March 14, 2014

Cards face Houston in AAC Semis

Houston vs. Louisville
Friday, March 14, 2014
7:00 p.m. ET
FedEx Forum
Memphis, Tennessee
Television: ESPN
Radio: WKRD (790 AM)

  • Houston
    1Mikhail McLeanF6-8205Jr.2.62.3
    35TaShawn ThomasF6-8240Jr.17.08.9
    2Brandon MorrisG6-0185Sr.5.92.2
    4LeRon BarnesG6-6195So.4.13.1
    14Tione WomackG6-1 170Sr.5.12.5

    RESERVES: Danrad Knowles, G, 6-10, r-Fr.; Jaaron Simmons, G, 6-1, Fr.; L.J. Rose, G, 6-4, So.; Jimmie Jones, G, 5-10, Sr.; Adam Drexler, F, 6-5, So.; Jherrod Stiggers, G, 6-5, r-So.; Danuel House, G, 6-7, So.; Lawrence Paye, G, 6-0, Sr.; Ahmed Hamdy, P, 6-9, Fr.; Valentine Izundu, C, 6-10, So.; J.J. Richardson, F, 6-8, r-Sr.

    HEAD COACH: James Dickey (C. Arkansas '76) 57-52 in 4th yr. at UH; 210-186 in 14th yr. overall.

  • University of Louisville
    11Luke HancockF6-6200Sr.11.62.7
    24Montrezl HarrellF6-8200Sr.13.78.2
    44Stephan Van TreeseF6-9245Sr.2.95.1
    2Russ Smith G6-0165Sr.17.83.4
    3Chris JonesG5-10175Jr.9.82.1

    RESERVES:Terry Rozier, G, 6-3, Fr.; Wayne Blackshear, F, 6-5, Jr.; Mangok Mathiang, C, 6-10, Fr.; Anton Gill, G, 6-3, Fr.; Dillon Avare, G, 6-0, Fr.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, Sr.; Akoy Agau, F, 6-8, Fr.; David Levitch, G, 6-3, Fr.

    HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 337-116 in 13th season at UofL and 691-244 in 29th season as collegiate coach.

    Series vs. Houston
  • Louisville holds a 14-5 advantage over Houston in its series which began in 1968. Louisville has won nine of the last 10 against the Cougars.

  • Houston and Louisville were both members of Conference USA for nine seasons from 1996-2005. The Cardinals were 8-1 against Houston in those years of conference competition.

  • Five of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by four points or less.

  • Three meetings have come in tournament competition, including the Cougars' 94-81 win over the Cards in the 1983 NCAA national semifinals in Albuquerque, N.M. That game matching Houston's "Phi Slamma Jamma" against Louisville's "Doctors of Dunk," is the highest rated non-championship college basketball telecast ever.

  • In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, top-ranked Houston beat U of L 91-75 in the 1968 NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals played in Wichita, Kansas. Houston reached the Final Four that season before falling to eventual champion UCLA.

    AAC Title
    Louisville finished where it was predicted -- as the American champion, sharing the title with Cincinnati. It was the second-most league wins ever for the Cardinals (15-3), behind only the 16-2 mark as Big East Champions in 2008-09. Louisville has won at least 10 league games for seven straight seasons. The Cards have finished in the top three in its conference six of the last eight years.

    Pitino Successful in Conference Tournaments
    U of L Coach Rick Pitino has a 46-13 record in conference tournaments (1-0 American Conference, 14-7 BIG EAST, 8-2 Conference USA, 17-1 Southeastern, 4-1 North Atlantic, 2-2 ECAC North). Pitino has won 11 conference tournament titles (3 BIG EAST, 2 C-USA, 5 SEC, 1 North Atlantic Conference), including the 2009, 2012 & 2013 BIG EAST Conference titles.

    Recapping Rutgers - AAC Game 1
  • UofL's 92-31 decision over Rutgers marks the largest margin of victory since a 104-40 win over Morehead State on Dec. 27, 2004.

  • Louisville's 92 points were the most in a postseason game since recording a 103-64 victory over Arizona on March 27, 2009 in the NCAA Sweet 16. It's the most points Louisville scored in a conference tournament game since a 110-86 victory over TCU in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament on March 6, 2002.

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Louisville is the first team to win a conference tournament game by 60 or more points since Kentucky beat Tennessee 101-40 in the 1993 SEC Tournament - under head coach Rick Pitino.

  • Rutgers' 24-percent shooting (12 of 50) is the lowest by a Louisville opponent in postseason play since Louisville started archiving box scores in 1972-73. The closest to that mark by an opponent in postseason play is 24.2 percent shooting (16 of 46) by St. Louis on March 5, 1982, in the Metro Conference Tournament played in Memphis, Tenn.

  • The Cardinals scored 58 points in the first half, a season best. The previous high of 57 was achieved against Houston on Jan. 16.

  • Louisville's 58 points in the first half against Rutgers are the most points the Cardinals have scored in the first half of a postseason game since totaling 56 against TCU on March 6, 2002, in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.

  • Chris Jones has scored double-digit points in the first half two of the last three games. He scored 13 at SMU on 4-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range, and posted 11 of his 18 points in the first half against Rutgers. He was 4-of-8 from the field in the opening period, knocking down three 3-pointers.

  • Over the last three games, Jones is second on the team in scoring with 16.3 points. He also has 13 steals, while shooting over than 50 percent from 3-point range (10-of-18, .556).

  • Stephan Van Treese grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, the second-consecutive game with double-digit rebounds. It's the second time in his career he has recorded double-digit boards in consecutive games, first achieving the feat in 2010-11 (10 vs. Seton Hall on Jan. 5, 2011; 14 vs. USF on Jan. 9, 2011).

  • Terry Rozier totaled 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists in 20 minutes off the bench. It's the 10th time this season he has tallied at least 10 points in a game.

  • Wayne Blackshear had eight points on 3-of-6 shooting off the bench, helping him surpass the 600-point plateau. He now has 603 for his career.

    Tracking Russ
    Russ Smith scored 16 points to better his career total to 1,795. He remains in No. 8 and needs 12 more points to pass LaBradford Smith (1987-91) for No. 7 all-time.

    Smith connected on 7-of-8 free throws, giving him 455 for his career. He needs two to pass Reece Gaines (456 made free throws, 1999-03) and moved into No. 2 all-time. He is 36 short of the school record.

    With two steals against Rutgers, he improved his career total to 248. He is now six short of former teammate Peyton Siva's career record of 254 set from 2009-13.

    Smith is 11 field goals short of reaching 200 for the season, the second time he would achieve such a feat. He would join an elite group that consists of just nine others in program history (Darrell Griffith, Pervis Ellison, Milt Wagner, Derek Smith, Wes Unseld, Billy Thompson, Lancaster Gordon, Butch Beard, and Allen Murphy).

    New Uniforms
    The Cardinals will wear new adidas uniforms for postseason play. The Made in March uniforms feature a perforated print pattern along the leg of the stretch woven shorts to enhance breathability and ventilation. The adidas' quick-drying jersey technology moves heat and moisture away from the body to keep the jersey light and dry as players sweat. The jersey sleeves include armhole insets with 360-degree stretch fabric.

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