Louisville Cardinals (11-14, 5-10) vs. Clemson Tigers (12-14, 4-11)
Game Time: 3:04 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: Regional Sports Networks (Bally Sports South in Louisville)
Announcers: Bob Rathbun (play-by-play) and Brian Oliver (analyst)
Favorite: Clemson by 1.5
Officials: Brian Dorsey, Tim Clougherty, Tony Henderson
Series: Louisville leads, 7-4
Last Meeting: Clemson won, 54-50, on Jan. 27, 2021 in Clemson
Possible Starting Lineups:
One of just four teams still currently behind Louisville in the ACC standings, Clemson enters Saturday’s game against the Cardinals riding a five-game losing stream. Three of those five losses have come by five points or fewer.
The Tigers are led by sophomore forward PJ Hall, who is coming off a career-high 28 point performance in Tuesday night’s 81-80 loss to Florida State. The 6’10 Hall (16.0 ppg/6.0 rp) is is one of the most improved players in the ACC this season. Hall is up 12.5 in ppg, 4.0 in rpg, 1.5 in apg, and 1.0 blocks per game. He has increased his three-point shooting by nearly 20.0 percent, and despite the increased work load, is shooting 48.8 percent this season, including a 52.1 effective field goal percentage. In conference play only, Hall is averaging 17.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, and shooting 48.3 percent from the field.
Hall is one of four Clemson starters currently averaging double figures in scoring. Guards Al-Amir Dawes (10.9 ppg) and David Collins (10.4 ppg) as well as forward Hunter Tyson (10.4 ppg) are also having very productive offensive seasons. Tyson suffered a broken clavicle in the first half against Florida State (Feb. 2) and currently does not have a timetable for a return.
As a team, Clemson is fifth in the ACC and 42nd nationally in three-point field goal percentage, burying 36.7 percent of its shots from long range. The Tigers are also one of the best teams in the country when it comes to taking care of the ball, turning the ball over on just 16.5 percent of its possessions, the 52nd-best rate in the country.
The other end of the floor has been a bit more of an adventure for Brad Brownell’s team. Clemson enters Saturday ranked 133rd in adjusted defensive efficiency, and they’ve allowed each of their last four opponents to score at least 76 points. The Tigers don’t force turnovers and they’re 243rd in Division-I at defending the three.
Gotta make shots.
—Louisville enters Saturday’s game in the midst of its first seven-game losing streak since 1940-41.
—Louisville is 6-0 all-time in home games against Clemson.
—Clemson assistant coach Kareem Richardson was an assistant at Louisville for one season in 2012-13 when the Cardinals posted a 35-5 record and won the NCAA Championship. He then left to become the head coach at Missouri-Kansas City, where he stayed from 2013-19.
—Jarrod West‘s next assist will be the 500th in his career. West is fourth in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (2.34) and is third in the nation in career steals among active players with 287.
—Clemson is one of just two ACC teams Louisville has failed to beat on the road since joining the conference. Virginia is the other. The Cardinals do not play the Tigers on the road this season.
—Brad Brownell’s 213 wins are the most of any Clemson basketball coach.
—Louisville has an all-time 15-12 record in games played on Feb. 19, winning three of its last four games played on that date.
—According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Louisville is a 1.5-point underdog in this game. The Cardinals are 3-8 straight up as an underdog so far this season, and have lost six straight in that spot.
—Mike Pegues is 5-6 as Louisville’s interim head coach this season, losing all five games since U of L’s parting of ways with former head coach Chris Mack on Jan. 26.
—This is the first time a Louisville team has dropped at least 14 of its first 25 games since the Cardinals started 10-15 in Denny Crum’s final season of 2000-01.
—Louisville is 216-13 over the last 20 seasons and 13-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. That lone defeat came in this year’s 90-83 overtime “loss” to North Carolina.
—Louisville is 166-7 over the past 20 seasons when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 13-0 over the last three.
—Louisville is 14-0 over the past 10 seasons when limiting opponents to no more than one three-point field goal.
—Since 2004, Louisville is 130-0 when leading by more than 10 points at halftime.
—Louisville has won 162 consecutive games when holding an opponent under 50 points.
—Louisville has won 156 consecutive games when scoring at least 85 points in regulation.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Clemson 70, Louisville 69