World News – US Preview – Louisville-Western Kentucky: Cards welcome talented « tops » to town


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Defeated Northern Iowa, 93-87, on Nov.. . 25 (Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic) Defeated Memphis, 75-69, on Nov.. . 26 (Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic) Lost to West Virginia, 70-64, Nov.. . 27 (Bad Boy Mower Crossover Classic)

With all due respect to Seton Hall, Louisville is likely to face the toughest test (certainly the most talented test) of the young 2020-21 season on Tuesday when the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers hit the KFC Yum Center.

The « Tops » put in an extremely impressive performance at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, beating the likely NCAA tournament teams Northern Iowa and Memphis. 11 West Virginia in the tournament championship game. You are currently at No.. 4 in the Mid-Major Madness Top 25.

As it did a year ago when the two teams competed, Western Kentucky is led by Charles Bassey, one of the most talented centers in college basketball. No one expected the former five-star recruit to spend more than a couple of months at Bowling Green, but after an all-okay freshman campaign, an injury ended his hugely promising second season after just 10 games, forcing him to do at least one Time to return to the WKU for another year.

Louisville may not face a more talented big man than Bassey this season, which isn’t exactly ideal for a team that misses out on their senior center and isn’t currently starting a player taller than 6’8. The 6’11 Bassey starts on Tuesday with average career best in points (15). 7), rebounds (10. 0) and blocks (3. 7). He’s an imposing physical specimen who has become a versatile goalscorer over the last year but still does his best job before he gets the ball in the mail.

It’s going to be a terribly difficult job for Jae’Lyn Withers or Aidan Igiehon or JJ Traynor or whoever to keep Bassey from getting a shot right around the edge without getting into bad trouble.

Bassey is also a big put off on the other end of the floor, where he’s blocked eleven shots in just three games this season, the most of any player in the country. His seven blocks against Memphis were the most in a WKU player’s game since 2011. In this game, Bassey was also the 19th place player since 2010. Division I, who had a game of at least 21 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks. Foul issues haven’t been as big an issue in his college career so far as you’d expect Bassey to be, but he has won at least three in every game this year.

The only major weakness in Basey’s game right now is his tendency to flip the ball, which he has done nine times in just three games this year. Expect Louisville to double the post after the catch, not only to try to keep Bassey off goal but to force him into a rash decision that will result in a giveaway. It’s something they didn’t do much a year ago.

A big problem for Western Kentucky last season when Bassey was healthy was that the other four hilltoppers on the ground appeared to be expecting the big man to correct any available back-up jump. As a result, the « tops » were extremely bad at allowing second chance opportunities. This has not been an issue this year, as the WKU refrains from offensive rebounds with only 24. 1 percent of the misses of their opponents, good for the 68. best odds in the country.

As outstanding as Bassey was this season, he doesn’t top Western Kentucky in the standings. That honor belongs to the former Kentucky Mr.. . Basketball Taveion Hollingsworth who pours in 19. 0 ppg. The all-time leading goalscorer in Lexington High School Hoops history, Hollingsworth broke Courtney Lee’s record as a freshman in his first season with the Hilltoppers, and took over the helm of the WKU following the fall of Bassey last season.

Hollingsworth still has a chip on his shoulder for not being recruited into college basketball’s power conference programs, particularly local ones. He is a great talent who will once again do everything in his power to prove to Cardinal fans that the previous regime missed the boat by not offering him (he scored 16 against U of L a year ago). .

The only problem with Hollingsworth – the 45 shoots. 2 percent off the field this season – right now, his health is. He suffered an arm injury last week in South Dakota and will be a playful decision according to head coach Rick Stansbury. Even so, I think it’s safe to see the former Paul Dunbar star in uniform for this one.

The Western Kentucky player that any elementary school dad or basketball coach loves most is another former Mr.. . Kentucky Basketball, Carson Williams. The 6’5-year-old striker actually slipped after Basey’s injury last season and played for the Hilltoppers in the center. He starts on Tuesday with an average of 9. 7 points and 6. 7 rebounds per game. He’s a bit of a medium-sized Dwayne Sutton in that he looks for everything and doesn’t look like he should be able to put up the kinds of numbers he does. The man doesn’t care how pretty it looks, he just cares about finding a way to get his job done.

One of the WKU’s greatest weaknesses in recent years has been the lack of a real point guard. You have one this season in Grad Transfer Kenny Cooper who some Louisville fans may remember as the floor general who almost led Lipscomb to a card surprise two years ago. He’s still trying to figure out how he fits in with this team and hasn’t shot the ball well at all this season, but he’s a lightning fast guard who sees the entire floor and can be a nuisance on the defensive too.

When Louisville spends too much time focusing on the other parts of the WKU, Luke Frampton is the type of gamer who can absolutely make it shine. The junior sniper moved from Davidson, where he was one of only two wildcats ever to score at least 100 three-points in a single season. The only other Davidson player to do this is Stephen Curry. Frampton is 6-of-15 from beyond the bow this season.

The depth is a key benefit for this western Kentucky team, with nine players averaging double-digit minutes and an average of 20 minutes. 7 bank points per game. That’s not exactly good news for a Louisville team that currently only has eight healthy fellows. Senior Guard Josh Anderson (7. 7 ppg / 3. 7 rpg) and the super talented newcomer Dayvion McKnight (Kentucky’s youngest Mr.. . Basketball) will both have a huge impact on what happens in the game on Friday. Anderson is a gifted athlete who has been a major contributor to Westerns throughout his college career, but whose minutes have dropped only marginally this season due to this team’s laden bench.

Forget the name on the front of the jersey. Western Kentucky has a list of power conferences that would be competitive in any league in America. They may struggle to keep focus in the C-USA game because their head coach has a reputation for overseeing these types of rounds, but in games like Tuesday where they will undoubtedly be fully focused, you should be careful.

—Louisville has won 84 of its last 88 non-conference games at the KFC Yum Center, a mark that spans the past 10 seasons.

– Louisville has won eight straight games against Western Kentucky. The Cardinals have extended active winning streaks against just 11 other opponents. U of L hasn’t lost to the Hilltoppers since November. 30, 2008 when it dropped a 68-54 decision to WKU in Nashville.

– With a total of 80 games, Western Kentucky is the third most popular opponent in Louisville in program history. Only Cincinnati and Memphis faced the cardinals several times on the hardwood.

– Since the beginning of the 2017/18 season, the WKU has been 8: 5 against the Power Five conference teams. The Hilltoppers had seven overall wins against Power Five teams from 2007-08 to 2016-17.

—Louisville shot his first three opponents under 40 percent off the field (Evansville) . 298, Seton Hall . 333, Prairie View . 393). Last season the Cardinals were 13. in the nation in the percentage defense of field gates (. 389).

– Louisville is 22-4 in games played on December. 1 and won the last six on that date.

—Chris Mack is 2-0 against Western Kentucky. In addition to winning last season in Nashville, he also beat the « Tops 90-64 » on December. 5, 2015 when he was with Xavier.

– In the first three games of the season, the WKU executed 52 of 63 free throws (82). 5%), while his opponents only made 30 out of 41 out of the strip. The Hilltoppers have made 41 of 53 free throws in the second half of their three games.

– Depth was a strength for the Hilltoppers earlier this season. You have nine players averaging double digit minutes and an average of 20. 7 bank points per game. Last season, the WKU’s average was 11. 8 bank points per game. The 42 bank points in the season opener win over North Iowa were the highest since receiving 47 points from reserves against UAB in February. 27, 2016.

– Louisville, conversely, will only have eight healthy fellows available for Tuesday’s game. All but one of these players are freshmen or sophomores.

– Louisville averages 41 points on the color in its first three games, 53 percent of its score.

– At the KFC Yum Center, Louisville has an overall record of 157-25 and a 92-6 mark against opponents outside of the conference. The cards have won 48 of their last 51 home games against opponents outside the conference.

– Louisville was 18-0 last season when he scored at least 71 points and only 6-7 when he didn’t. The cards have hit 71 points in each of their first two games this season.

– Louisville is one of only four schools to have won 20 or more games on the court in each of the last 18 seasons. Gonzaga, Duke, and Kansas are the other.

Louisville Cardinals Men’s Basketball, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Men’s Basketball, Atlantic Coast Conference, Western Kentucky University, Basketball

World News – USA – Louisville-Western Kentucky Preview: Cards welcome talented tops to town
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