January 3, 2014
Cards head north to Rutgers
Louisville vs. Rutgers
Saturday, Jan. 4
6 p.m. ET
Rutgers Athletic Center (8,000),
Television: CBS Sports Network
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Louisville will play its first game of the new year and its fourth straight on the road as the Cardinals play at AAC foe Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday. Louisville bolted to a 23-4 lead and hit a season-high 14 three pointers as the Cardinals won 90-65 at UCF in their conference opener on New Year's Eve. Russ Smith totaled 24 points, nine assists and four steals in the game. The Scarlet Knights (7-7) have won their last three games, including a 71-66 victory over Temple in their AAC opener on Jan. 1 as Kadeem Jack led Rutgers with 18 points.
University of Louisville (12-2)
|2||Russ Smith ||G||6-0||165||Sr.||17.6||3.2|
RESERVES: Stephan Van Treese, C, 6-9, Sr.; Terry Rozier, G, 6-1, 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.; Akoy Agau, F, 6-8, Fr.; David Levitch, G, 6-3, Fr.
HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 321-113 in 13th season at UofL and 674-241 in 29th season as collegiate coach.
|44||J.J. Moore||G||6-6 ||215||Sr.||12.8||3.9|
RESERVES: Malick Kone, G/F, Jr., 6-5; Jerome Seagears, G, Jr., 6-1; Kerwin Okoro, G/F, So., 6-5; Craig Brown, G/F, Jr., 6-5; Stephen Zurich, F, So., 6-5; Jalen Hyde, G, So., 5-8; Khalil Batie, G, Fr., 5-10; Greg Lewis, F, So., 6-9; D'Von Campbell, G, Jr., 5-11
HEAD COACH: Eddie Jordan (Rutgers) 7-7 in first year at Rutgers and overall.
Louisville will play its first game of the new year and its fourth straight on the road as the Cardinals play at American Athletic Conference foe Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights (7-7) have won their last three games, including a 71-66 victory over Temple in their AAC opener on Jan. 1 as Kadeem Jack led Rutgers with 18
Myles Mack is Rutgers' top scorer, averaging 16.1 points per game. He has 11 double-digit scoring efforts this season and 49 for his career. Kadeem Jack is the Scarlet Knights' top rebounder, averaging 7.0 rebounds and 14.3 points with 20 blocked shots on the season. Head coach Eddie Jordan, who helped Rutgers reach the 1976 Final Four as a player, is in his first year guiding the Scarlet Knights.
Louisville and Rutgers are short-time members of the American as the Cardinals will leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers to the Big Ten next season. Rutgers will play at Louisville later this year on Feb. 16.
UofL guard Russ Smith played with Rutgers senior J.J. Moore at South Kent (Conn.) Prep in 2009-10. Rutgers is No. 220 in the ratings percentage index (RPI) and 207th in the Sagarin ratings through games of Jan. 2.
Louisville has an 11-1 series record against Rutgers, winning the last seven straight. The Cardinals prevailed 68-48 in last year's matchup at Rutgers (2-6-13) as Wayne Blackshear led UofL with 19 points in 14 minutes off the bench.
Taking Care of the Ball
Louisville is sixth in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.6) and is 14th in assists-to-turnovers ratio (1.65) through games of Dec. 29. Louisville has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 11 of its last 17 games, including the
last three games of the Cardinals' 2013 championship season. Louisville has committed just 134 turnovers in its 14 games this season. The Cardinals have one more steal than turnovers on the season.
UofL shot 54.8 percent from the field at UCF, its seventh game at 50 percent or better this year. Collectively in its last six games, the Cardinals have shot 51.2 percent from the field. Louisville hit the 50 percent mark on 10 occasions in 2012-13.
Six Louisville players are averaging at least eight points over the last six games.
The Cardinals handed out a season-best 28 assists against UCF last Tuesday on its 34 field goals for the game. It was the most assists for a Louisville team in 127 games (since handing out 29 vs Chattanooga in a 106-65 win on Nov. 22, 2010).
Albeit only through 14 games, the Cards' team scoring average of 85.0 points per game is just under 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 six occasions this year, four more than during the entire 2012-13 season.
Louisville has won five games by a 30-point margin this season and 10 of its 14 by at least 22 points. Louisville leads the nation in scoring margin (+23.6).
Montrezl Harrell has grabbed eight or more rebounds in nine games this season, including a 15-point, eight rebound effort at UCF.
Series vs. Rutgers
Louisville has won 11 of its 12 previous meetings with Rutgers and the Cardinals have won the last seven straight.
In last year's meeting, Louisville opened the second half with a 23-4 run to pull away and post a 68-48 victory at Rutgers last season (2-6-13). Wayne Blackshear led UofL with 19 points in 14 minutes off the bench and Gorgui Dieng blocked a season-high six shots. Eli Carter scored 13 points to lead Rutgers, which shot 32 percent from the field.
Rutgers' lone victory between the two schools was a 65-56 decision on Jan. 28, 2006 in Piscataway as Quincy Douby scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Scarlet Knights. Louisville, which shot just 33.9 percent from the field, was led by Taquan Dean's 13 pts.
In the first meeting between the two schools, Louisville beat then 15th-ranked Rutgers 91-78 in the first round of the 1975 NCAA Tournament (3/15/75) on the Cardinals' drive to the NCAA Final Four that season.
U of L Coach Rick Pitino has an 8-1 record against Rutgers. In addition to the last eight meetings while at Louisville, Pitino's 1992-93 Kentucky team which reached the NCAA Final Four beat the Scarlet Knights 89-67 in the ECAC Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 28,1992.
New Year Starts
U of L has won four of its last five games starting the new year. The Cardinals have an 8-4 mark under UofL Coach Rick Pitino in their first game of the new year each season. Louisville beat Providence on Jan. 2, 2013 in the Cards' first game of the new year last season.
With 19 points against Kentucky, Russ Smith moved up to No. 21 in career scoring at Louisville. He has 1,479 points, 11 behind Jim Price (1,490, 1969-72) and 21 short of 1,500.
With three steals vs. Louisiana Lafayette, Russ Smith passed the career 200 steals mark. He is currently seventh in career steals at UofL with 208, 46 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 1,038 career points between both George Mason and Louisville.
Wayne Blackshear needs 28 points for 500 in his career..
Montrezl Harrell has 32 dunks on the season and 76 in his career, 13 short of the career top 10 in dunks.
Russ Smith's 140 career three-pointers are 23 short of the UofL top ten.
Special 'Color' Events Set
University of Louisville men's basketball fans can participate in two "color" events later this season. A "White Out" is scheduled for the Jan. 9 game against No. 16 Memphis in the KFC Yum! Center, UofL's first American Athletic Conference home game.
The annual "Wear Red for the Seniors" game is set for March 8 when the Cardinals face No. 9 Connecticut in the final home game of the season. Cardinal fans are encouraged to wear white and red attire on those respective days.
Cardinals Hail from New Jersey/New York Area
Two Louisville players have ties to the New Jersey/New York area. Russ Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y., Archbishop Malloy HS/South Kent School) and Kevin Ware (Bronx, N.Y.) hail from the New York area.
New Jersey natives have been major contributors to Cardinal basketball in past years. Earl Clark scored 1,104 point and grabbed 728 rebounds in three seasons with the Cardinals (2006-09). He was the 13th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft to the Phoenix Suns and is currently a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Taquan Dean (2002-06), from Red Bank, N.J., scored 1,649 points (12th all-time at U of L) and is the Cardinals' all-time three-point goal leader (359). Dean is currently playing professional basketball in Italy for Sidigas Avellino.
Two of the Cardinals' top 11 all-time scorers and teammates on the Cardinals' 1986 NCAA Championship team -- guard Milt Wagner (1981-86, 1,836 career points) and forward Billy Thompson (1982-86, 1,685) -- both hailed from Camden, N.J. Former Camden guard Kevin Walls was also a member of that championship team. Nate Johnson (1996-2000) is another Camden product that scored 1,513 career points at U of L, 18th on the Cards' career scoring list.
Memphis Awaits Next
Louisville will play its first conference home game of the season when the Cardinals face Memphis in the KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 9 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). It will be Louisville's first home game in 23 days, the longest such stretch for the Cardinals since the 1980-81 season. The game will be a "White Out," with fans encouraged to wear white to the game.
The Tigers (10-2, 1-0 AAC), ranked 18th in both the AP and USA Today polls, won 88-73 at USF in its league opener on Dec. 31 as Geron Jackson scored a team-high 19 points. Johnson has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. Memphis has won 21 consecutive conference games heading into its Jan. 4 home game against
Guard Joe Jackson (15.2 ppg) leads the Tigers, which have forced at least 12 turnovers in each of its 12 games this season. Memphis leads the AAC in steals (10.2) and is second in scoring (82.8).
Louisville has a 53-34 series record against Memphis, the second-most played series for the Cardinals. Louisville has won the last four matchups, including an 87-78 victory at Memphis last year (12-15-12) as Chane Behanan scored 22 points to lead the Cardinals, who recovered from a 16-point first-half deficit.
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