Louisville basketball: 3 takeaways from victory over Seton Hall

Samuell Williamson #10, Aidan Igehon #22 and Quinn Slazinski #11 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
Samuell Williamson #10, Aidan Igehon #22 and Quinn Slazinski #11 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images) /
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Louisville basketball
Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Louisville’s defense looks better than ever

Chris Mack is known for his pack-line defense. If you are not familiar with the logistics behind the defensive philosophy, think of it as a man-to-man defense that likes to sink inside and prevent layups or close shots at the rim on dribble-drives.

Louisville is significantly undersized inside this year. Aidan Igiehon is the only player in Louisville’s regular rotation this year that is over 6’8″. That’s pretty significantly small compared to teams of the past in Louisville. But, so far, Chris Mack and staff are making it work.

But how?

Well, just see for yourself.

That’s all five guys doing exactly what is asked for them. There is no shot of any dribble-drive effort from Seton Hall. Mamu was good for Seton Hall, but Louisville will live with that shot from him as the shot clock is winding down.

It’s a great job of switching when necessary and then slowly switching back to prevent significant size/speed mismatches by Williamson, Withers, and Johnson. Then, it ends with a hand in the face of Mamukelashvili on the shot attempt.

The young guys know nothing but this system so they have fully embraced it and seem to have a great understanding of it very early in the season which is a fantastic sign for things to come.

Seton Hall shot 33 percent from the field today and they had to earn all 22 of the field goals that they made.

If Louisville forces missed jump shots, they give themselves a greater opportunity of team rebounding.

The 6’2″ Carlik Jones had 11 (!!) rebounds today. That’s team defense. That’s the only way to compete on the glass for a team struggling with size without Williams in the lineup.

Consider me impressed with the offseason work. Quinn Slazinski has learned how to defend on the ball a little bit which has led to him limiting areas on defense where he is a liability. These guys competed very hard in the second half after a sluggish first and it showed.

Overall, it feels like there is a big cloud overshadowing the notable accomplishment of the team winning this game because of Williamson’s injury. As we eagerly wait to hear of any updates on his status, it’s important to note that this team was without four key players the final ten minutes of this game and they never gave up.

The Cardinals got a win over a strong Seton Hall team today and they are showing thick skin and deep talent that will certainly carry over when it’s time to dance in March.