Louisville Cardinals (0-0) vs. UMBC Retrievers (0-0)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: KFC Yum Center: Louisville, Ky.
Television: ACC Network Extra
Announcers: Kent Taylor (play-by-play) and Jody Demling (analyst)
Favorite: Louisville by 9
Series: First Meeting
Projected Starting Lineups:
- G Skyy Clark (6-3, 205, So.)
- G Tre White (6-7, 205, So.)
- G/F Mike James (6-5, 200, R-So.)
- F J.J. Traynor (6-8, 190, Sr.)
- C Dennis Evans (7-1, 215, Fr.)
- G Dion Brown (6-3, 185, So.)
- G Bryce Johnson (6-4, 190, Jr.)
- G Marlon Short (6-6, 190, Jr.)
- F/C Khydarius Smith (6-8, 220, Gr.)
- F/C Max Lorca-Lloyd (6-9, 230, Gr.)
There will never be another like him.— Louisville Men's Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) November 6, 2023
Tomorrow, we honor the life and legacy of Denny Crum. pic.twitter.com/VmOoHps0ob
Few coaches in America have adopted the transfer portal more completely than UMBC’s Jim Ferry, whose past head coaching stints include a 10 year run at LIU and a five-year stint at Duquesne.
Ferry, who was also an assistant at Penn State from 2017-2020 and the interim head coach in 2020-21, brought in eight newcomers in his second season as the head coach of the retrievers a year ago. That new blood helped the team to an 18-14 overall record and an 8-8 mark in America East play.
Ferry then dipped into the portal even farther this past offseason, bringing in 11 (ELEVEN!) new players to make up his 2023-24 roster. UMBC has just one returner who played significant minutes last year, sophomore guard Dion Brown. Brown appeared in 22 games a season ago, averaging 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 19 minutes per contest. He’s expected to assume a much larger role this season.
The newcomers aren’t exactly highly-touted.
Bryce Johnson averaged 9.6 points per game at Chicago State, perennially one of the worst programs in Division-I. Marcus Banks Jr. comes from Odessa College, where he averaged 7.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Khydarius Smith averaged 7.8 ppg at USC Upstate, and Max Lorca-Lloyd transferred from Penn where he put up 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
There’s a reason the retrievers are in the 300s in a lot of the “ranking all 362 D-I teams” preview pieces that are out there.
With so many newcomers, it’s hard to piece together exactly what the Retrievers are going to look like Monday night, but Ferry’s lengthy coaching history should provide some insight.
Known as a laid-back, “players first” coach, Ferry has typically implemented an up-tempo style of play that is heavy on offense and .... not heavy on defense. His first two UMBC teams have ranked No. 301 and No. 319, respectively, in adjusted defensive efficiency. Louisville should have little trouble finding open shots in this game. Knocking them down, of course, is another challenge.
The “fun and gun” style is one with which Ferry is comfortable. At Long Island, his 2011 and 2012 NEC champions played the 4th and 2nd fastest paced in the nation. UMBC will likely launch a healthy number of threes in what figures to be a high possession game, but they’ll so without letting things get overly sloppy. Ferry’s teams have always been good about valuing possessions, and the Retrievers ranked 13th in the country in turnover percentage a season ago.
—Louisville has won 18 of its last 19 season-openers, and 27 of its last 30. The Cards had won 18 consecutive season-openers before last year’s loss to Bellarmine.
—Louisville had won 21 consecutive home openers before last season’s loss to Bellarmine.
—U of L will honor legendary head coach Denny Crum, who passed away in May, during Monday night’s game. There will be a moment of silence pregame, as well as a ceremony at halftime to unveil Crum’s seat as permanently changed to black and marked in the KFC Yum Center. Players will be wearing a red jacket patch on their uniforms all season.
—UMBC is the only first-time opponent on Louisville’s 2023-24 schedule.
—Louisville is 6-0 all-time in games against opponents from the America East Conference.
—UMBC is 2-18 all-time in games against ACC opponents.
—UMBC is 15-22 all-time in season openers as a member of Division-I.
—The Retrievers last road opening day victory came against Coppin State in 1999-2000.
—Louisville’s 28 losses last season broke the school record for most losses in a season. The previous high was 20 in 1997-98.
—UMBC was third in the America East in scoring last season at 74.3 ppg.
—Louisville lost nine games by 20 points or more last season, the most 20-point losses in one season in the history of Cardinal basketball.
—Louisville is returning 47.1% of its scoring, 57.1% of its rebounding and 28.1% of its assists from last season. They have eight newcomers who together created the sixth-best recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports.
—Louisville has won 89 of its last 95 non-conference games at the KFC Yum Center, a mark which spans over the last 11 seasons.
—Despite going 2-5 last season, Louisville has won 91 of its last 100 non-conference games at the KFC Yum Center, a mark which spans over the last 11 seasons.
—Inside the KFC Yum Center, Louisville has a 98-13 record in non-conference games.
—Louisville is 219-14 over the last 20 seasons and 16-2 over the last three when scoring 80 points or more. The Cards eclipsed the 80-point mark just three times last 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.
Ken Pomeroy Prediction: Louisville 78, UMBC 66