Previewing Louisville basketball’s second game against Seton Hall.
The Louisville basketball team will play their second game in three days Friday afternoon when they take on the Seton Hall Pirates.
Louisville is coming off of an impressive 79-44 win over Evansville on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Seton Hall is yet to play a game as they had to cancel their first scheduled game of the season against No. 2 Baylor due to Covid reasonings.
Thus, the Pirates will be playing in their first game of the season today when they play against the Cardinals.
Seton Hall will have a game of film to their advantage in this one. However, not playing in a live-action game could slow the Pirates down early on as rust surely needs to be shaken off after an almost nine month hiatus.
Seton Hall was selected to finish fifth out of 11 in the preseason Big East coaches poll in what is a very good conference this year from top-to-bottom. They lose their star in Myles Powell, but there is plenty of firepower to still go around amongst their squad.
While Louisville will struggle with depth in the early goings of their season, that is where Seton Hall thrives most. They are a very balanced team coming into 2020.
With that said, let’s get into the preview for the Seton Hall game.
Who: Seton Hall Pirates (0-0) at Louisville Cardinals (1-0)
Where: KFC Yum! Center; Louisville Kentucky
When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. Eastern time
Spread: Louisville -6.5
Projected starting lineups (via. gocards.com)
F 10 Samuell Williamson 6-7 210 So. Rockwall, Texas
F 14 Dre Davis 6-5 220 Fr. Indianapolis, Ind.
C 24 Jae’Lyn Withers 6-8 215 R-Fr. Charlotte, N.C.
G 1 Carlik Jones 6-2 185 Gr. Cincinnati, Ohio
G 13 David Johnson 6-5 210 So. Louisville, Ky
Seton Hall (0-0)
F 14 Jared Rhoden 6-6 210 Jr. Baldwin, N.Y.
F 22 Myles Cale 6-6 210 Sr. Middletown, Del.
F 23 Sandro Mamukelashvili 6-11 240 Sr. Tbilisi, Georgia
G 1 Bryce Aiken 6-0 180 Sr. Randolph, N.J.
G 15 Takal Molson 6-5 205 Jr. Buffalo, N.Y.
Louisville basketball is set to take place in seven non-conference games for the 2020-21 slate. How do these teams stack up with the Cardinals?
Players to watch for Seton Hall
C/F Sandro Mamukelashvili – He stands 6’11” and is as offensively gifted as they come in the NCAA. This will be a very difficult matchup. He finished the 2019-20 season second on the team in points per game and rebounds with 11.9 and 6 respectively. He was not a great defender last season on the ball and he will have to guard some good athletes. Look for him to lead the offensive surge for the Pirates.
G Takal Molson – He is a transfer from Canisius College that can really be a spark plug on both ends of the floor. Molson sat out the 2019-20 season after averaging 16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and two assists in his sophomore year for the Griffins. Molson could be a forgotten man in the college basketball ranks. But, he was one of the best mid-majors in the country before his transfer.
G Bryce Aiken – Another mid-major transfer, Aiken has taken his talents to the Pirates by way of Harvard. The 6’0″ point guard is offensive minded and can pull his shot from anywhere past half court. He’s not just a deep three specialist. He can put it on the floor and score at all three levels. He is going to be a tough matchup for anyone guarding him.
Players to watch for Louisville
F JJ Traynor/G-F Dre Davis – These two freshman had nice debuts against Evansville. But Seton Hall is a different cat when it comes to talent and competition. They will have their work cut out for them. It will be important for both to play within themselves and find ways to chip in for the team without doing too much. If Davis plays the same kind of defense he did in game one and Traynor frees himself to show off his athleticism a few times, the Cardinals could be cooking.
G David Johnson – Even Johnson would probably tell you he had a rough first game against Evansville on Wednesday. He is still unquestionably one of the top three players Louisville has. He scored just four points in the 2020 opener. But look for him to have a big-time bounce back game if he can stay out of foul trouble.
G/F Samuell Williamson – Williamson shook some rust off in the first half of the Evansville game but found his offensive groove in the second. He is the most gifted player on the Louisville team. He just has needed to pull it together. The former five-star put up 17 points on 12 shots in game one to go with six rebounds and five assists. It’s early. But Williamson has a chance to put the nation on notice today.
This might be a lot tougher of a game than people seem to realize. The Pirates are good and they add two of the best transfers in the country to their lineup along with Mamukelashvili who is extraordinarily gifted on the offensive end. The Pirates have way more size than Evansville so winning the battle of the boards is something to keep an eye on today as Louisville rarely plays anyone over 6’8″ on the floor without Malik Williams.
This is a gut-check game very early for the Cardinals that will really give us a nice idea of where this team is truly at. If Carlik Jones, Williamson, and Johnson deliver, that trio could be a preview of what is to come in the ACC this year. If one or two of them falter, it could be an ugly game for the Cardinals against Seton Hall with deserving questions.
Seton Hall 76, Louisville 68
Right now, I just feel that a veteran team like Seton Hall will be able to balance the floor more than the Cardinals without three key players with the team. The Pirates have some mismatch problems and I expect Mamukelashvili will put up some big numbers on the offensive end against the under-sized Cardinals.
If the Cardinals do lose, it’s not time to panic. As is known, Malik Williams being out is just a massive blow to the team. They will need time to find an identity without him and the young players need to get their boots wet.
If Louisville wins, I would not be shocked. But, I expect if they do win that Jones, Johnson, and Williamson all had stellar performances.