Thursday, March 29, 2012

Final Four Preview - Louisville

Louisville Cardinals (30-9)

Won Big East Tournament
#4 Seed West Regional

Tournament Wins:

W 69-62 vs #13 Davidson
W 59-56 vs #5 New Mexico
W 57-44 vs #1 Michigan State
W 72-68 vs #7 Florida


#10 Gorgui Dieng - Sophomore - 6'11" 235 lbs - The big sophomore is an excellent rebounder and a big-time shot blocker as evidenced by his 7 blocks in the Sweet 16 against Michigan State. Dieng leads the Cardinals with 32 rebounds so far in the NCAA tournament. He is the 102nd ranked prospect on ESPN analyst Chad Ford's draft board.
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#24 Chane Behanan - Freshman - 6'6" 250 lbs - A tough, physical forward, Behanan is Louisville's leading scorer in the tournament. Behanan has scored in double figures in all four games while shooting a team best 63.9% from the field, and pulling down nearly 8 rebounds a game. He is ranked 90th on Chad Ford's draft board.
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#14 Kyle Kuric - Senior - 6'4" 195 lbs - The Senior swingman leads the Cardinals in scoring this season, but has shot a poor percentage in the NCAA Tournament hitting just 13 of 37 shots.
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#5 Chris Smith - Senior - 6'2" 195 lbs - The Senior Smith transferred to Louisville after two years at Manhattan. Smith has hit 66 3-pointers this season and has hit 42.9% of his long range shots in the tournament.
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#3 Peyton Siva - Junior - 6'0" 180 lbs - The quick, athletic junior is an excellent defender and sees the floor extremely well. While he has struggled with fouls in the tournament, actually fouling out against both Davidson and Florida, he's still managed to average 7 assists a game. He is ranked 154th on Chris Ford's draft board.
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Key Reserve:

#2 Russ Smith - Sophomore - 6'0" 160 lbs - Despite coming off the bench, Smith has led the Cardinals in scoring twice in the NCAA Tournament, including in their come-from-behind win over Florida in the Elite Eight when he finished with 19 points. Smith is averaging 13.3 points in the tournament, good for second on the team and he's shooting an absurd 70% from 3-point range.
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Rick Pitino - Pitino's in his 11th season with the Cardinals and has them in the Final Four for the second time in his tenure. The College Coach of the Year in 1987 with Providence, Pitino won a National Championship with Kentucky in 1996. He's won 616 games at the college level in his career.
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Where I had them finishing:

I actually had Louisville losing to the first round... to Davidson... Clearly that didn't work out and for the second year in a row, the team that won the Big East has continued it's run all the way to the Final Four.


Louisville lost to Kentucky 69-62 on New Year's Eve. Russ Smith scored 30 points off the bench as Louisville's starters really struggled hitting just 8 of 35 shots in the game. Gorgui Dieng did have 6 blocks in a losing effort.

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