This Louisville team is looking to build some momentum as they head out for a three-game road trip. Even tho this team has won some of the games they were supposed to there still seems to be something a little off. I don’t think Coach Mack has found the five players he’d have on the floor with the game on the line. Or at least a group he’d be one hundred with.
I don’t think there is a group of five players who really groove together on the court yet. It’s one thing when the coach doesn’t feel it but a bigger issue if the players can’t find it. I’m hoping this team finds whatever “it” is during this road swing. We’ve had many Louisville teams find themselves on the road during conference play.
We’ve had a few Louisville teams start that journey in South Bend. The game with Notre Dame has provided some entertainment over the last decade. There have been two overtime games, a double-overtime game and one that took five overtimes to settle. Louisville leads this series 24-15 and the Cardinals have had the upper hand lately winning the last four. It’s never an easy game with them and won’t be Saturday afternoon.
The Irish have made a name for themselves playing very efficient basketball on both ends of the floor. The names on the jersey change over the years but that program’s vibe stays the same. They are gonna take and make sure their teammates get good shots while protecting the basketball. They are hovering around the top 50 ranked 54th in offensive efficiency and are ranked #1 in assist/turnover ratio.
Notre Dame always has that big 6-9 white dude that becomes a floor general for them. This year’s version of that guy is senior forward, John Mooney. Mooney is leading the Fighting Irish in scoring and rebounds, averaging 15.8 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per game. Mooney is a beast.
Jordan Nwora is Louisville’s floor general averaging 20.9 points per game and grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game. This dude is shooting 48.7% from the field. But at times I don’t think he knows he’s the floor general and lets himself get in a funk. It all goes back to finding the guys to put on the floor who all feel confident about their roles on this team. And feel confident in each other.
Coach Mack had multiple combinations on the floor in the Cards last game as was expected but Cardinal great Luke Hancock said it best on Twitter. The best lineup Louisville has is Enoch, Nwora, Williamson, Perry, and Johnson. I think Sam and David have to come along for this season to be what a lot of us expected. And can this group learn to play together? This group proved to be pretty efficient in the game against Miami when on the court together. This is it.
The teams who will be cutting nets down in March are the ones who will learn how to play together in the most confident and efficient way over the next two months. The road can be unkind in conference play but it can also be a battleground where these guys bond during those battles. This Louisville team can use these next three games to build some great momentum heading towards that goal.
Hoping for a good game but a win in South Bend on Saturday. Please, no Overtime. Go Cards!
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