Louisville traveld to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall and was able to pull out a victory 73-58. Louisville was without Chane Behanan due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered earlier in the week.
Gorgui Dieng played like he was fully healthy last night earning player of the game honors. Even with the cast on his wrist he was able to pull off a double-double with 16 Pts and 14 Rbs. He also racked up 3 blocked shots in 33 minutes of work. There is no denying that when he is on the floor Louisville is a much better basketball team. It would be nice to see how we would fare against Duke now that we have him back and healthy.
Montrezl Harrell started in place of Chane Behanan and didn’t miss a step. He had 14 Pts and 3 Rbs along with 2 Stls. Most notable was his efficency from the floor as he was 7-9 from the field in 23 minutes. Unfortunatley he was 0-2 from the free throw line but that is a pretty small sample size to go by.
For the first time in what seems like a while Russ Smith was quiet. He still filled the stat sheet with 11 Pts, 6 Ast, and 7 Rbs though. For the first time since the FIU game almost a month ago, Russ Smith was not the Cardinals leading scorer. Smith was only 2-11 from the field but was efficient when he got to the line, shooting 7-8 from there.
Peyton Siva played another typical game where if you looked at the stat sheet, you wouldn’t see much but if you watched the game you would see how vital he is to the offense. Siva may not be the most dynamic scorer but the way he manages the game and keeps everyone involved is exactly what Louisville needs and is indispensable. Siva finished with 7 Pts, 7 Ast and 4 Stls.
Kevin Ware saw a lot of playing time last night and really excelled in his role. Ware showed his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim multiple times while sparking Cardinal runs. He finished 3-3 from the field with 6 Pts and 1 Stl.
Throughout the game many Louisville fans were all over Luke Hancock about his struggles shooting. Many took to social media websites to bash him. Hancock came back in the second half and hit 2 big three’s to put Louisville in a comfortable position down the stretch. Without those two three’s we may have never had a run at the end of the game. Though Hancock may not be as fast as other players his ability to seemingly shake off what everyone is saying and keep at it, is nothing short of admirable. I’d be hard pressed to find someone out there that isn’t hoping that Hancock can right ship and be a big contributor to this team come March.
For the first time this season we saw Pitino send a message to the starters. To end the first half, Pitino had Henderson, Smith, Hancock, Van Treese and Price all on the floor. That is when Seton Hall made a semi-run to go into half time. We have seen Pitino do stuff like this before but I, for one, hope not to see that lineup on the floor again this season.
This improves Louisville to 14-1 on the season with only Big East play ahead of them. Louisville will host South Florida Saturday at 4 p.m.
Blackshear: 8 Pts, 2 Rbs, 2 Stl, 1 Ast
Van Treese: 4 Pts, 3 Rbs