Louisville Cardinals (2-14, 0-5) at Clemson Tigers (13-3, 5-0)
Game Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Littlejohn Coliseum: Clemson, S.C.
Television: Regional Sports Networks (Bally Sports South in Louisville)
Announcers: Evan Lepler (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)
Favorite: Clemson by 16.5
Series: Louisville leads, 8-4
Last Meeting: Louisville won 70-61 on Feb. 19, 2022 in Louisville
Probable Starting Lineups:
- G El Ellis (6-3, 180, Sr.)
- G/F Mike James (6-5, 215, R-Fr.)
- F Jae’Lyn Withers (6-9, 220, R-Jr.)
- F Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (6-10, 250, So.)
- F Sydney Curry (6-8, 270, Sr.)
- G Chase Hunter (6-3, 204, Jr.)
- G Brevin Galloway (6-3, 210, Gr.)
- F Ian Schieffelin (6-7, 230, So.)
- F Hunter Tyson (6-8, 217, Gr.)
- C P.J. Hall (6-10, 245, Jr.)
Louisville, the ACC’s only 0-5 team, heads to Clemson, S.C. on Wednesday night to do battle with the league’s only 5-0 squad. The Tigers have won five in a row since an embarrassing 18-point home loss to Loyola-Chicago on Dec. 10, a run that includes impressive conference wins over NC State, Virginia Tech and Pitt.
Clemson was picked to finish 11th in the preseason ACC media poll, just one spot ahead of Louisville. But the Tigers and Cardinals have seemed to be playing almost different sports up until this point in the season.
Brad Brownell’s team has flourished so far thanks primarily to its scorching shooting (gotta make shots). Clemson is 12th in Division I and first in the ACC in three-point shooting (39.0 percent), and 11th nationally and first in the ACC in free-throw shooting (78.4 percent).
Senior forward Hunter Tyson, who is in his fifth season with the Tigers, has been sensational. The 6’8 Tyson is currently averaging a double-double at 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He’s scored in double figures in every game but one this season, and recently went off for 31 points and a15 rebounds in the team’s win over NC State. He’s a three-level scorer who Louisville will struggle to defend.
Chase Hunter, who is in his fourth season under Brownell, has been playing easily the best basketball of his college career to date. He’s more than doubled his previous bests in nearly every statistical category, including points (14.6 ppg). He has been lethal from behind the arc, where he’s shooting 43.8 percent.
There was concern that junior center PJ Hall might miss the entirety of this season after suffering a knee injury over the summer. Instead, Hall missed just three games and is working his way back towards the all-conference production he was responsible for last season. Hall is a terrific finisher in the paint, an effective shot blocker on the other end, and a guy who can kill you on the offensive glass if you let him.
No team in the ACC has defended the perimeter worse than Louisville so far this season. If that trend continues and Clemson doesn’t have an uncharacteristically subpar shooting night, the Cards are likely up against it. U of L needs to play a full 40 minutes with the same fire and attention to detail that they showed in the second half of Saturday’s loss to Wake Forest.
—Clemson is 5-0 in ACC play for the first time since 1996-97.
—The Tigers have won a program record nine consecutive ACC regular season games.
—Louisville is 1-4 all-time in games at Clemson.
—Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 4-5 all-time in games against Louisville.
—Louisville has lost four games by 1-point this season. That’s the most in U of L history and tied for the most ever by an ACC team.
—Clemson’s Brevin Galloway is one of just nine players who are at least 25 years old playing in Division I this season.
—At 2-14, Louisville is off to its worst start since the 1940-41 season, which saw the Cardinals finish the year at 2-14.
—Louisville is 5-29 over its last 34 games dating back to last season.
—Louisville is 218-13 over the last 20 seasons and 15-1 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards have eclipsed the 80-point mark just once this season.
—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 128-0 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 157 consecutive games when scoring at least 85 points in regulation.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Clemson 79, Louisville 60