoch would have a big game in this one. I just figured that playing against an NBA-caliber big man that he personally knows (Bassey) would bring out his best. Not saying he did much to call it a bad game, there just wasn’t much there either way. I think Bassey played him really well and didn’t let him get his normal good position that we are accustomed to seeing him get. He was forced off the block and really had to fight to even get the ball.
-The last 3:09 of the game we saw five freshmen on the floor: Igiehon, Williamson, Nickelberry, Slazinski, and Johnson. I know it was only three minutes and the game was in hand, but any experience these guys get will be helpful, especially like this when they are all on the floor together. Chris Mack called a timeout and had a teaching moment with them as well. They came right out and hit Aidan Igiehon on the block against the 1-3-1, he just wasn’t in position to score right away so he didn’t force it. But they at least made the right play after looking a little lost out there at first.
-Hat tip to Conference USA for being bitter that we left them years ago and putting our football game on Stadium and basketball game on Facebook. Solid.
-Big fan of Malik Williams’ eight points and nine rebounds in only 18 minutes played.
-We have to have a spot for Dwayne Sutton as always. He was the catalyst in the first half and helped push the lead out. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds and was 6-10 from the floor, doing most of that in the first half. Oh, and of those seven rebounds, four were offensive. Ridiculous effort.
-Alright that’s enough for this Facebook game. Let’s turn our attention to football and get this win on Saturday and then welcome a red-hot Michigan team to town on Tuesday as we raise a banner at halftime. Go Cards!
Dwayne Sutton coming down court and quickly fakes a screen for Ryan McMahon and slips backdoor for a layup. Defense keys on not letting McMahon get open. Also, Bassey has his hands down on defense, making the pass easy for Enoch. pic.twitter.com/O04TdTPxPM— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Excellent team defense. Nwora switches to help on Malik’s man after Malik hedges on the screen and everyone just makes adjustments without getting lost. Williamson goes to Nwora’s man and Malik goes to Williamson’s man. Looks seamless. Good communication on the floor. pic.twitter.com/OHDVBbOYyP— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
More good defense, this time by Darius Perry. Watch him close out in the corner without running past his man or going for the shot fake. Then he gets switched on a big man and holds his own and finishes with a nice box out. Overall good defensive possession for him. pic.twitter.com/X7Z6z8X0rq— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Patience by Enoch here. Takes one dribble back to create space while being doubled. The space lets him pass to Perry, who makes the great extra pass to an open Nwora for the three. The backside defender couldn’t guard both. Quick passing made this play happen. pic.twitter.com/FsRvZXwuJf— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
This on-ball defense by Fresh Kimble. That’s all. That’s the review here. Just enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/pUtAAspsWE— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Most of the positive Enoch baskets are when he gets position on the block before getting the ball. Bassey forces him way off the block here. Other than Nwora cutting, everyone else just watches. Felt like this was a forced shot that he was going to take no matter what. pic.twitter.com/hoZXpB6F2Z— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Western is about to cut the lead to nine with what is likely a monster dunk that will bring momentum with it. Darius Perry gets his hands in there for a big time steal. It may have prevented only two points, but those were a big two points on the way. pic.twitter.com/ZGvIE3A0Gd— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
This one is quick. When McMahon screens for Nwora, both guys go with Nwora. Enoch had a quick opening where he had McMahon wide open but didn’t see it. Louisville didn’t score here. I may be picky on this one. pic.twitter.com/pxQEC5lxbn— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Nwora screens for Kimble, and both guys go with Kimble (thank you WKU). Nwora just flares off of a Malik Williams screen and buries a huge three to push the lead back out to 16 when Western was chipping away. pic.twitter.com/NzEz5RguHx— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Next possession is another dagger. WKU went 1-3-1 twice while the game was still a game. First time, Sutton made a free throw line jumper. This time, McMahon hits a three. Wing couldn’t recover from Nwora to McMahon in time and got ball-faked.— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
Beat the zone with quick passes. pic.twitter.com/SyF1JwSgFT
Ending on this one. Nwora screens for McMahon, and both guys leave Nwora. He just cuts to the basket and gets a layup.— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) November 30, 2019
So much can open up with McMahon and Nwora out there screening for each other. The defense has to make a decision and communicate. If they don’t, they pay. pic.twitter.com/wqFNaojxMQ