Louisville basketball: Three takeaways from the win against Evansville

Samuell Williamson #10 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Samuell Williamson #10 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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The freshmen were a bigger factor than anticipated

There were two true freshmen in this game who made a significant impact for the Cardinals in pursuit of their victory.

It started with Dre’ Davis, a standout out of Lawrence Central High School in Indiana. Davis set the tone early on the defensive end. He may have been Louisville’s best defender the entire game. Davis ended the game with three blocks and a steal.

While he was not the star of the show on offense, Davis was steady and looked mature as a freshman not forcing anything and letting the game come to him. Davis completed his day with six points on 1-of-4 shooting.

Davis may not even be good as an offensive player this season. But, if he remains average as a scorer and can play the defense he did in his first game, there will be tons of minutes to go around for him.

JJ Traynor is the name that Cards fans may not have expected to make the impact he did. But he was excellent today. The 6’8″ 200-pound freshman from Bardstown, Kentucky checked in as a reserve just a few minutes into the game and immediately made his presence known with an “and one” on the offensive end.

Traynor showed off his elite athleticism running the floor and throwing the ball through the basket. He is a very intriguing player. He’s raw but he has the athleticism to play right now and has some nice touch around the basket.

Traynor finished the day with 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field as well as five rebounds.

It seems that the Cardinals will lean on Traynor for key minutes throughout the season. As he gets comfortable with what is going on as a reserve, we could see him blossom into his full form as the season goes on.

Traynor and Igiehon will likely split bench minutes as the season wears on. But, right now, Traynor is earning the minutes he is going to get.

The Cardinals next play a much more formidable opponent in Seton Hall on Friday. It will certainly be intriguing to see how Davis and Traynor play in the team’s first true test. The best players should start to separate themselves in this game.