Louisville basketball (2-0) will face off against a fairly dangerous opponent from the mid-major ranks. We’ve got you covered for all the details you need ahead of Wednesday’s matchup.
After going 2-0 in their first week of the 2019-20 season, Louisville basketball will look to continue their momentum while cleaning up some of the issues against a sneakily dangerous Indiana State team.
We knew when the schedule came out that after the opener against Miami (FL) things were going to get dull, rather quickly with the Cards facing four straight sub-100 KenPom ranked teams. However, the one program that many avid basketball fans pointed to as providing a challenge was Indiana State due to their dynamic backcourt.
While the Sycamores aren’t a team receiving any preseason notoriety nor one given much chance the make the NCAA Tournament, they have proven to be capable of pulling upsets during non-conference play. Each of the last three seasons, Indiana State has managed to knock off a team from a traditional power conference, including Colorado in 2018, Indiana in 2017, and no. 16 ranked Butler in 2016.
While Louisville is head and shoulders above those programs, the matchup against Indiana State is not one where you expect to see the Cards rest on their laurels. The Sycamores feature two dynamic scorers including Tyreke Key and Jordan Barnes, who were named to the Preseason Missouri Valley Conference First Team and Second Team respectively.
Louisville has been extremely impressive through their first two games, garnering talking about Chris Mack potentially having one of, if not the best team in the country. Mack has applauded his team for parts of their success, but their inability to finish out strong as well as playing with effort all the way through has been his primary focus.
After the win against Youngstown State, Mack talked about his team’s effort and the issue with rebounding. He told local media:
“Then there is a little bit of a toughness element to it. We are very early in the season. We are far from a finished product. I know this; we have to get much better in that area. We know we have a big challenge against Indiana State, who took Dayton to the wire.”
When going up against teams ranked in the middle to the bottom half of the KenPom rankings, it’s hard to learn a lot about your team. In fact, typically the only time there’s much to take away is when your team plays horribly.
While I wouldn’t expect that to be the case against Indiana State, it’ll be important for Louisville to continue to play at their best (rather than playing down) as well as getting ever-important reps for their freshman.
We saw Aidan Igiehon continue to struggle against Youngstown State last weekend, while Quinn Slasiznki was able to get going from deep. The quicker Louisville is able to get up and put Indiana State away, the better it’ll be for guys like Igiehon, Slasinzki, and Nickelberry to get reps and become more valuable down the stretch of the season.
Let’s take a look at the matchup with Indiana State a little bit more in-depth.