Stetson (2-4) at (20) Louisville (4-1)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Freedom Hall (18,865) -- Louisville, Kentucky. Television: Local. Home Record: Stetson 2-0, Louisville 3-0. Away Record: Stetson 0-4, Louisville 0-1. Neutral Record: Stetson 0-0, Louisville 1-0. Conference Record: Stetson 0-1, Louisville 0-0. Series Record: Louisville leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The 20th-ranked Louisville Cardinals welcome the Stetson Hatters to Freedom Hall this evening for what appears to be a lopsided non-conference affair.
Stetson has played six games thus far, and just two have resulted in victories. On Monday, the Hatters were completely dominated by USC Upstate in a 78-56 defeat, and Louisville is obviously a much tougher opponent. Stetson has played two major conference teams thus far, falling to Florida and Florida State by a combined total of 70 points.
As for Louisville, it opened the season with four straight wins and was expected to make it five in a row against UNLV on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they dropped a 76-71 decision to the Rebels. Rick Pitino's Louisville squad is a member of the Big East Conference, which is loaded with talent as usual.
Louisville has won four of its five all-time meetings with Stetson, and the teams haven't squared off in over four decades.
The Hatters are generating a mere 59.8 ppg on 36.3 percent shooting from the floor, as they have struggled mightily at the offensive end. They have posted 31 more turnovers than assists and are shooting just 29.6 percent from the three-point range and 62.1 percent from the charity stripe. Defensively, the club is yielding 74.0 ppg. The top scorer for Stetson is Tyshawn Patterson, who is netting 15.3 ppg on the strength of his 45.5 percent shooting from behind the arc. A.J. Smith provides 13.3 ppg, and Ridge Graham adds 10.3 ppg to the mix. The Hatters turned the ball over 18 times and played poor defense against USC Upstate last time out, surrendering 61.2 percent shooting from the field. Patterson managed 17 points in the setback, while Smith finished with 12 points and four assists.
Samardo Samuels is scoring 16.6 ppg for Louisville this season, and the rugged power forward is contributing 7.0 rpg as well. The only other double-digit scorer for the Cardinals is Edgar Sosa, who adds 13.8 ppg and 3.4 apg. Don't mistake the fact that there are just two double-digit scorers for a lack of offensive punch, as the Cardinals are generating 81.2 ppg. Defensively, they are limiting opponents to 66.4 ppg on 39.3 percent field goal efficiency. In the loss to UNLV last time out, Louisville shot just 38.7 percent from the floor in the second half, the most obvious reason for the disappointing outcome. A rather high total of 16 turnovers didn't help matters. Sosa scored 18 points for the Cards, and Samuels netted 13.
Louisville is the obvious choice, as Pitino's team will have this game locked up by intermission. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Stetson can even compete in this tilt.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisville 99, Stetson 51
12/02 10:33:17 ET
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