-A win on the road in the ACC is always a good thing. It wasn’t perfect, as it rarely is. The Cards played well enough to build a lead and withstand a furious rally from the Irish to leave South Bend with the win. That’s a good thing.
-Dwayne Sutton was not having the best shooting performance. He was 2-9 and then he turned into Steph Curry in the final three and a half minutes. He made his first three to give the Cards a 60-59 lead with 3:27 left to play. He made his next one with 2:02 remaining and took the shot with no hesitation at all. This gave Louisville a 65-62 lead and they never trailed (or were tied) again. Huge…courage by Dwayne.
-I thought David Johnson played really well in this game. He only had one turnover in 13 minutes and chipped in five points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal. I highlighted a couple of his plays in the film review. He just brings something different to the position that the other guys can’t. I’m not saying to play him 30 minutes per game, but getting around 15 for now seems to be ideal. Keep improving and building that confidence.
-I’m giving Steven Enoch a pass for this game since Chris Mack said he was sick. He just didn’t seem like himself. But I will say that aside from giving up the alley-oop on the inbounds play, his defense was improved. He hedged screens and got back to his man quicker, and he deflected a post-entry pass and came up with the steal. He just seemed more active on that end of the floor, so that’s a plus. But he has been a beast in the post for the majority of the year, so he is allowed to have an off game.
-Malik Williams dunked the ball. That needs to be said.
-Jordan Nwora assist to turnover update for this game was one of each, bringing his season totals to 22 assists and 37 turnovers. His assists per game are at 1.4 (1.3 last year) and his turnovers are at 2.3 (2.4 last year).
-Speaking of Nwora, I don’t think he forced much in this one. He took some deep or quick shots, but they didn’t seem forced or challenged, like we sometimes see when he hasn’t shot in a while so he takes the first look he has. He was 7-15 from the field and 4-8 from three so he was efficient and finished with 20 points. I thought he played really well in this one. But, for the love of everything, GO AFTER THAT BALL AT THE END OF THE GAME!
-Fresh Kimble continues to play with confidence and he made a couple of big layups down the stretch. Louisville hadn’t scored in over two minutes and were trailing 59-55 when he made his first one. Then with the Cards up 65-62 (from the Sutton three), he drove and got another score to push the lead to 67-62 with 1:15 left to play. He was 3-4 from the field with six points, and also had four assists with only one turnover. Very solid game.
-Darius Perry can’t continue to have games where you think he has figured it out and then play like he did on Saturday. Box scores don’t tell everything, but this one seems pretty accurate: 17 minutes, one point, zero rebounds, one assist, two turnovers, zero steals. And a very bad sequence that you will see in the film review.
-He only played 10 minutes and didn’t score, but I continue to be impressed by how well Samuell Williamson attacks the glass and grabs rebounds. For what it’s worth, he didn’t shoot, so the no scoring isn’t a shock there.
-I have somehow made it this far without mentioning Ryan McMahon. Talk about someone having it all going against the Irish. He was making threes and getting to the rim. A couple of hesitation dribbles and crossovers were very impressive and he was definitely in the zone. Check out the play in the film review where David Johnson ends up with a dunk. Ryan McMahon helps that play happen and all he does is stand in the corner. That’s what he brings when he is on the floor. He takes away a defender’s ability to play help defense. There are some games where it’s just a bad matchup for him. This wasn’t one of them.
-In the end, Louisville went to South Bend and left with a victory. That’s something that only Chris Mack and David Padgett can say they were apart of as the head coach. So it may not be the best Notre Dame team of all time, but it’s an ACC win. The Irish got hot in the second half and buried some threes to get back into the game and even take the lead, and Louisville didn’t fold. They made enough plays to get the win. Of course we want them to take that 12-point halftime lead and make it 20 and run away with it, but we sometimes forget that the other team is trying to win the game too. Notre Dame played hard and they never quit. Louisville’s veterans (and David Johnson) did what they had to do, and I am happy with the victory.
This is a good defensive possession by Jordan Nwora. Stays in his stance, makes necessary switches and communicates, finishes with a solid closeout on the shot. Next step is being consistent with this. pic.twitter.com/Wo0H0qNd2e— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
Ryan McMahon had it all going in the first half. I just had to put this one on here. The hesitation followed by the crossover and finish deserve a spot on this. pic.twitter.com/kq9BGwDw0a— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
This is subtle, but good for the freshman to realize. Samuell Williamson isn’t in position to box out, so he moves his man just a little further under the basket so he becomes in position to grab the board. Didn’t extend his arms enough for it to be called. pic.twitter.com/KNgdrfdGh4— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
For some reason, the bottom guy in the 2-3 zone comes up free throw line extended to cover Fresh Kimble and leaves McMahon open in the corner. Probably not the best move, and the other ND defender gives him a look (or two) after the shot goes in. pic.twitter.com/G4thqCxY6l— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
This is just something that other point guards on the roster can’t give you. Nice spin and jump hook from David Johnson. pic.twitter.com/kYZ37C5Hty— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
More David Johnson. He uses a screen and his man recovers, but Johnson still beats him, draws a help defender, and he dishes for the Malik Williams dunk. You read those last three words right. pic.twitter.com/cBhj236T3s— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
I love this play. When Nwora catches it, he has to time his turn so he sets a little screen on Johnson’s man. And he has to turn outside like that. Running it to McMahon’s side gives you an open lane because his man won’t be helping off and if he is, you kick to the corner. pic.twitter.com/HE5kaTn8b8— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
Jordan Nwora buries the three, which is great. But then he huddles the team and is vocal with them when the timeout is called. This is a big deal to me. Maybe not “film review” material, but deserves to be pointed out. pic.twitter.com/CR5EAn9xun— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020
Dwayne Sutton was not having a good shooting game, but he buried two huge threes in the closing minutes. I love the confidence and no hesitation on this one. Good one to end one. pic.twitter.com/MgeAvLCGwE— Justin Renck (@JustinRenck) January 13, 2020