January 3, 2009

Cats vs. Cards

Kentucky v. Louisville
Sunday, Jan. 4
4:30 p.m. EST
Crum Court / Freedom Hall
Louisville, Ky.
TV: CBS
Radio: WKRD (790 AM)
Series History: UofL trails 13-26



Game Look
Louisville will play its first game of the new year with its third straight at home as the Cardinals face intrastate rival Kentucky in Freedom Hall on Sunday in U of L's final non-conference outing of the season. Louisville fell for the second time in three games, losing 55-56 to UNLV in Freedom Hall on New Year's Eve. The Cards made just 29.6 percent of its shots in the game, and have hit a collective 31.3 percent from the field in its three losses. Kentucky (11-3) has won six straight and 11 of its last 12 games, beating Central Michigan 84-52 in its last outing on Dec. 29.

  • Kentucky (11-3) - Projected Starters
    No.PlayerPos.Ht.Wt.Yr.Pts.Rb.
    21Perry StevensonF6-9207Jr.6.96.2
    54Patrick PattersonF6-9235So.19.39.4
    13Michael PorterG6-3198Jr.3.12.2
    23Jodie Meeks G6-4208Jr.24.13.1
    34DeAndre Liggins G6-6202Fr.6.83.0


    RESERVES: Darius Miller, 6-7, 223, FR; Matt Scherbenske, 6-1, 178, JR; Kevin Galloway, 6-7, 215, JR; Landon Slone, 6-3, 188, FR; Adam Delph, 6-1, 161, FR; Mark Krebs, 6-5, 207, JR; Mark Halsell, 5-11, 182, FR; A.J. Stewart, 6-7, 218, SO; Ramon Harris, 6-7, 218, JR; Donald Williams, 6-3, 205, FR; Dwight Perry, 6-1, 173, JR; Jared Carter, 7-2, 270, SR; Josh Harrellson, 6-10, 265, SO;

    HEAD COACH: Billy Gillispie (Texas St. '83) 29-16 in 2nd yr. at UK; 129-74 in 7th yr. overall.

  • University of Louisville (8-3) - Projected Starters
    No.PlayerPos.Ht.Wt.Yr.Pts.Rb.
    1Terrence WilliamsF6-6215Sr.11.68.8
    5Earl Clark F6-9225Jr.13.18.6
    24Samardo SamuelsC6-9260Fr.14.17.0
    2Preston KnowlesG6-1190So.7.22.6
    34Jerry SmithG6-1200Jr.7.72.7


    RESERVES: Edgar Sosa, G, 6-2, Jr.; Reginald Delk, G, 6-4, Jr. ; Kyle Kuric, G, 6-4, Fr.; Will Scott, G, 6-4, Sr.; George Goode, F, 6-8, Fr.; Terrence Jennings, F, 6-9, Fr.; Lee Steiden, F, 6-4, 190, So.; Andre McGee, G, 5-10, Sr.; Jared Swopshire, F, 6-8, Fr.

    HEAD COACH: In his 23rd season as collegiate head coach and eighth at Louisville, U of L Coach Rick Pitino has compiled a 528-194 overall record (173-70 at U of L).


    Cards by Numbers
    31.3 - Collective shooting percentage for the Cardinals in its three losses this season (51-of-163). Conversely, U of L has hit 47 percent of its shots in its eight victories.

    2 - U of L players with double-doubles against UAB. Terrence Williams had his 12th career double-double with a season-high 21 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots vs. the Blazers while Samardo Samuels totaled 17 points and 11 rebounds in his second double-double of the season.

    11 - U of L's rebounding advantage over UNLV in its last game. The Cardinals have held a double-digit rebounding advantage in seven of its last eight games.

    11 - Points by Preston Knowles vs. UNLV to lead the Cardinals. He has averaged 10.4 points over the last five games.

    400 - Milestone in career assists reached by Terrence Williams vs. UAB. His 411 career assists ranks eighth at Louisville. He leads the Cards and is fifth in the BIG EAST with 5.0 assists per game this year. He was on the league honor roll this week.

    25 - Career-high points scored by Earl Clark vs. Ole Miss, adding a career best 16 rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists. He needs six rebounds for 500 in his career.

    1 - Ranking of Samardo Samuels among freshmen scorers all-time for U of L, averaging 14.7 points. He has scored in double digits in nine of his 11 games.


    About Kentucky
    Louisville will play its first game of the new year with its third straight at home as the Cardinals face intrastate rival Kentucky in Freedom Hall on Sunday in U of L's final non-conference outing of the season (Jan. 4, 4:30 p.m., CBS). Kentucky (11-3) has won six straight and 11 of its last 12 games, beating Central Michigan 84-52 in its last outing. The Wildcats are led by 6-4 guard Jodie Meeks, who leads the Southeastern Conference and is sixth nationally in scoring averaging 24.1 points per game, and 6-9 forward Patrick Patterson, who has eight double-doubles this season and averages 19.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.Kentucky is in the top 20 nationally in blocked shots (3rd, 7.8 per game), field goal percentage (10th, .512), free throw percentage (11th, .779), field goal percentage defense (16th, .367) and assists (20th, 18.8).

    UK is No. 78 in the RPI and No. 38 in the Sagarin Ratings (through games of Jan. 2). Louisville trails Kentucky 13-26 in the intrastate series which dates back to 1913. The two teams had not met in regular season play for 62 years before the current series was renewed in 1983; the rivals have met all 26 seasons since. In last year's meeting, Juan Palacios and Jerry Smith each scored 17 points as five players scored in double figures to lead Louisville to an 89-75 victory in Lexington (1/5/08).

    U of L Coach Rick Pitino coached eight years at Kentucky (1989-97, 219-50 record), including guiding the Wildcats to the 1996 NCAA Championship and a 1997 national runner-up finish. A retired jersey hangs in his honor in Rupp Arena.

    U of L assistant coach Steve Masiello played at Kentucky under Rick Pitino (1996-97) and Tubby Smith (1997-2000). He was a member of the Wildcats' 1998 NCAA Championship team and was a team co-captain as a senior. U of L assistant coach Walter McCarty played at Kentucky under Rick Pitino and was a member of the Wildcats' 1996 NCAA Championship team as a senior when he averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. McCarty had 12 points and nine rebounds against Louisville his senior year (12/23/95) and totalled 17 points and nine rebounds as a junior (1/1/95). U of L's Yum! Center director Vinny Tatum was a student manager at UK from 1990-93 while Pitino was the head coach there.

    Series vs. Kentucky
  • Louisville trails Kentucky 13-26 in the intrastate series which dates back to 1913.
  • Kentucky has won three of the last four meetings and the Wildcats hold a 17-9 edge since the series resumed in 1983. Current U of L Coach Rick Pitino had a 6-2 record as the Wildcats head coach in games against Louisville.
  • The two teams had not met in regular season play for 62 years before the current series was renewed in 1983; the rivals have met all 26 seasons since.
  • In last year's meeting, Juan Palacios and Jerry Smith each scored 17 points as five Cardinals scored in double figures to lead Louisville to an 89-75 victory over Kentucky in Lexington (1/5/08). UK held a 31-30 halftime advantage, but the Cardinals opened an 18-4 run in the first six minutes of the second half to build a lead it would not relinquish. Louisville hit 33-of-46 free throws, its most made in a game in 10 years. Ramel Bradley scored 27 points to lead the Wildcats.
  • Two years ago in Freedom Hall, UK guard Jodie Meeks scored 18 points to lead Kentucky past Louisville 61-49 (12/16/06). The Cardinals, which shot a season-low 27 percent from the field for the game, were led by David Padgett's 16 points and 10 rebounds.
  • The two teams have met in NCAA Tournament competition on four occasions, with each team winning two of those games. The most recent was a 72-67 Kentucky victory in the 1984 NCAA Mideast Regional semifinal in Lexington (3-22-84). U of L won 80-68 in overtime in the 1983 Mideast Regional championship in Knoxville, Tenn. in a game labeled as the first "Dream Game."
  • U of L has a collective 76-56 all-time record against current members of the SEC and trail only two of the 12 teams in all-time series results. Louisville has won 10 of its last 13 games against SEC competition over the last seven seasons. Louisville beat SEC member Ole Miss 77-68 earlier this season in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio on Dec. 18.

    Early Drought
    The Cardinals got off to a slow start from the field against UNLV. Louisville didn't record its first field goal until 11:31 left (a span of 8:29) in the first half when Edgar Sosa scored on a goal-tending call. The Cardinals recorded its first field goal that actually went through the net on a jumper by Preston Knowles with 7:25 remaining, making the Cardinals 2-of-17 from the field at the time and trailing 22-10.

    Quick Numbers on the Season
  • Louisville is unbeaten (8-0) when shooting better from the field than its opponent, outscoring its opponent's bench, leading at halftime and leading with five minutes to go.
  • Louisville has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in eight of 11 games. U of L has had 14 or fewer turnovers in each of those eight games.
  • Louisville has made eight or more three-point goals in seven games this season. U of L is 7-0 when it makes more than seven three point goals.
  • Louisville has held a rebounding advantage in nine games, including seven of the last eight by double digits. U of L is 7-2 in those games.
  • Louisville has held its opponents below 40 percent shooting from the field on six occasions.
  • Louisville has handed out 19 or more assists seven times.
  • Louisville has made more than 70 percent of its free throws on just five occasions this season and has never made as many as 80 percent at the line. The Cards did produce their second best performance of the season in their last game, hitting 77.3 percent of its free throws vs. UNLV (17-of-22). The Cards have shot below 65 percent from the line in six of the past nine games.

    Career Milestones in Reach
    Terrence Williams, 34th in career scoring at U of L with 1,229 points, needs 16 to reach No. 33 Kenny Reeves (1,245 pts., 1946-50), 18 points to reach No. 32 Rodney McCray (1,247 pts., 1979-83) and 21 points to reach No. 31 Jerry Eaves (1,250 pts., 1978-82) ... Williams, eighth in career three-point goals with 152, will move up to seventh with four more three-pointers ... Williams, eighth in career assists at U of L with 411, needs 21 assists to move up to seventh. He handed out his 400th assist vs. UAB two games ago ... Williams made his 100th career start against Minnesota three games ago ... Earl Clark grabbed his 500th career rebound in his last game against UNLV ... Andre McGee needs seven steals for 100 in his career. He played in his 100th game at U of L against UAB ... Jerry Smith snatched his 100th career steal vs. Lamar. He is nine three pointers away from reaching the top ten in career three-point goals ... Will Scott needs 12 points for 200 in his career.

    Two Top 20 Teams
    Louisville is one of the teams with both its men's and women's basketball teams ranked in the top 20 nationally (also North Carolina, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Duke, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, Tennessee). U of L's women's team, led by consensus All-America forward Angel McCoughtry, is ranked 10th by AP and 13th in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

    Trends
    U of L is 104-5 over the last nine seasons when scoring 80 or more points (77-5 under Pitino; 9-1 in '07-08, 5-0 this year) ... Over the past 10 years, Louisville is 83-7 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field (11-1 in '07-08, 3-0 this year) ... U of L is 137-25 when holding its opponent below 70 points over the past eight years under Pitino (23-3 in '07-08, 7-2 this year).

    Cards May Lose Early Often, But ...
    U of L has lost at least one of its first four games in 23 of the last 26 years, including 11 of the last 12 seasons. That includes 18 NCAA Tournament teams - nine that advanced to the final 16 teams or farther - and the Cards' 1986 NCAA Championship team, which lost twice in its first four games. Twenty of U of L Coach Rick Pitino's 23 collegiate teams have lost within the first six games of the year.

    Defense Wasn't the Issue
    While the Cardinals fell 55-56 to UNLV in its last outing, U of L kept itself in the game while it's offense was struggling with good defense. The Cards held the Runnin' Rebels without a field goal from the 13:27 mark to 3:57 in the second half and limited UNLV to just six field goals in the second half. U of L collected 10 steals in the game, led by Terrence Williams' five steals.


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