The Louisville basketball team ran away from Evansville in the first game of the season.
The Louisville basketball team picked up their first win of the season in their season opener at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinals defeated Evansville 79-44 Wednesday afternoon in what was a dominant performance all the way through.
While Louisville got off to a slow start on the offensive end, the defense was unbelievable from the get go.
There were some surprising names that led to the pack-line defense being so dominant against the Aces on Wednesday. More on that later.
The Cardinals led for the final 37 minutes of action after they struggled to get the ball in the hoop in what started as a very sloppy performance.
It was not necessarily a surprising outcome for the Cardinals. But maybe more of a pleasant entrance into the 2020 season. It never felt like the game was in jeopardy on this day.
It was an exciting day for basketball fans with an exciting outcome and a lot to digest all around.
Let’s take a look at three key things to take away from the game against Evansville.
Carlik Jones lived up to the hype
There have been a lot of questions surrounding this 2020 Louisville squad with plenty of players lost and injuries currently plaguing the team. But there was one constant rumor flying out of Louisville’s preseason practices.
Carlik Jones is the real deal.
The fans got what they heard so much about with Mr. Jones. He delivered with an 18 point, 8 rebound, and 7 assist performance in his first game in a Louisville uniform.
Jones, a graduate transfer from Radford, looked like the best player on the floor throughout the entire game.
Everyone knew he could score coming off of a season where he averaged 20 points per game for Radford. But there was something else that stood out to me even more than his scoring.
He kept the team cool and composed in the half court. The Cardinals had zero fast break points in this game. That means the Cardinals put up 79 points purely in the half court or the free throw line. Now, that number will surely not be at zero in many games through the remainder of the year. But, for now, Jones’ ability to keep the Cards scoring at a consistent rate in the half court was impressive.
His vision and feel for the game is through the roof. He has a great understanding of when to attack on offense and when to feed his teammates for easy points.
That is going to help a young Louisville team all season as they attempt to last with veterans Malik Williams and Charles Minlend recovering from injury. If he can get guys easy looks with his ability to digest a defense, it will allow freshmen like JJ Traynor and Dre Davis to get their confidence up as offensive players.
Jones is going to be an unreal player in Louisville if he puts together performances like this one consistently. He can score on all three levels of the floor and it’s easy to see why he was a huge win for Chris Mack and the program. Jones will be one of the best in the ACC (if not the country) before long.