The Louisville Cardinals will start their first and only conference play in the AAC on New Year’s Eve on the road against the UCF Knights. The Cardinals are 11-2, losing both of their games against top 25 teams in Kentucky and UNC. The Card lost to rivals Kentucky Saturday in Rupp Arena.
The Knights come in 8-3, losing to Florida State, FAU and Valp0. They have won their last five games, including beating Valpo in their 2nd meeting of the season. Most of their recent wins can be credited to their great outside shooting lately.
Louisville will be without backup PF Chane Behanan, who was kicked off the team for good Monday. Pitino announced his dismissal in Monday’s presser.
It was Louisville’s lack of size that really hurt them against Kentucky Saturday. They were out rebounded 44-36, the inability for the Cards to get the ball underneath and get 2nd chances. UCF comes into the game 20th in the nation in rebounding with just over 40 per game.
Louisville (11-2) Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown
F 20 Wayne BLACKSHEAR 6-5 230 Jr. 9.8 3.0 Chicago, Ill.
F 24 Montrezl HARRELL 6-8 235 So. 12.0 8.0 Tarboro, N.C.
C 12 Mangok MATHIANG 6-10 210 Fr. 4.9 4.5 Melbourne, Australia
G 2 Russ SMITH 6-0 165 Sr. 16.9 3.1 Brooklyn, N.Y.
G 3 Chris JONES 5-10 175 Jr. 13.8 2.7 Memphis, Tenn.
UCF (8-3) Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown
F 1 Tristan SPURLOCK 6-8 230 Sr. 13.8 6.8 Woodbridge, Va.
F 15 Dylan KARELL 6-11 230 So. 0.7 1.7 North Miami Beach, Fla.
F 32 Kasey WILSON 6-7 225 Jr. 11.5 6.1 North Port, Fla.
G 3 Isaiah SYKES 6-6 220 Sr. 13.9 5.5 Detroit, Mich.
G 11 Calvin NEWELL 6-1 210 Sr. 14.8 2.6 Philadelphia, Pa
When: Tuesday at 5pm EST.
Where: CFE Arena in Orlando, Fla.
Listen: WHAS-840AM in Louisville, KY.
Stat Comparison via StatSheet.com