NC State travels to Louisville to try and gain back to back road wins aginst ranked opponents. Game time is Sunday at 1 o’clock with coverage on the ACC Network. What do you need to know about Louisville before tipoff?
Louisville’s defense is relentless at applying pressure.
Rick Pitino likes to force teams into turnovers by having his team press full court from start to finish. They use this tactic to speed their opponents up, forcing them to turn the ball over. Louisville is plus 3.3 in turnover margin thus far. Another characteristic of the Cards defense is rim protection. Louisville averages 6.2 BPG which ranks 6th in the NCAA. The Cards ability to erase and alter shots allows them to be aggressive on the perimeter. 62.2 PPG is all opponents are averaging when playing aginst Louisville.
The Cards are 4-1 in their last five games.
Despite injuries to Quentin Snider and most recently Tony Hicks Louisville has held things together. Their lone loss was a five-point defeat at FSU. Rick Pitino has used his team’s depth and do it all guard Donovan Mitchell to keep them on track. Last game Mitchell had a big game scoring 29 points on 9-13 shooting. He also knocked down 6-8 three-pointers.
Rebounding is a strength for the Cards.
Rick Pitino’s team excel at effort statistics. This season they are averaging 41.8 RPG good enough to be ranked 5th in the NCAA. Team’s struggle to keep pace with the Cards on the glass as Louisville sports a plus 7.3 rebounding margin on the season. The Cards find extra possessions because they attack the offensive glass averaging 14 offensive rebounds per game. Opposing teams are forced to execute and shoot high percentages to beat the Cards as they cut off second chance points. In two of their three ACC losses, they have lost the rebounding battle.
Louisville is having a solid season as they are 17-4, 5-3 in ACC play. Rick Pitino’s teams play hard and excel at outworking teams. They fight hard defensively and are as tough as any team on the glass. Adversity has struck this team as they have had to play without leader Quentin Snider; however, each player has stepped up to keep winning. Offensively Louisville likes to play fast as they use their defensive pressure to force quick offense. Out rebounding and creating turnovers are a great recipe for winning and Louisville is great at both. They will try and force their style of play on NC State in hopes they can create lots of turnovers and easy baskets. Game time is Sunday at 1 o’clock with coverage on The ACC Network.