December 21, 2013

Cards in South Beach to face FIU

Louisville vs. FIU
Saturday, Dec. 21
6:07 p.m. ET
U.S. Century Bank Arena (5,000),
Miami, Fla.
Television: FOX Sports 1
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)

Game Look
Louisville opens a four-game stretch on the road as the Cardinals visit FIU in Miami, Fla. on Saturday. Louisville beat Missouri State 90-60 in the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday, using a 16-0 run early to take a 19-4 lead and never look back. The Panthers (8-4) have been idle since Dec. 7 when FIU beat Florida Gulf Coast 72-61 as Tymell Murphy totaled 23 points, three blocked shots and three steals. Rakeem Buckles, who played portions of three seasons at Louisville, added a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

  • FIU (8-4)
    3Jerome FrinkF6-6220So.9.65.2
    15Tymell Murphy F6-5210Sr.16.38.3
    21Rakeem BucklesF6-7215Sr.14.710.5
    1Jason BoswellG6-6205Fr.4.41.7
    22Dennis Mavin G6-3 183Jr.10.04.0

    RESERVES: Raymond Taylor, G, 5-6, Sr.; Cody Mann, G, 6-0, So.; Dee Lewis, G, 6-3, Fr.; Steven Miro, G, 6-3, Sr.; Dominique Williams, G, 6-7, Fr.; Jonas Page, F, 6-7, Fr.; Marco Porcher Jimenez, G, 6-4, Jr.; Ivan Jurkovic, C, 7-0, Sr.; George Naldjieff, F, 6-6, Sr.; Joey De La Rosa, C, 6-11, Jr.

    HEAD COACH: Anthony Evans (St. Thomas Aquinas '94) 8-4 in 1st yr at FIU; 107-98 in 7th yr. overall.

  • University of Louisville (10-1)
    24Montrezl HarrellF6-8235So.13.39.2
    20Wayne BlackshearF6-5230Jr.9.73.0
    12Mangok MathiangC6-10210Fr.3.73.9
    2Russ Smith G6-0165Sr.17.63.2
    3Chris JonesG5-10175Jr.14.92.8

    RESERVES: Stephan Van Treese, C, 6-9, Sr.; Terry Rozier, G, 6-2, Fr.; Anton Gill, G, 6-3, Fr.; Dillon Avare, G, 6-0, Fr.; Kevin Ware, G, 6-2, Jr.; Luke Hancock, G/F, 6-6, Sr.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, Sr.; Chane Behanan, F, 6-6, Jr.; Akoy Agau, F, 6-8, Fr.; David Levitch, G, 6-3, Fr.

    HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 319-112 in 13th season at UofL and 672-240 in 29th season as collegiate coach.

    About FIU
    Louisville opens a four-game stretch on the road as the Cardinals visit FIU in Miami, Fla. on Saturday. The Panthers (8-4) have been idle since Dec. 7 when FIU beat Florida Gulf Coast 72-61 as Tymell Murphy totaled 23 points, three blocked shots and three steals. Rakeem Buckles added a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

    Buckles played portions of three seasons at Louisville before transferring to FIU. He suffered through two ACL injuries with the Cardinals. As a sophomore, he averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 16 games, including 10 starting assignments.He had ranked among the Big East top ten in rebounding before he broke his finger that season.

    Last season, FIU was coached by former UofL assistant coach Richard Pitino (2007-09, 2011-12), son of Cards' coach Rick Pitino. Richard guided FIU to an 18-14 record in his lone season there, producing the most victories at the school since 1997-98. FIU had won a collective 26 games in the three years before his arrival.

    FIU is a member of Conference USA, a league in which Louisville was a founding member and participated in for 10 seasons (1995-2005). Louisville beat C-USA member Southern Mississippi 69-38 earlier this season (11/29/13).

    Louisville has won its only two previous matchups against FIU: last season's 79-55 UofL victory in the Billy Minardi Classic as Wayne Blackshear totaled 18 points and eight rebounds (box score on page 3 of these notes); and a 92-55 UofL win in the fifth game played in the KFC Yum! Center (12/1/10) as Preston Knowles' 18 points led five Cardinals in double figures.

    Located in Miami, Fla. with an enrollment of 50,000, FIU is the alma mater of actor Andy Garcia, Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, former Boston Celtics/Miami Heat guard Carlos Arroyo and former Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

    Happy Holidays
    The Cardinals have enjoyed success in recent years with its last game before Christmas. Louisville has won 11 of its last 12 games played before Christmas under U of L Coach Rick Pitino. All but three of those have been UofL home games. The Cardinals beat Western Kentucky on Dec. 22, 2012 in U of L's last game before Christmas last season.

    Taking Care of the Ball
    Louisville leads the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.1) and is ninth in assists-to-turnovers ratio (1.65) through games of Dec. 15. Louisville has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 10 of its last 14 games, including the last three games of the Cardinals' 2013 championship season. Louisville has committed just 100 turnovers in its 11 games this season.

    Cardinal Spurts
    Over its first 11 games of the season, Louisville has produced 30 runs of 8-0 or better, including a 16-0 run in its last game against Missouri State. The Cardinals have forced their opponents into 28 scoring droughts of three minutes or more, including holding Missouri State scoreless during a 7:02 first-half stretch in their last game. UofL had five scoring runs of 8-0 or better against Cornell, including a season-best 20-0 scoring blast early in the game.

    Card File
  • Louisville is 23-4 in the month of December over the last four years (since 2010).

  • Albeit only through 11 games, the Cards' team scoring average of 86.3 points per game is just over the school record of 86.0 points per game, accomplished by the Cardinals' 1956 NIT Championship team. UofL has scored 90 or more points on five occasions this year, three more than during the entire 2012-13 season.

  • Louisville has won five games by a 30-point margin this season and eight of its 11 by at least 22 points. Louisville leads the nation in scoring margin (+25.7).

  • UofL shot 51.5 percent from the field vs. Missouri State, its sixth game at 50 percent or better this year.

  • Louisville made nine three-point goals against UMKC, its sixth time in 11 games with at least nine in a game.

  • Montrezl Harrell has grabbed eight or more rebounds in eight games this season, including a 17-points, eight rebounds effort vs. Missouri State.

  • The remainder of Louisville's games this season will appear on national television.

    Career Milestones
  • With 11 points against Missouri State in its last game, Russ Smith moved up to No. 25 in career scoring at Louisville with 1,418 points, 10 behind Dwayne Morton (1,428, 1991-94) and Rick Wilson (1,428, 1974-78).

  • With three steals vs. Louisiana Lafayette, Russ Smith passed the career 200 steals mark. He is currently eighth in career steals at UofL with 203, 45 behind the career record of 254 set by Peyton Siva.

  • Against Western Kentucky, Luke Hancock passed 400 points in his second season with the Cardinals. Hancock has reached 1,007 career points between both George Mason and Louisville.

  • Stephan Van Treese passed 300 career rebounds in his last game.

    Jones Back From Injury
    Chris Jones sprained his right wrist in practice on Dec. 12. He missed the Dec. 14 WKU game, but returned to play vs. Missouri State on Dec. 17, scoring nine points in 19 minutes of action. The 2013 junior college player of the year, Jones has averaged 14.3 points (second on team) and 2.4 assists with only 14 turnovers in his 10 games. Jones made his debut with the Cards by totaling 12 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and no turnovers vs. College of Charleston.

    Kentucky Awaits Next
    Louisville plays its second of a four consecutive road games as the Cardinals visit intrastate rival Kentucky in Lexington on Saturday (Dec. 28, 4 p.m. ET, CBS). The Wildcats (8-3), ranked 19th by AP and 21st in the USA Today polls, are coming off a loss to North Carolina -- a team that be at Louisville 93-84 on Nov. 24. Kentucky will play Belmont on Dec. 21 prior to facing the Cardinals.

    Freshman forward Julius Randle has eight double-doubles this season and averages a team-high 17.2 points and 11.4 rebounds. Sophomore forward Willie Cauley-Stein is fourth in the nation in blocked shots, swatting 48 shots on the season.

    Kentucky is fourth nationally blocked shots (7.7), fifth in rebound margin (+12.4), and 12th in field goal percentage defense (.372). Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne played at Louisville from 1985-89 and totaled 1,083 career points.

    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.

    Louisville trails the all-time series against Kentucky 15-30, but won last year's matchup in Louisville 80-77 (12/29/12) as Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 21 points and seven rebounds. The campuses are 78 miles apart, connected by Interstate 64.

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