Louisville Cardinals (2-12, 0-3) vs. Syracuse Orange (9-5, 2-1)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Announcers: Dave O’Brien (play-by-play) and Cory Alexander (analyst)
Favorite: Syracuse by 9
Series: Louisville leads, 19-11
Last Meeting: Syracuse won 92-69 on Feb. 5, 2022 in Syracuse
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 Judah Mintz (6-3, 172, Fr.)
- G Joseph Girard III (6-1, 190, Sr.)
- F Chris Bell (6-7, 180, Fr.)
- F Benny Williams (6-9, 108, So.)
- C Jesse Edwards (6-11, 230, Sr.)
After an extremely disappointing 3-4 start, Syracuse enters Tuesday night’s game at Louisville having won six of its last seven contests. Most recently, the Orange returned from an 11-day layoff to knock off Boston College, 79-65, on New Year’s Eve.
For the fourth year or so in a row, this is a Syracuse team that has looked good enough offensively, but which has really struggled to successfully employ Jim Boeheim’s vaunted 2-3 zone. The Orange have three players averaging better than 14.0 ppg and are 66th in adjusted offensive efficiency, but rank just 117th in the same category for defense.
Shoot first (and second and third) lead guard Joe Girard is back for his senior season and currently leads the team in scoring at 15.9 ppg. He will pull from anywhere on the floor and has the potential to go off for a crazy number if Louisville is as poor at locating him on the floor as they have with other elite shooters throughout this season.
Highly-touted freshman Judah Mintz has been living up to his high school hype, and is averaging 15.8 ppg. A potential first round pick in this year’s NBA draft, Mintz has scored more points than all but three other freshmen in Division-I so far this season.
HOLY POSTER— SLAM University (@slam_university) November 30, 2022
Judah Mintz is like that. pic.twitter.com/OboCE0TiFZ
The biggest change in production this season for Syracuse has come from 6’11 senior big man Jesse Edwards. He’s currently averaging a double-double at 14.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Edwards is also one of the nation’s leading shot blockers (3.0 bpg) and has swatted four or more shots seven times already this season.
What Syracuse does well: Take care of the ball, have scorers at every level, knock down outside shots, block shots, force turnovers.
What Syracuse does not do well: Defensive rebound, get to the free-throw line, score in transition, locate opposing shooters.
—Louisville is 10-4 all-time in home games against Syracuse.
—The Cardinals are off to an 0-3 start in conference play for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
—Syracuse ranks seventh in Division I and first in the ACC in blocked-shot average (5.9).
—SU center Jesse Edwards ranks first in the ACC in field goal percentage (.634), rebounds (153), and blocked-shot average (3.0).
—At 2-12, Louisville is off to its worst start since the 1940-41 season.
—Louisville is 5-27 over its last 32 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: Syracuse 72, Louisville 64