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February 16, 2013
USF Rematch in Tampa
Sunday, Feb. 17
1:02 p.m. ET
USF Sun Dome (9,662),
Radio: WHAS (840)
Louisville starts a stretch with three of its next four games on the road as the Cardinals play at the University of South Florida on Sunday. Louisville won for the fourth time in five games in winning 72-58 over St. John's on Thursday as Russ Smith led the Cards with 24 points. USF (10-14, 1-11 BIG EAST Conference) has dropped its last seven games, including a 66-76 loss to Providence on Wednesday despite 26 points and 12 rebounds from Victor Rudd. Three of the next four games for the Cardinals are against repeat BIG EAST opponents.
RESERVES: Montrezl Harrell, F, 6-9, Fr.; Zach Price, C, 6-10, So.; Kevin Ware, G, 6-5, So.; Tim Henderson, G, 6-2, Jr.; Michael Baffour, G, 6-2, Fr.; Stephan Van Treese, C, 6-8, Sr.; Wayne Blackshear, G, 6-6, So.
HEAD COACH: Rick Pitino (Massachusetts '74) 294-111 in 12th season at UofL and 648-239 in 28th season as collegiate coach.
RESERVES: Martino Brock, G, 6-6, Jr.; Musa Abdul-Aleem, G, 6-5, So.; Zach LeDay, F, 6-7, Fr.; Jawanza Poland, G, 6-4, Sr.; Mike McCloskey, G, 6-0, Sr.; Shemiye McLendon, G, 6-3, Jr.; Shaun Noriega, G, 6-4, Sr.; Jordan Omogbehin, C, 7-3, Fr.
HEAD COACH: Stan Heath (E Michigan '88) 83-105 in 6th year at USF, 195-182 in 12th yr. overall
Louisville faces its first BIG EAST repeat opponent this season as the Cardinals play at USF on Sunday. USF (10-14, 1-11 BIG EAST Conference) has dropped its last seven games, including a 66-76 loss to Providence on Wednesday despite 26 points and 12 rebounds from Victor Rudd.
Guard Anthony Collins is second in the BIG EAST in assists (6.6; 14th nationally) and ranks fourth in assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.40). Rudd ranks ninth in the league in rebounding (6.8 rpg). While Louisville is among the nation's leaders in forcing turnovers, USF is 14th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (11.6, 3rd in the BIG EAST).
USF is No. 126 in the ratings percentage index and No. 121 in the Sagarin Ratings through games of Feb. 14. Louisville has a 26-4 series advantage over USF, winning 12 of the last 13.
Last month in the KFC Yum! Center, Peyton Siva scored 17 points and Gorgui Dieng 12 points and 16 rebounds as Louisville prevailed 64-38 over USF (1-12-13).
Series vs. USF
well as playing one season with the Boston Celtics (1997-98) under Pitino. Hanson was an assistant coach at UK for seven seasons before joining the USF staff.
20-5 Start For Cards
Louisville's 20-5 record marks the fifth time the Cardinals have won at least 20 of their first 25 games under UofL Coach Rick Pitino, with the best start in the 2004-05 season when U of L started 21-4. The Cardinals were also 20-5 through 25 games last season.
This season, UofL began 5-0 for the third consecutive year, the first time it has had three straight 5-0 starts since the 1949-52 seasons when the Cardinals won their first five in each of those years. UofL won its first 11 games last season and its initial eight games in 2010-11.
Louisville's earlier three-game skid was the first time it lost three straight since Jan. 11-21, 2010. Louisville has lost backto-back games just 10 times over the last five seasons.
Cards' Baseball also in Tampa
Louisville's baseball team opens its season in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge Friday-Sunday, also playing in the Tampa area. The No. 4 Cardinals will face Indiana in their season opener on Friday in Dunedin (7:30 p.m.), USF on Saturday in Clearwater (4 p.m.) and Purdue on Sunday in St. Petersburg (10 a.m.). Five teams (three BIG EAST, two Big Ten) are participating in the event.
Cards Lead in BIG EAST Wins
Louisville has the most BIG EAST Conference victories over the last six years during the regular season (since 2006-07), posting an 83-35 record (Syracuse is 82-34). Since the 2005-06 season when the Cards first joined the BIG EAST, Louisville (89-45) is tied with Syracuse (89-43) in league victories during the regular season, with both schools ahead of next-in-line Pittsburgh (86-45). UofL has won or finished second in the BIG EAST on three occasions.
Doing It With D
The Cardinals have scored 582 of their 1865 points off turnovers (31 percent). Louisville is averaging 23.3 points per game off turnovers. UofL turned 14 St. John's turnovers into 15 points in the Cardinals' last game, collecting eight steals in the game. As it did against Northern Iowa in its 51-46 victory, Louisville scored under 60 points to win in seven games last season, including three times during its eight-game run to win the BIG EAST Conference title and reach the Final Four.
Pitino Needs One for 650
Louisville coach Rick Pitino will gain his 650th career collegiate coaching victory with the Cardinals' next win. Pitino has a 649-239 record in his 28th collegiate season. He has led the Cardinals to 20 wins for the 11th straight season and his 21st overall, sixth among active coaches
Smith Among USBWA Top Dozen
UofL guard Russ Smith is one of 12 players selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for its 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List. Members of the association's board of directors chose the players to be included on the list as contenders for the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year by its namesake at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.