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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals: Game Notes

Here are your Louisville Cardinals Game Notes as the Cats and Cards prepare to battle.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino
Andy Lyons

As the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (9-3) prepare to take on the No. 4/6 Louisville Cardinals (11-1) in the annual Battle of the Bluegrass in historic Rupp Arena, here are your Game Notes:


  • Last week against Florida International, Louisville made 13-of-24 3-point shots (54.2 percent).
  • The Cards take an average of 23.0 treys per game.
  • In four games this season, UofL attempted 30-plus shots from beyond the arc, making 36.3 percent of its trey tries in those games.
  • Of Louisville's total shots taken, 36.4 percent are from long-distance.
  • The Cards are averaging 1.24 points per possession, good for third in the nation.
  • UofL's 13.2 turnover percentage leads the nation in ball handling efficiency.
  • For the season, Louisville makes only 65.5 percent of its free throws, but away from the KFC Yum? Center the Cards are 64-of-88 from the stripe, 72.7 percent.
  • Rick Pitino is in his 13th year as head coach of the Cards (has it been that long?). The former UK grand poo bah has won 321 games with the Ville and lost 112 (.741 winning percentage), while leading the Cards to three Final Fours ('05, '12, '13) and a title in 2013 (in case one has been living either under a rock, or in denial).  Overall, the Pitino's Bambinos architect has won 675 games in his career.
  • Pitino was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
  • UofL is forcing an average of 18.6 turnovers per game. WKU had the least number of miscues against the Cards with only 11 turns (Missouri State, who Louisville beat 90-60, had 13).
  • Russ Smith, considered by many to be Louisville's best player, is shooting only 33.3 percent from distance (24-72), but inside the arc Smith is making 55.2 percent of his attempts (48-87). He also leads the squad in assists with 5.0 dimes per game.
  • Smith hasn't scored over 18 points since netting 36 against North Carolina seven games ago.
  • Wayne Blackshear, a 6-5 wing, is the Cards' most accurate 3-point shooter, making 45.3 percent on the season (24-53).
  • Chane Behanan, a 6-6 junior forward, has made only 44.7 percent of his free throws on the season (21-47).
  • Louisville's 51.2 assist percentage ranks 188th in the nation.
  • The Cards' 54.1 effective field goal percentage ranks 49th in the nation.
  • Louisville 6-10 center Mangok Mathiang has only one double-digit scoring game on the season as he scored 13 against WKU.
  • Mathiang, who has started the last six games (taking over for Stephan Van Treese in the middle) averages 2.2 blocks per game as the starter.
  • Van Treese is making 69.6 percent of his shots on the season (16-23). Since losing his starting spot, Van Treese has connected on 7-of-11 shots (63.6 percent), but takes only 1.8 shots per game.
  • Freshman guard Anton Gill is 3-of-12 from beyond the arc on the season (25.0 percent).
  • Terry Rozier, a 6-1 freshman guard, has 23 assists and only three turnovers on the season, a 7.7 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Rozier has made on 11-of-33 treys on the year (33.3 percent), and 38.9 percent of his 2-point attempts (14-36).
  • Louisville's 6-8 sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell was once a John Calipari recruiting target.
  • Harrell is making 63.9 percent of his shots from the floor (62-97), but only 53.2 percent of his free throws (25-47).
  • Since 1990, Louisville is 3-8 when playing UK at Rupp Arena.
  • Tim Henderson, a 6-2 backup senior guard, has taken 18 shots on the year. Seventeen have been 3-point tries.
  • Henderson is 7-of-17 from distance on the year (41.2 percent).
  • Kevin Ware, a 6-2 junior guard, has played a total of 53 minutes in nine games this season for the Cards.
  • Louisville has had only 23 shots blocked this season, an average of 1.9 per game.
  • Only three teams have made over 33.3 percent of its 3-point shots against UofL: Hofstra made 14-of-25 (56.0 percent), North Carolina made 3-of-6 (50.0 percent), and Louisiana-Lafayette made 9-of-26 (34.6 percent).
  • Louisville's steal percentage of 14.0 is eighth best in college basketball.
  • Louisville's strength of schedule checks in at 190, while the Cards RPI is 40. UK's SOS is 19, and RPI, 22.
  • In the month of December, Chris Jones, Louisville's 5-10 junior point guard, has made 5-of-16 shots from distance (31.3 percent), and 16-of-38 overall field goals (42.1 percent).
  • Of Jones' 30 assists on the season, 18 came in three games (versus College of Charleston, Hofstra, Florida International).
  • In the month of December, Louisville has been good on 42-of-112 shots from distance (37.5 percent).
  • I have it on good authority that the only fan base more obsessed with Kentucky basketball than the Big Blue Nation, are Louisville fans.

Thanks for reading and Go 'Cats!