The Illinois State Redbirds (5-1) will bring their high powered offense into the KFC YUM! Center today at 1:00 to face No. 5 Louisville (5-1). The Cardinals will try to slow down the Redbirds with lockdown defense.
The Redbirds are averaging 85.0 points per game, which is one of the nations top scoring attacks. The Missouri Valley member is doing it efficiently by shooting 50.5 percent from the field. UofL’s defense is holding opponents to just 54.5 points per game.
Illinois State is led by Kentucky native Tyler Brown. The senior guard from Owensboro is averaging 18.8 points in 26.5 minutes per game. Brown is a pure scorer and solid in all aspects. Brown shoots 40 percent from behind the arc and 81.8 percent from the charity line. Expect Louisville’s Peyton Siva and Russ Smith to take turns chasing Brown around. Brown scored 36 points in their only loss to Northwestern while knocking down seven 3-point baskets.
Russ Smith is leading the Cards in scoring with 19.2 points per game. Siva is the only other UofL player to average double digits with 10.3 points. Chane Behanan is the leading rebounder with 8.5 snags per game.
Louisville is likely to start big man Zach Price in place of injured Gorqui Dieng. Stephan Van Treese is also expected to get an increase in minutes. Together they will try to slow down the Redbird’s second leading scorer Jackie Carmichael. The 6’9″ and 240 pound senior is pitching in 16.2 points and grabbing 6.8 rebounds per contest.
UofL is currently a 10.5 point favorite. If the shots are falling for the Redbirds as they have all season, it could become a shoot-out and come down who can generate extra possessions.