The No. 12 ranked Louisville Cardinals had to change their flight plans yesterday to get out of the ice
cold weather of Louisville. They flew into Tampa on a hot streak and left even hotter as they dismantled
the South Florida Bulls 86 – 47.
Louisville won their fourth consecutive game with hot shooting and stifling defense. The Cardinals shot
a blistering 52.2 percent from three point range making 12 of 23. They were 30 of 59 overall for 50.8
percent. Louisville coach Rick Pitino was once again excited about his team’s performance. “We have
now played four really good games in a row and our interior play is improving…” Pitino stated.
Wayne Blackshear came off of the bench for his third straight game to lead five Cardinal double figure
scorers with 16 points. He is averaging 16 points on 65.4 percent shooting over the past three games off
of the bench. He has been on fire from three point range shooting 64.3 percent on 9 of 14 shooting.
Blackshear looks more comfortable than ever in a Cardinal uniform coming off of the bench. He has
been much more confident with the ball in his hands and he has not been afraid to shoot the ball.
Defense has been the main issue with Blackshear. Foul trouble limited him in the early part of the
season. However, the past three games he has only committed six total fouls and has averaged 4.3
The Cardinals imposed their will early on and never let up the entire game. Their defensive pressure
never let up as they scored 35 points off of 23 South Florida turnovers. Louisville once again took care
of the ball committing only 10 turnovers. South Florida was held to 36.4 percent shooting overall and
made only 1 of their 8 three point shots.
Montrezl Harrell continues to improve each game as he had another double-double with 14 points
and 10 rebounds. His low post play over the past five games has been a much needed boost for the
Cardinals. He has four double-doubles in his past five games.
The Cardinals get eight days off until their next matchup against Cincinnati in the KFC Yum Center.
This is a huge matchup between the top two teams in the American Athletic Conference. The home
crowd will be strong as this will be the last matchup in the Yum Center between these two long-time
Louisville guard Chris Jones is expected to return to the lineup against Cincinnati after missing the last
three games with an injury. It will be interesting to see if Pitino puts him back in the starting lineup or
brings him off the bench. Freshman Terry Rozier has played well in his absence and Louisville’s team
chemistry has never been better this season.
When asked about Chris Jones’ return to the lineup Pitino stated, “We play well with Chris as well. It’s
just that Terry understands Russ. Peyton understands Russ. Chris doesn’t totally understand Russ and
that’s what he has got to get.”
The truth is that Chris Jones is a vital part of the Louisville basketball team whether he starts or is
coming off of the bench. The Cardinals are on a roll. It is time to see if it can continue.