Just four days removed from a humbling home loss to Furman, the Louisville men’s basketball team bounced back with easily its most impressive performance of the young season to date.
The Cardinals hit 10 three-pointers and shot 56.0 percent from the field as a team in a 77-60 rout of a Navy team that knocked off Virginia in Charlottesville last week.
Matt Cross came off the bench to knock down all four of his three-point attempts to finish with a team-high 14 points. Jae’Lyn Withers was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, chipping in 11 points to go along with three steals. Noah Locke (12) and Sameull Williamson (13) also scored in double figures.
The most notable difference from Friday night to tonight came on the defensive end. Louisville played with a renewed energy and level of focus, resulting in 19 turnovers from a Navy team that is typically very tight with the ball. The Midshipmen were also limited to a dismal 3-for-21 shooting from beyond the arc.
I can only speak for myself, but after last week, the only thing (in addition to a win) I wanted to see from these guys tonight was focus and effort. Basically, I wanted to see this team send a message to everyone that it does, in fact, give a shit. Consider that box checked. Now, it shouldn’t even need to be a talking point.
The execution can come and go, the shooting can be off, but being locked in and playing every game as if it was the most important game in the history of basketball should be a given. It has to be for this team to have any shot at being special.
For tonight, at least, the Cards appeared to possess that potential.