The Louisville basketball team is back rolling in March. Card Nation just said goodbye to another amazing senior class and the sky is the limit heading into the AAC and NCAA tournaments.
There are many similarities between this year’s team and last year’s if you look at them on paper. That is exciting to think about since last year the Cardinals went on one of the best runs in NCAA history.
Let’s compare the two teams.
Déjà vu for Louisville?Cardinals entered conf. tourney last year 26-5 overall and 9-1 in last 10 games. This year? 26-5 and 9-1.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 8, 2014
2013 Team By The End Of The NCAA Tournament
Points Per Game– 74.5
Points Allowed– 58.8
Rebounds Per Game- 36.8
Assists Per Game– 14.6
Steals Per Game-11
Blocks Per Game– 4
Field Goal Percentage- 45.6
Free Throw Percentage- 70.9
Three Point Percentage- 33.3
Points Per Possession- 1.1
2013-14 Team Before AAC Tournament
Points Per Game– 81.8
Points Allowed– 61.8
Rebounds Per Game- 37.5
Assists Per Game– 15.6
Blocks Per Game- 5
Steals Per Game-10
Field Goal Percentage- 47.6
Free Throw Percentage- 65.5
Three Point Percentage- 37.1
Points Per Possession- 1.18
There are some comparison errors here. We are looking at the 2012-13 season stats after the NCAA Tournament which means they went through much tougher competition than they currently have, but there are some things we can take from this.
Things In This Year’s Teams Favor
1. This year’s team is a better offensive team. Their percentages are up and the number of points per game is up. This year’s team has a better chance of running away with games compared to last year’s.
2. In losing Gorgui Dieng, one might think that Louisville’s blocked shots might drop, but this year’s team is actually averaging one more block per game. There isn’t a main shot blocker like Dieng was, rather it seems to be more of a team effort.
3. Peyton Siva was amazing at distributing the ball, but this year’s team is passing the ball from every position which is why this year’s team is averaging slightly more assists per game.
Things Not In This Year’s Teams Favor
1. The first thing that jumps out when you look at the stats is the free throws made percentage. The poor shooting from the charity stripe could hurt Louisville moving forward.
2. This year’s team let some teams score highly on them, but lately, opponents average per game has gone down. In the last five game, the Cards are giving up 62.8 points per game, up minimally from their season average of 62.2 (20th in NCAA). Last years team only allowed 58.8 points per game.
Some other things to note
1. Louisville beat No.24 Notre Dame to end their regular season at home, 73-57 last season. Saturday Louisville beat No.19 UConn, 81-48 to end their regular season.
2. The starting guards last year (Smith and Siva) averaged 28.7 points per game combined. This year’s starting guards (Smith and Jones) average 28.3 combined.
Some interesting stuff, what are your thoughts? Comment below.