Louisville shot under 40% from the field, 3-22 from beyond the arc, and just 63% from the free-throw line. Montrezl Harrell spent most of the game on the bench in foul trouble, David “Baby Face Assassin” Levitch logged 15 minutes, Marshall out-rebounded the Cards 50-47, and the Cards still won by 18, 85 to 67.
In early November, it might be ugly, but it’s a win nonetheless. Despite the poor shooting, the Louisville effort defenselively was great. The Cards pressured Marshall essentially the entire game forcing the Thundering Herd into 21 turnovers, while only surrendering 7 giveaways themselves.
For much of the 2nd half, Louisville fans got to witness what life without Harrell would’ve been like had he left for the NBA. Freshman center Chinanu Onuaku totaled his second double-double (10pts/11rebs), while second year big man, Mangok Mathiang finished with 4 points and 11 rebounds to go along with Harrell’s 12 points and 8 rebounds. The depth in the paint looks better than expected for the Cards in what was perceived as a weakness entering the season.
Chris Jones led Louisville in scoring, finishing with 18 points. He played the entire second half, amassing only 1 turnover for the entire game. His relentless defense, and full court pressure helped make up for his off night shooting.
Senior forward Wayne Blackshear had a complete game, and provided much more than his 16 points. He also contributed 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. If he can continue to fill the stat sheet like that, Louisville will have a chance to do some big things when shots start to fall.
It was a frustrating night for star guard Terry Rozier. He shot 5/16 from the field, and turned the ball over 3 times and looked visibly frustrated. He did finish with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 of Louisville’s 10 assists.
The Cards still have a few expected wins before their first real test against the 20th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on December 2nd. They’ll play 2 games in 3 days next week, facing Savannah State on Monday and Cleveland State on Wednesday before getting a week off to prepare for the Buckeyes.
Still no word on Aaron
Hopefully freshman forward Shaqquan Aaron will be cleared soon. For the third consecutive game, he’s been relegated to the bench in street clothes due to NCAA qualification issues. He’s missed valuable game experience, and could provide a big boost in Louisville’s offense.