Louisville basketball vs. Evansville game preview

Louisville Cardinals mascot (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Louisville Cardinals mascot (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Previewing Louisville basketball’s season opener against Evansville.

The Louisville basketball team is set to play their season opener on Wednesday afternoon against the Evansville Purple Aces.

Evansville was pegged in the preseason to finish last in the Missouri Valley Conference. With a lot of turnover on the team and new faces needing to make contributions, the Aces are generally an unknown within the conference.

Louisville will be without Malik Williams and Charles Minlend in this game as both will be sidelined for a significant amount of time with their own injuries. Williams had foot surgery while Minlend is nursing a knee sprain.

Chris Mack also announced just recently that sophomore guard Josh Nickelberry will be out for this game and possibly a couple more.

The Cardinals are now in a struggle with depth and will only have nine scholarship players available for this game.

With all of this being said, let’s get into the game day preview for this matchup.

Who: Evansville Purple Aces (0-0) at Louisville Cardinals (0-0)

Where: KFC Yum! Center; Louisville, Kentucky

When: Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. Eastern time

Spread: Louisville -21.5

TV: ACC Network

Projected Starting Lineups (via gocards.com)

 Louisville Cardinals

F 11 Quinn Slazinski 6-8 215 So.

F 14 Dre Davis 6-5 220 Fr.

C 24 Jae’Lyn Withers 6-8 215 R-Fr.

G 1 Carlik Jones 6-2 185 Gr.

G 13 David Johnson 6-5 210 So.


Evansville Purple Aces

F 2 Jax Levitch 6-7 195 Gr.

F 10 Evan Kuhlman 6-8 215 Sr.

F 23 Trey Hall 6-9 200 Fr.

G 5 Shamar Givance 5-10 170 Jr.

G 30 Noah Frederking 6-4 205 Sr.

*These projected lineups are not official starting lineups

** Jax Levitch is the younger brother of former Louisville basketball guard David Levitch.

Important game day links

Players to watch for Louisville

G/F Samuell Williamson – Williamson was not listed as a projected starter in the Louisville game notes. However, if he is healthy coming off of his injury, it is reasonable to expect that he will be a big-time contributor and may even start on the first tip. We will see what kind of jump the former five-star has made in year two.

G/F Dre’ Davis – Davis, a true freshman, is listed as a projected starter according to Louisville’s game notes. Davis recently was honored with the “gold jersey” by the coaching staff that is given to the a player succeeding in practices. Even if he does not start officially, he is going to get a lot of minutes in this game.

G Carlik Jones – This is the name everyone has been waiting to see. There have been rave reports out of practice and all signs point to Jones leading the way for the Cards on the floor this season. Jones will have his chance to prove it in the matchup today.

Final thoughts

Holy cow, we finally made it to a college basketball game day after the NCAA tournament in March was cancelled. This Louisville team is not exactly what we thought we would be getting after a couple of injuries have set the team back some.

The young players like Dre’ Davis and Gabe Wiznitzer could see a lot of time in this game. Sophomores David Johnson, Sam Williamson, and Aidan Igiehon will have big roles with the team. They need to take the proper steps if they hope to succeed this season. That starts today.

Louisville’s new faces may start slow in this game, but it is fair to assume that they will pull away from a completely revamped Evansville squad that lost 19 straight games to end the 2019-20 basketball season.

Score Prediction

Louisville 74, Evansville 55

This game will likely start slow as both teams get a feel for the first game against another team. But Louisville’s talent will take over into the second half as they pull away from the Aces.

It’s genuinely impossible to know what to expect from the Aces who lost their five leading scorers from a year ago. Head coach Todd Lickliter started in January of 2020 with the team. This will be his first full season as the head coach.

Let’s play some basketball!

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