Louisville-Seton Hall Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 08, 2013
Ncaa_basketball_louisville_a01e
While his team continues to win with offense, Louisville coach Rick Pitino insists its defense remains far from the program's own high standards. The third-ranked Cardinals might have to make some quick strides in that area with one of their top scorers expected to miss up to four games. Louisville will try for its ninth consecutive win Wednesday night when it visits Seton Hall, which looks for its ninth victory in a row at home despite having its own injury concerns. The Cardinals (13-1, 1-0 Big East) have built a reputation as a tough, defensive-minded club under Pitino, but they rank second among conference teams in scoring at 78.4 points per game after averaging 68.2 on their way to the 2012 Final Four. Louisville, however, took a hit Monday when sophomore forward Chane Behanan suffered a left high ankle sprain in practice. Behanan, averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds, is expected to miss about 10 days, putting him in danger of missing four games - the last of which is a Jan. 19 showdown with Syracuse. "Without Chane, we'll have to make some adjustments," Pitino said. Freshman Montrezl Harrell, who has scored 6.6 points per game, will replace Behanan in the starting lineup. Russ Smith, though, should continue to lead the Cardinals. The junior guard ranks third in the Big East at 20.0 points per game after scoring 23 last Wednesday in a 80-62 conference-opening win over Providence. Louisville shot 52.6 percent from the field against the Friars, the third time in six games it's made at least half of its shots. "Once our defense catches up to our offense we have a chance to be a really special team," Pitino said. After limiting teams to 37.2 percent from the floor in its previous five games, Pitino's club has allowed a 46.5 field-goal percentage - including 43.9 (18 for 41) from 3-point range - in its last two. The Cardinals rank in the bottom half of the conference in defensive field-goal percentage (40.2) after finishing sixth nationally in that category last season. Louisville will try to tighten it up against a short-handed Seton Hall team that won seven straight games before falling 93-74 at then-No. 21 Notre Dame on Saturday. Playing with just seven healthy scholarship players due to injury, Seton Hall (12-3, 1-1) won 73-72 at DePaul to open Big East play last Wednesday. The Pirates, though, couldn't repeat the trick while playing only eight against the Irish. "It becomes tough to play in this league with just one power forward and one center," coach Kevin Willard said. Guard Fuquan Edwin has done all he can to keep the Pirates competitive, ranking second among Big East players with a 52.1 field-goal percentage and just behind Smith in scoring at 17.9 points per game. Backcourt mate Aaron Cosby, a Louisville native, chipped in with a career-high 24 points at DePaul and added 21 in South Bend. The sophomore went 9 for 16 from beyond the arc on that road swing. The Pirates have been dangerous from long distance, hitting at least nine 3-pointers in six straight games and leading all Big East teams in 3-point makes (133) and attempts (348) while sitting second at 38.2 percent. Seton Hall, however, has shot just 29.7 percent from the field - including 19.0 percent from beyond the arc - in three straight losses in the series since Willard took over. Peyton Siva had 14 points and six steals in the most recent meeting, leading the Cardinals to a 61-55 win in March in the second round of the Big East tournament.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker