It’s not easy to get a team ready to play a conference game just one day after an announcement that shook the team, fans, and the university at its core. However, the best therapy for the Cardinals just may have been the short turnaround. The Louisville players needed to be on the court to somewhat remove themselves from the postseason ban announcement made on Friday. At least for two hours.
Boston College was out manned from the outset as Louisville raced out to an early 19 – 2 lead. The Cardinals were playing without fifth-year senior Damion Lee, but did have the services of their other senior Trey Lewis. Lewis led the U of L with 16 points and hit all nine of his free throws. Rick Pitino said this of Lewis, “He was the one I was most worried about with the emotion. I thought he did a very good job.”
The crowd of 21,803 witnessed a Boston College team that was completely dominated on the court, but showed tremendous class before the game. Pitino discussed the class of Boston College saying, “BC, before the game, sent their starters out to half court to address our players and applaud them for the type of season they had and the type of people they are. I thought that was an incredible gesture. It doesn’t surprise me coming from Boston College, but we so appreciate it.”
Without Lee in the lineup the Cardinals were able to see how well freshman Deng Adel could play. He filled in for Lee and played well. He showed an all-around game that should excite the coaches and fans for the future. Adel finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in a season high 34 minutes.
Louisville shot 50.9 percent from the field and outrebounded the Eagles 38 – 30. Chinanu Onuaku showed his muscle once again in the middle finishing with 8 points and 13 rebounds. Jaylen Johnson finished with nine points.
The Cardinals face another short turnaround as they travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the Duke Blue Devils on Monday night.
Monday’s game against Duke begins the last eight games of the season for U of L. It won’t be easy, but they do have an ACC regular season title to play for. Pitino was asked about the team’s goal to win the regular season, “It is. I don’t know if they would acknowledge it. At Kentucky we did it my second year and they didn’t acknowledge it. So, hopefully they would – we’ll give it our best shot. It’s not going to be easy, playing at Duke, at Virginia, at Notre Dame and at Pittsburgh, but we’ll give it our best shot.”