A win over Rutgers isn’t exactly something to brag about, but this Louisville team appears to be getting better at the perfect time. Having a week off is exactly what the Cards needed. In his press conference on Friday, Coach Pitino mentioned that his team had fresh legs and fresh minds for the first time this season. That was obvious last night.
Chane Behanan is starting to look like the best freshman in the Big East. Behanan finished with a career high 23 points shooting 12 of 13 from the field. The only shot Behanan missed was a three pointer late in the game. He also grabbed 11 rebounds. His 23 points came from six dunks. He was just one shy of Pervis Ellison’s single game record of seven. If Behanan can continue to play at this level, Louisville will be a dangerous team.
Chris Smith may have had the most complete game of his career. In just 27 minutes of action Smith totalled 13 rebounds, 8 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Chris can play a huge role for this team without scoring a point. It was good to see him playing well in all other areas when his shot wasn’t falling. It’s nice to see you senior guard playing at a high level in February.
Gorgui Dieng is now just 21 blocks away from the single season record. Dieng totalled 7 blocks last night for the third time in his Louisville career. Coach Pitino said Gorgui is questionable for Monday’s game against UConn after rolling his ankle in the second half.
Peyton Siva picked up two quick fouls which limited his minutes in the first half, but overall I thought he played a pretty solid game. The stats won’t show that, but Siva appears to be getting up and down the floor a lot better over the past two games. I think we may finally see him playing at 100% for the first time this season.
There is still a lot of room for improvement, but this team is getting better at the perfect time. UConn on Monday will be a huge test for the Cards.