By Beau Kilpatrick—
Clemson came out hot against No. 12 Louisville but the Cards stomped the Tigers by 32 points in an impressive offensive effort, winning 60-92.
The Tigers did not have the stamina to keep up their initial pace against the Cardinals for very long. Clemson held a nine-point lead early until Louisville gained its first lead of the night with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half. Once the Cardinals gained the lead, they never looked back.
Starting point guard Quentin Snider missed his first game in his career due to a hip injury he suffered against Duke last weekend. Snider is the only true point guard on the team and had to be replaced by Donovan Mitchell and company. Guards like Ryan McMahon, David Levitch, and Tony Hicks saw increased playing time in the absence of Snider.
The offense of the Cards started off sloppy and inconsistent but that changed drastically after the first ten minutes. Five players scored double figures and the team as a whole shot an impressive 56 percent from the field, including a fantastic 41 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Donovan Mitchell was on fire against the Tigers. He was 8-8 shooting and had 18 points in the first half. Mitchell drained a pair of three-pointers in the final 15 seconds of the half, including a buzzer-beater where he was double-teamed. Mitchell did not play very much in the second half. Perhaps coach Pitino decided to rest him because of the quick turnaround to play No. 10 Florida State tomorrow.
Highlight reel of Mitchell’s perfect half: https://youtu.be/xv68WXSkmT4
Deng Adel had a great night as well, adding 18 points and six rebounds to help his team. Freshman V.J. King is finally displaying the potential that we’ve all been waiting to see. King put up 14 points, shooting 62 percent on the night. Mangok Mathiang has not been playing well as of late, especially with Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spalding starting recently. I believe Pitino is resting Mahmoud and Spalding for the bigger game. Mathiang put up 12 points with eight rebounds against Clemson. Jaylen Johnson also contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
However, Jaylen Johnson was kicked out of the game because of a technical foul. Johnson and Clemson’s Elijah Thomas were very physical throughout the entire game. The two exchanged words many times. With almost six minutes remaining in the game, Thomas and Johnson were fighting for the rebound when Thomas inadvertently elbowed Johnson in the mouth. This sparked the hostility that almost led to a fight. Once the technical foul was given to both players, they wouldn’t shut up and they were both ejected.
The Cardinals made a statement with this 32-point win. They are not going to be taken lightly. They have the most impressive resume in college basketball and yet they do not receive the respect a team of their caliber deserves, the University of Louisville has never received the same recognition as other schools.
I believe many players did not get their usual amount of playing time because of the extremely short turnaround to travel to Tallahassee, Florida to face the No. 10 FSU Seminoles. We will see if the same offensive consistency will continue to compliment the relentless tenacity of Louisville’s terrorizing defense tomorrow against the Seminoles.
FSU season stats: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/team/stats/_/id/52
The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals will face the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles at 2 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
As always, GO CARDS!! #L1C4