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After the Buzzer: Pitt

Pittsburgh v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Quick Hitters

-There was a lot to take away from this game for me. What I will start with is the defense again. The Cards just suffocated Pittsburgh in this one and held them to 46 points. In their previous five games, Pitt was averaging 67 points per game.

-Louisville held Pitt without a point in the last 5:35 of the first half. With 9:16 left in the game, Pittsburgh had 42 points, so they scored only four the rest of the way. Putting those two ends of halves together, that’s four points in 14:51 of game action.

-As I said on this last post, Louisville’s goal for defensive “kills” in a game is seven. I counted eight for this game. It’s really not complicated. You meet your goal on that and you are putting yourself in position to win the game. A “kill” is three stops in a row on defense.

-At the under eight-minute timeout, the Cards were up 49-42. “Joker and the Thief” was then played and the score the rest of the way was 15-4. Just sayin.

-Another big story in this was that all eight guys in the main rotation made a three pointer, and Jordan Nwora was the last to make one. Talk about having weapons and versatility! At any point, any player in Louisville’s top eight can step out and hit a three. We know that Steven Enoch and Malik Williams can also score in the post. Then you have Nwora and Dwayne Sutton that can catch and drive or catch and shoot. Pick your poison. This team can beat you in a variety of ways on offense. But if you add in the defense they are starting to play, well, I think you know the possibilities for this team.

-The Cards had 17 assists on 23 made field goals. Very good.

-Speaking of assists, Jordan Nwora had two of them and only one turnover! It’s the first game this season that he had more assists than turnovers. His season total is now 10 assists and 20 turnovers.

-I was confused as to why Pitt came out of their zone in the first half. When they went to their 3-2, it was 27-17 Louisville. Here is what the Cards did in the possessions against that zone: Perry turnover, Perry turnover, Kimble turnover, Nwora missed layup, Enoch missed shot, Nwora made three. That made the score 30-21. So while Pitt only cut into the lead by one point, Louisville scored on just one of six possessions. I would have probably stayed in it for another possession to see what happened, but they decided not to. Worked for us.

-Darius Perry and Fresh Kimble each had three turnovers. Neither stood out as playing particularly well this game. It’s going to happen. Guys will have off nights, you just prefer if it’s not two guys at the same position, especially when that position is point guard. I am not overly concerned about this after one game.

-Steven Enoch struggled in this one. He only played 19 minutes, but some of that can be attributed to Malik Williams playing really well. Enoch gave up six quick points to start the second half and came out just two and a half minutes into the half. And think about this for having some tough luck. He is in position to get a good offensive rebound and gets called for a phantom foul. No idea what happened there. But then he catches a big alley-oop on an out of bounds play and all of the energy from that was instantly deflated with Jordan Nwora on the ground and the Yum Center silent. Sorry, Steven. This night just wasn’t meant for you to have big plays. Maybe Tuesday.

-Malik was awesome in this one. He had 13 points and 11 rebounds and never backed down against the toughest team (from a physical standpoint) that Louisville has played this season. He is always in the mix on the glass to keep plays alive on offense or pull down defensive boards. His defense on screens has been very good, and he is obviously a vocal leader on this team. It was very nice to see him have this kind of game and get back into the flow of things.

-Shoutout to Samuell Williamson for stepping in there and taking a charge. The freshman continues to do the little things that make an impact while he is in there. He also got an offensive rebound that ultimately led to his three-pointer in the corner in the first half.

-In their first week this season as the number one team in the country, Louisville definitely impressed and did what they were supposed to do to prove their worthy of the top ranking. Let’s carry this momentum into MSG against Texas Tech on Tuesday!

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