UK & U of L basketball at odds over location of this year’s matchup Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By John McCarthy–

University of Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack recently expressed his concern regarding the location of U of L’s matchup with its in-state rival, the University of Kentucky this season.

Because of complications due to COVID-19, Mack suggested that playing Kentucky at a neutral site would minimize the risk of complications or restrictions.

John Calipari, head coach of UK’s men’s basketball, strongly disagreed with Mack on the rescheduling of this year’s commonwealth matchup to a neutral location.

U of L would have to host Kentucky at the Yum! Center this season without fans in attendance. Kentucky on the other hand would potentially be able to host fans and students when Louisville heads to Rupp Arena for the Cardinals and Wildcats 2021-2022 season matchup.

“Chris and I have talked and he expressed his concerns. While I understand the difficulty and the complications created by the pandemic, we are prepared to come to Louisville to play this season under the previously agreed terms,” Calipari said.

Via U of L and Kentucky’s contract, each school trades off home-court advantage year by year. If the 2020-21 matchup were to be rescheduled to a neutral site, it would cause turmoil prior to next year’s face off.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Malik Williams and Carlik Jones named 2020 men’s basketball captains Thursday, Oct 15 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Senior Malik Williams and graduate transfer Carlik Jones have been chosen as captains for the 2020 Louisville men’s basketball season.

“As voted on by their teammates, seniors Malik Williams and Carlik Jones have been named captains for this year’s team,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said.

Williams comes into his senior season with the Cardinals showing an impressive collegiate resume. He was the runner-up for the ACC Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2019-2020 season. Williams hit double-digit scoring totals ten times in his junior season. He averaged eight points and six rebounds per game in his junior year.

Jones will come into the Louisville men’s basketball as one of the nation’s more highly-scouted graduate transfers. Jones comes from Radford University, where he averaged 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and one steal per game. He helped lead Radford to their second-straight conference championship with a 21-11 record. Jones is the only Division-I player to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists last season.

The Cardinals will look to Williams and Jones to help lead them toward the top of the ACC standings. “Our team is fortunate to have terrific leadership and it starts with these two. Their experience, ability to lead, and toughness have been evident throughout the offseason and preseason,” said Mack.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball team protests through Belknap campus for equality Tuesday, Sep 29 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team marched through Belknap campus Sept. 25, calling for racial equality.

Many members of the community surrounding U of L and students walked alongside the men’s basketball team to help promote equality peacefully. “The turnout was greater than we could have imagined. This is exactly what we envisioned, getting our message out about inequality, discrimination, racism, and hate,” said senior Malik Williams.

Multiple players from the men’s basketball team talked to the crowd before beginning the march. They urged everyone to protest peacefully as they marched. Louisville Metro Police Department was present during the march to help provide barricades along the march path.

The march started at the Thortons Academic Center and toured through U of L’s Belknap Campus. The march lasted for about an hour. Louisville men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack attended the march with his players.

“I understand as a white guy, a 50-year old, that Black America is hurting,” said Mack.

The team did not discuss any matters relating to the upcoming 2020-2021 basketball season. Instead, they encourage listeners to register to vote. The Cardinals asked everyone to join them at Shawnee Park Oct. 3 for a voter registration event. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville men’s basketball adds Gabe Wiznitzer to roster Thursday, Jul 9 2020 

By John McCarthy —

University of Louisville men’s basketball tacks on a much needed big man to their roster. Gabe Wiznitzer, a 6-11 center out of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. signed his letter-of-intent July 8.

Wiznitzer joins Montrezl Harrell, Terry Rozier and Anton Gill as the fourth Cardinal to graduate from Hargrave before taking their talents to the Yum! Center. Wiznitzer averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, and shot 42% from the three-point line during his career at Hargrave.

He originally planned to be apart of the 2021-2022 recruiting class but opted to join the 2020-2021 recruiting class instead. Witnitzer chose the Cardinals over Ohio State, LSU, Iowa and West Virginia.

“We’ve been looking to add a big man to our frontcourt for some time. Gabe presents really good size, good skill, and tremendous work ethic,” Louisville head coach Chris Mack said.

Wiznitzer began his high school career at The Christ School in Arden, N.C. before transferring to Hargrave. He averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game during his time at The Christ School.

In 2019 he transferred to Hargrave to prepare for his collegiate basketball career. Wiznitzer flourished during his time at Hargrave, adding to his stat line and gaining national attention for his skill set.

“Spending last year at Hargrave was a bonus in his development. Our intention is to redshirt Gabe to aid in that development. During this coming season, Gabe will train, practice, and travel throughout the entire season,” Mack said.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Men’s basketball routed by Seminoles Friday, Feb 28 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The No. 11 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team lost 82-67 to the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles Feb. 24 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

The Cardinals (24-6. 14-4) played in front of an unwelcoming crowd, as the arena was at 100% capacity. With this loss, Louisville now sits a game half back from Florida State in the current ACC standings.

The Cardinals were strong defensively in the first half and held the Seminoles (24-4, 14-3) at 15 points through the first ten minutes of the game.

Louisville’s old-school scoring style to get to the rim proved effective. The Cardinals produced only two-point buckets and free-throws through the first 13 minutes of the game until senior Ryan McMahon bottomed a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Cardinals up 24-17.

The Cardinals kept their space from Florida State on the scoreboard during the first half, matching every jumper the Seminoles hit from the field. Headed into the locker room for halftime, Louisville led Florida State 40-32.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals sat comfortably in the driver’s seat with a ten-point lead and looked to have the obvious momentum. Louisville soon went through a nine-minute scoring drought.

Seminoles senior Trent Forrest scored 14 of his 16 total points in the second half during Louisville’s stretch without a basket. Florida State ended up rallying back for the home victory due to the Cardinals scoring drought, defeating Louisville 82-67.

McMahon finished with 14 points. Junior Jordan Nwora had 13 points and eight rebounds. Freshman David Johnson totaled 13 points, four points and four assists. Senior Dywane Sutton finished with eight points and five rebounds.

The Seminoles’ field goal percentage propelled them to victory, they shot 51% from the field and 31% from the three-point line. Head coach Chris Mack said, “We battled. I thought their pressure, although it might have not turned us over, kept us on our heels. We handled it the first 20 minutes. Just didn’t keep up the pace in the second half.”

Louisville will host Virginia Tech next at the KFC Yum! Center Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. on the ACC Network.

Photo by Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal

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No. 5 Cardinals Men’s Basketball falls to Clemson Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team lost to the Clemson Tigers 77-62 Feb. 15 at the Littlejohn Coliseum.

This is the Cardinals (21-5, 12-3) third road loss this season, and Louisville is now enduring a two game losing streak.

Louisville shot poorly in the first half. The Cardinals shot 15.6 percent from the field as they managed to sink 3 of the 16 three-pointers.

The Tigers shot 46 percent from the field and flushed three three-pointers. Clemson (13-12, 7-8) had two players with double-digit scoring totals before the half.

Senior Dwayne Sutton led the Cardinals through their rough shooting streak. Sutton had eight points and six rebounds in the first half.

Louisville trailed Clemson 31-14 going into the half, the Cardinals lowest halftime score so far this season.

Clemson continued their excellent shooting performance with the help of the crowd. The Tigers ended the game shooting 51 percent from the field.

The Cardinals fouled Clemson 19 times, which led to 18 made free-throws for Clemson.

The Cardinals rebounded and assisted better than the Tigers, but Louisville’s 34.8 shooting percentage held them back.

At one point, Clemson led the Cardinals by a lopsided 21 points. Louisville came within 11 points at the 1:54 mark after Junior Jordan Nwora banged a three-pointer, but that was as close as the Cardinals came to tying the Tigers.

Clemson sealed the win at home with their second win against a top ten team in the nation.

Sutton shined in the Cardinals’ defeat. He had 18 points and seven rebounds. Freshman David Johnson contributed late in the game, ending with 12 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Junior Malik Williams had nine points and four rebounds.

Coach Chris Mack for Louisville said after the game, “It’s my fault. I have to figure it out. We as a coaching staff have to figure it out. It looks like we’re playing like we don’t have anything to play for. It’s frustrating. But it’s my job to figure it out, and I’ve failed so far.”

Louisille will look to redeem their play Feb. 19 at the KFC Yum! Center when they host the Syracuse Orange.

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No. 3 Louisville tops Miami (OH) in home win Friday, Dec 20 2019 

By John McCarthy —

 

The Cardinals defeated Miami (OH) Dec. 18 at the KFC Yum! Center, 70-46. 

The Redhawks tested Louisville in the first half, but the Cardinals settled down in the second half and won by a comfortable 24 points.

The Cardinals struggled from the field in the first half, shooting less than 30% from the three-point line. 

Miami (5-6, 0-0) had a series of runs led by precise rebounding that challenged Louisville in the first 20 minutes. 

The Cardinals (11-1, 2-0) managed to go on a 14-2 run to go up by twelve points, but the Redhawks continued to cut into the Louisville lead.

By the end of the first half, Louisville fought back, spreading the gap to 28-20. The major contributor for the Redhawks in the first half was sophomore Mekhi Lairy, who had 10 points. 

The second half was all Cardinals after the clock struck ten minutes left. 

Junior Jordan Nwora poured in 20 points while senior Ryan MacMahon contributed 11 points. Senior Dwayne Sutton tied his career-high for rebounds with 15. 

Although the Cardinals never trailed in the game, the Redhawks were able to cut the deficit to 44-40 with 9:02 left in the second half after Redhawk sophomore Josh Brewer’s three-pointer. 

The Cardinals went on a 17-0 run the next five minutes to close out Miami.

This is the fifth loss in the last six games for the struggling Redhawks. Cardinal Coach Chris Mack said, “I am just happy that we were able to finish the game the right way in such an overwhelming fashion the last ten minutes.”

This matchup resulted in a much-needed victory for the Cardinals. Following the Cardinals’ loss in Madison Square Garden against Texas Tech, Miami matched with a No. 3 Louisville team seeking to get back to the top spot in the nation.

 The Cardinals’ next game will be against the Kentucky Wildcats, their long time in-state rival. The Wildcats will head home after a two-game getaway in Las Vegas before hosting the Cardinals. Louisville will clash with Kentucky Dec. 28 at 3:45 p.m. at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. 

The Wildcats have won the last two games in the battle of the bluegrass against Louisville, but this season, they will have their hands full with an all-around elite top five in the nation Louisville team. 

File photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Up-and-coming freshmen raising the bar Friday, Nov 15 2019 

By Luke Graham–

Coach Chris Mack made quick work recruiting the No. 12 incoming class in the country. The class includes one five-star McDonalds All- American and a helping of four stars.

Mack seemed to always be close to landing big names while at Xavier, but he never had a big name university to achieve the final approval. In just his second year, it is exciting to see what he can possibly do for the future with his recruiting abilities.

The current freshman class is led by five-star forward Samuell Williamson. Williamson averaged 25-11-4 in points, rebounds and assists in his senior year of high school. He is the first McDonalds All-American the Cards brought in since VJ King and Mack’s first at Louisville.

Aidan Igiehon, David Johnson, Josh Nickelberry, Jaelyn Withers and Quinn Slazinkski round up the recruiting class for the Cards.

Most Louisville fans will have a special place in their hearts for David Johnson who elected to stay home after graduating from Trinity and play for the Cards. The guard was a four-year starter at Trinity and averaged 16-7-4 in points, rebounds and assists as a senior. He also received the Kentucky State Sweet Sixteen MVP.

An honorable mention from this class is graduate transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble who came from St. Joes University. 

While most of the freshmen got a chance to play against Miami, Williamson stuck out most. With raw potential that Mack and his staff will surely tap into, he showed flashes of something special. He made good cuts, had an eye for the court and played pretty good defense for a first game freshman.

It is unclear how much time these young Cards will play early in the season, but it is a nice sign that Mack has a formidable class to build on what they did last year.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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No. 4 Cards slams Indiana State 91-62 Friday, Nov 15 2019 

By Luke Graham-

Louisville men’s basketball took down Indiana State Nov. 13 with a final score of 91-62 at the KFC Yum! Center, maintaining a three game win streak. Junior forward Jordan Nwora came in strong, shooting 56 percent and 50 percent from behind the arc.

The Cards (3-0, 1-0) finished out the first half with a 47-26 lead. In the first half, Nwora kept the pace up, shooting four of eight and making both of his threes to finish the first half with 14 of the Cards’ 47 points.

Redshirt senior Dwayne Sutton played very well in the first half. He was all over the court and guarding anyone who came his way. He finished the half with 10 points and six rebounds. Graduate transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble helped the Cards out while shooting 100 percent, going 3-of-3 from the field and 1-for-1 from three.

The Cards let Indiana State (0-2) go on a little run to start the second half but calmed down and took the game back over. Louisville’s defense stepped up, led in most part by redshirt Senior Dwayne Sutton locking down whomever got hot for Indiana State. He also finished with a double-double, scoring 14 with 10 rebounds. He finished second in scoring behind Jordan Nwora with 21.

Freshman and 5-star McDonalds All-American Samuell Williamson showed flashes of what is to come, finishing the night off with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists while adding on a block and a steal. Williamson played the game smooth no matter if he was on defense, court vision, or shooting.

Kimble had an excellent game and showed real control while running the point for the Cards. He showed maturity and poise while only missing one shot and finishing with 13 points.

With a win, Louisville will look to climb up into the top three teams in the country after rival Kentucky took an upset loss to the University of Evansville.

Louisville will stay at home and play host to NC Central in the Global Sports Shootout on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. on the ACC network.

Photo by Anna Disslekamp // The Louisville Cardinal

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Key players to watch in men’s basketball Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

By Luke Graham —

Last year, there were no expectations for the Cards. Head coach Chris Mack impressed during his first year and seems like he will get the best out of his players.

Mack has real talent now and players are expected to perform.

Forward Jordan Nwora is the most talked-about Card and will be the scoring leader. He shot 45 percent from the field last year and 38 percent from behind the arc.

In his first game against Miami, he picked up right where he left off with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

His biggest issue last year was his defensive abilities. If he can improve his defense and ball-handling abilities, he has first-round NBA potential.

Freshman and McDonalds All-American Samuell Williamson looks like he will play a big role as well. He has the ability to be an infamous one-and-done, but if that’s the case, Cards fans hope to remember that one year as spectacular.

It seems that after the first game, he will get every opportunity to play and be a big player in Mack’s second year. He has already shown flashes of good offensive talent with an eye for the court and good defensive abilities.

Junior Malik Williams and senior Steven Enoch look to protect the basket and cause damage to it on the other. If Williams can come back from a broken foot, and Enoch can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, then they could be the key to advancing deep in “The Big Dance” in March.

This can only happen if they both stay healthy and aggressive.  They are forces down low and can determine a game by their defensive presence and offensive capabilities to finish and score.

The Cards need the McDonalds All-American to live up to the hype, Nwora to be the leader of the team and the big men in the paint and Williams and Enoch to stay healthy and on the court.

If all goes well, Cardinal fans could be in for an exciting year. The country has already taken notice of a No. 5 national ranking.

With teams like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky on the schedule, Louisville’s key players will have to step up and play like some of the best guys in the country.  North Carolina top recruit Cole Anthony versus Williamson will be fun to watch this year.

Freshmen Matthew Hunt and Vernon Casey from Duke will be show stoppers too. This is the game that Enoch and Williams must show their experience and lockdown both young freshmen and show the country why Louisville should be on high alert.

The Cards look to face off against Youngstown State in their next game on Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yum Center.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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