The Louisville Cardinals still have some work to do after their first two games of the season and hope to iron out some kinks as they take on the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Sunday.
This will be the fourth time in history the two teams have met; the Cardinals are 3-0 against the RedHawks all-time.
Louisville comes into the game undefeated in their first two games. UofL beat the Samford Bulldogs 80-54 Thursday, led by sophomore power forward Chane Behanan, who had 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
Even though they beat Samford easily, they did struggle from behind the arc making just seven three-pointers in 31 attempts.
The key so far for Louisville's success is their defense. They are allowing just 52.5 points a game so far in their first two games.
Miami comes into the game 1-1 after beating Grambling State last Tuesday, 80-54. Freshman guard Reggie Johnson came off the bench for the RedHawks and scored 20 points.
Miami lost to N.C. State in their first game of the season, 97-59.
Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY
When: Sunday, November 18 at 4:07 p.m. ET
Watch: WHAS in Louisville, KY; ESPN3 online
Listen: WHAS Radio (840 AM) in Louisville, KY
C Drew McGhee, 6'11”, 236 pounds
PF Jon Harris, 6'8”, 206 pounds
F Will Felder, 6'7”, 202 pounds
G Allen Roberts, 6'3”, 214 pounds
PG Quinten Rollins, 6'0”, 185 pounds
C Gorgui Dieng, 6'11”, 245 pounds
PF Chane Behanan, 6'6”, 250 pounds
F Wayne Blackshear, 6'5”, 230 pounds
G Russ Smith, 6'0”, 165 pounds
PG Peyton Siva, 6'0”, 185 pounds
Matchup to Watch: Russ Smith vs. Allen Roberts
Redshirt junior Allen Roberts leads the RedHawks in scoring with 14 points a game. Roberts is a very smart basketball player who can shoot from all over the court.
Russ Smith has been amazing in Louisville's first two games of this year, averaging 20.5 points and 3.5 steals. He is a very quick guard who has never seen a shot he didn't like.
"Russ is tremendous because he is unguardable, Rick Pitino said after Smith scored 23 points against Manhattan. "He gives you a dimension that most teams don't have. On the ball offensively and on the ball defensively, he is pretty darn good."
Roberts has the height advantage in this matchup, but Smith is a lot faster and a better defender.
- Louisville senior Peyton Siva needs 159 points to reach 1,000 points for his career.
- Miami has not beaten a ranked opponent since 2001.
- Miami's Josh Sewell played high school basketball at Trinity High School in Louisville, KY.
- The RedHawks have played all 13 players in each of their first two games this season.
- Miami has forced 43 turnovers so far this season, including 32 against Grambling State.
- Louisville has forced 48 turnovers in their first two games of the season.
- The Cardinals have only made 15 of the 61 shots from outside so far this season.
- Louisville sophomore Angel Nunez will likely be out due to injury.
Keys to a Louisville Victory
- Keep Gorgui Dieng out of foul trouble. Dieng played less than two minutes the first half in Louisville's game against Manhattan. There is a huge difference in how Louisville's offense and defense is ran when he is not on the floor.
- Play smart. Louisville plays a very fast-paced style of basketball, but they do have a tendency to play ahead of themselves.
- Rebound, rebound, rebound. Louisville has a much longer and more physical team than Miami, and they must use that to their advantage.
This should be another easy victory for the Louisville Cardinals.
I expect Gorgui Dieng to have a double-double by the end of the game and have at least five blocks.
Russ Smith will continue to show the nation that he mean business. I expect Smith to score over 15 points and have three or four steals.
Wayne Blackshear will lead the Cardinals in scoring and will get out of his three-point slump.
Louisville will win, 79-63.
Jon Hancock is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo.
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