December 15, 2012
Rivalry Renewed - Cards face Memphis
Louisville v. Memphis
Saturday, Dec. 15
2:37 p.m. ET
FedEx Forum (18,400),
Television: FOX Sports Net
Radio: WKRD (790 AM)
Louisville plays its second road game of the season as the Cardinals visit the Memphis Tigers on Saturday. UofL beat Missouri Kansas City 99-47 on Dec. 8, forcing 24 turnovers, collecting 16 steals and shooting 56.1 percent from the field. Russ Smith scored a career-high 31 points in the game with seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Memphis (6-2), which opened the season ranked 17th in the AP poll and 16th by ESPN/USA Today but is not currently ranked, beat Austin Peay 83-65 in Memphis last Saturday.
University of Louisville (8-1)
|25||Zach Price ||C||6-10||250||So.||2.0||1.9|
|2||Russ Smith ||G||6-0||165||Jr.||20.3||3.0|
RESERVES: Kevin Ware, G, 6-5, Fr.; Angel Nunez, F, 6-7, Fr.; Russ Smith, G, 6-0, So.; Zach Price, C, 6-10, Fr.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, So.; Jared Swopshire, F, 6-8, Jr.; Elisha Justice, G, 5-10, So.; Wayne Blackshear, G/F, 6-5, Fr.
HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 283-107 in 12th season at UofL and 637-235 in 28th season as collegiate coach.
|4||Adonis Thomas ||F||6-7||240||So.||10.9||3.8|
|1||Joe Jackson ||G||6-1||171||Jr.||10.6||2.6|
|3||Chris Crawford||G||6-4 ||218||Jr.||9.1||4.6|
RESERVES: Ferrakohn Hall, 6-8, Sr.; Antonio Barton, 6-2, Jr.; Tarik Black, 6-9, Jr.; Damien Wilson, 6-6, Fr.; Anthony Cole, 6-0, Fr.; Hippolyte Tsafack, 6-8, So.; Trey Draper, 5-10, Jr.; Charles Holt, 5-10, Sr.; D.J. Stephens, 6-5, Sr.; Geron Johnson, 6-3, Jr.
HEAD COACH: Josh Pastner (Arizona '98) 82-31 in fourth year at Memphis and overall.
Cards By Numbers
1 - Louisville leads the nation in turnover margin (+9.2). The Cards have forced an average of 22.1 turnovers a game, scoring 245 of its 693 points off turnovers (35 percent).
2 - Schools with each of its football and men's and women's basketball teams in the top 25 in the AP poll. UofL (MBB 5, WBB 8, FB 22) and Ohio State are the only two.
9 - National rank for UofL in steals, averaging 12.4 per game. UofL has collected double digit steals in eight of its nine games. Two Cards rank among the national leaders: Russ Smith (3.3/game, fifth nationally) and Peyton Siva (2.7, 17th).
31 - Points scored by Russ Smith vs. Missouri Kansas City, a career high. He matched a career-high with seven rebounds and added five assists and five steals in a productive 27 minutes. He has three or more steals in seven games this season.
88 - Points needed by Peyton Siva to reach 1,000 for his career. UofL has 63 1,000 point scorers, second highest in the nation to North Carolina. Siva is 34th nationally in assists with 5.7 per game.
27 - Turnovers forced by UofL at College of Charleston, matching a season high which is the most for a Cardinal opponent in eight years.
6 - Times this season that Louisville has held its opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half. UofL is eighth nationally in scoring defense.
Louisville plays its second road game of the season as the Cardinals visit the Memphis Tigers on Saturday.
Memphis (6-2), which opened the season ranked 17th in the AP poll and 16th by ESPN/USA Today but is not currently ranked, returns four starters from its team which finished 26-9 a year ago and won the Conference USA title.
The Tigers beat Austin Peay 83-65 in Memphis last Saturday in its last game as Tarik Black scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench. Seven Tigers are averaging at least 7.9 points a game, led by Geron Johnson (11.0). Memphis and Louisville both beat Samford and Northern Iowa in the Battle 4 Atlantis earlier this season.
The Tigers are 35th nationally in field goal percentage (.476), 25th in steals (9.9) and are 36th in rebounding margin (+7.3). Memphis is No. 102 in the ratings percentage index and 42 in the Sagarin Ratings through games of Dec. 9.
Louisville has signed one player who will join the Cardinals next season from Memphis in Northwest Florida State College All-America guard Chris Jones, who led Melrose High School to the Tennessee state Championship as a junior.
Louisville has a 52-34 series advantage over Memphis, the second-most played rivalry for the Cardinals behind Cincinnati.
The Cardinals have won the last three meetings, including a 95-87 victory at the KFC Yum! Center last season (12/17/11).
Series vs. Memphis
Louisville holds a 52-34 advantage over Memphis in the series which began in 1949. U of L has won three straight, four of the last five and eight of the last 12. Memphis has a 15-22 advantage in games played in Memphis. This is the second meeting between the two teams since 2005, when UofL left Conference USA to join the BIG EAST Conference.
In the last meeting between the two schools, seven Cardinals scored in double figures as Louisville won 95-87 over Memphis in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in the KFC Yum! Center last year (12/17/11). Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 24 points and a career-high seven steals -- tying the third most steals ever for a UofL player -- while Gorgui Dieng totaled 14 points, 14 rebounds and blocked six shots. Will Barton led Memphis with 28 points and 16 rebounds.
This 87th meeting makes Memphis the Cardinals' second-most played rivalry behind Cincinnati (96 meetings). The two teams were both members of the Missouri Valley Conference (196-75) and then the Metro Conference when they met for 23 straight seasons (1968-91). Memphis departed the Metro Conference for four years to join the Great Midwest Conference in 1991 and the schools were reunited in Conference USA for 10 years (1995-2005). Memphis will join the BIG EAST Conference next season, but the Cardinals will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference soon.
Twenty-six games in the series have been decided by five points or less and 10 of those were by one or two points.
The two teams met in the Metro Conference Tournament on 12 occasions, with the Cardinals winning eight of those contests. The teams played twice in the Conference USA Tournament and Louisville won both contests (2003, 2005).
Memphis is the only Conference USA opponent UofL will face this season. Louisville has a collective 190-73 all-time series record against current members of Conference USA, having previously faced 10 of its 12 members. U of L won the CUSA title in its final year in the league in 2005.
UofL has a 141-37 record against non-conference opponents in Coach Rick Pitino's 12 seasons (includes post-season), including a 104-10 record at home (12-6 away). The Cardinals are 100-9 at home in egular season non-conference games under Pitino, including a 31-4 mark over the last three seasons
Cards Have Been Tough on the Road
Louisville has the most road victories in BIG EAST Conference games over the last six years (32; five last year, three in 2010-11, four in '09-10, eight of nine in 2008-09, and six in each of the previous two years). Overall, UofL has a 37-22 record over the last six years on their opponent's home court. Louisville has won 27 of its last 46 on the road, including six against Top 25 ranked opponents.
Peyton Siva moved up to fourth in career assists at UofL with six against Missouri Kansas City (500 total now) and is 28 behind No. 3 Phil Bond (1972-77, 500 assists). He is just the fourth player in Uof L history with 500 career assists. Siva's 211 assists in 2011-12 were the second most ever in a UofL single season, 15 behind LaBradford Smith's 226 record assists total in 1989-90. With five steals at College of Charleston, Siva moved up to ninth in career steals (188 now). Siva recently passed 900 points for his career and is 88 short of 1,000.
Russ Smith has 130 steals for his career (30 in nine games this year, 3.3 average). His 87 steals last season set a new UofL record, previously held by Darrell Griffith (1979-80), Tick Rogers (1994-95) and Terrence Williams (2008-09). Smith needs 30 points to reach 700 for his career. Smith needs two free throws for 150 in his career.
Chane Behanan needs 51 points to reach 500 for his career.
Stephen Van Treese needs 24 rebounds for 200 in his career.
Over the last five games, Peyton Siva has averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 assists, 2.8 steals and shot 51 percent from the field (25-of-49, 7-17 three-point goals, .412). Siva had 12 points, five steals and three assists at College of Charleston.
Russ Smith has scored at least 13 points in all nine games this season. He led the Cardinals with 31 points and five steals against Missouri Kansas City, his fourth game this season with 20 or more points. He has led the team in scoring in six of Louisville's nine games.
Tim Henderson scored a career-high six points vs. UMKC on a pair of three-pointers.
Montrezl Harrell scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench against UMKC. It was his fourth game with at least four rebounds and his .634 field goal percentage leads the team.
UofL was down 13 in the first half against Illinois State and trailed 25-33 at halftime. Louisville has rallied from nine or more points down to win on 13 occasions over the last three seasons.
Chane Behanan scored a season-high 15 points against Illinois State, hitting 7-of-8 shots from the field. He led the Cardinals with nine rebounds in the game and has grabbed six or more rebounds in 36 of 49 career games.
Stephan Van Treese played a career-high 34 minutes off the bench against Illinois State, producing six points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. He followed that effort with four points and a season-best 10 rebounds at College of Charleston. Van Treese has averaged 5.5 points and 7.8 rebounds (11-of-15 FG, .733) in the last four games while sharing time at center with Zach Price and replacing injured center Gorgui Dieng. Van Treese played 33 minutes at USF as a sophomore when he totaled career highs of 12 points and 14 rebounds (1/9/11).
Illinois State shot 52.1 percent from the field against Louisville (25-48), marking only the ninth time in the last four seasons that a UofL opponent has shot at least 50 percent from the field (UofL is 2-7 in those games).
Saturday's game at Memphis will be UofL's second true road game. The Cardinals were 6-5 on the road last year and have won 27 of their last 46 on the road.
Louisville is No. 16 in the ratings percentage index and No. 4 in the Sagarin Ratings through games of Dec. 9. The Cardinals' schedule to date is rated No. 26 in the RPI.
One Millionth Fan Approaching
In just its third year in the spectacular facility, fans attending UofL men's basketball games in the KFC Yum! Center will reach one million soon. A total of 989,600 fans have flocked to the arena to watch the Cardinals in 46 games to date. The one millionth mark will likely be passed in the next home game when the Cardinals face FIU in the Billy Minardi Classic on Dec. 19.
Cards Look to Continue Productive Defense
Louisville teams under Rick Pitino have been know for their defensive intensity and this year's unit appears ready to follow in that tradition. Last season, UofL limited its opponents to 60 or fewer points in 23 of its 40 outings.
The Cardinals allowed an average of 61.0 points per game, ranking 32nd best in the nation. UofL was second in the BIG EAST and seventh nationally in steals, averaging 8.8 per game.
Louisville has ranked among the nation's top 35 in field goal percentage defense in eight of the past 10 years, including last season's .384 percentage which ranked sixth nationally and was the school's best since 2003-04 (.382). The Cardinals held 15 of its last 26 opponents last season under 40 percent accuracy from the field, including six of its last nine foes in the BIG EAST and NCAA Championship.
Louisville has allowed 60 points or fewer in 22 of its last 32 home games dating back to the 2010-11 season. Opponents are averaging only 59.2 points per outing in 46 games at the KFC Yum! Center, including 51.4 this season.
How important was defense to the Cardinals during their Final Four run? Louisville's .422 season offensive field goal percentage a year ago was the lowest for a Final Four team in 50 years, since Oregon State shot .406 during the 1961-62 season.
FIU Awaits Next
Louisville returns to the KFC Yum! Center as the Cardinals face the Florida International University Panthers in the 11th Annual Billy Minardi Classic on Wednesday, Dec. 19 (7:07 p.m., WHAS-TV/BIG EAST Network). FIU (3-3, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) is coached by former UofL assistant coach Richard Pitino (2007-09, 2011-12), son of Cards' coach Rick Pitino.
The Panthers beat Stetson 82-79 in their last outing on Dec. 8 and will play at Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 12 prior to facing Louisville. FIU finished 8-21 last year and are picked to finish sixth in the Sun Belt Conference East Division. Uof L will make it back-to-back games against Sun Belt competition when the Cardinals face Western Kentucky in Nashville on Dec. 22.
The Billy Minardi Classic originated in 2002 to honor the memory of Billy Minardi, brother-in-law of UofL Coach Rick Pitino who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Louisville won its only previous meeting against FIU 92-55 in the fifth game played in the KFC Yum! Center (12/1/10) as Preston Knowles' 18 points led five Cardinals in double figures.
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