For the third time since becoming number 1, Louisville failed to score as many teams as the other team. This time the defeat was to the hands of Georgetown, 53-51.
It is hard to pin point one player who really stood out saturday afternoon. According to many sources, Gorgui Dieng was Louisville’s player 0f the game. But at points in the game, Dieng made horrible offensive decisions and took ill advised shots. Many people on social media got to the point of questioning whether Dieng was a “liability” on the offensive end. Dieng ended the game with 12 Pts and 7 Rbs.
In an attempt to change things up, Russ Smith was benched and did not start the game. Instead Luke Hancock started in his place. Hancock played well on the offensive end but still was a problem for the cardinals on the defensive end. On multiple occasions Georgetown ran their Princeton offense down to the end of the shot clock, then drove either right past Hancock or drove at him to get fouled.
I do not understand this decision by Pitino though. Russ Smith is probably the most head strong player on this team and would be the least likely to get down over not starting but to not have him on the floor in unfathomable. Many games this year, Russ Smith saved us from defeat and then he has a bad couple game lately and he gets benched? If Russ had the same kind of game that Siva had on Saturday, then I can guarantee you Russ would see a lot less playing time as “punishment”. Facing the facts, Smith is the best offensive option that this team has to offer and to have him on the bench is just stupidity.
Peyton Siva played arguably his worst game in a Louisville uniform. After a strong double-double against Villanova, Siva responded with 0 Pts, 2 Ast and 3 TO. This performance probably wouldn’t have been as noticed if it weren’t for Pitino’s decision to have Siva take the last shot of the game. It’s hard to imagine that Siva was confident that he was going to make the shot. I am just as big of a Peyton Siva advocate as there is…but Siva shouldn’t have take that shot, it just wasn’t his day.
Chane Behanan showed flashes of his beast personality throughout the game. Many times he was insanely aggressive and skied over people to get rebounds. Behanan’s problem remains to be his inability to knock down free throws. He was a mere 3-6 from the charity stripe…and the ending score was just two points. Also Behanan has gotten back into the habit of getting a rebound and putting the ball on the floor before going back up with it. This has resulted in many turnovers that have cost the Cards valuable points.
Wayne Blackshear didn’t continue off of his performance versus Villanova. He shot 1-9 from the field and missed critical shots down the stretch that could have put Louisville ahead. Blackshear was 0-5 from three-point range and finished with only 5 points.
This loss dropped the Cards to 16-4 on the season and now has the Cards on a 3 game losing streak. But if you look at the 3 games, each of them were one possession losses that could have been avoided with just 1 shot going down. Even though many Card fans are panicking, I don’t see any reason to panic still. They will get this back on track and be ready to go come March.
Note to fans: On players social media account, don’t tell them how bad they have been playing and how horrible they are. There is no way that is helping them to get back on track nor is it cool at all to personally attack them.