Louisville basketball: 3 takeaways from the win against PVAM

Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals . (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals . (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Louisville basketball team took care of business as they defeated Prairie View A&M

It was a smooth finish for the Louisville basketball team on the way to their 86-64 victory over the Prairie View A&M Pirates.

The Cardinals improved to 3-0 on the season as they put on another impressive performance against a good SWAC program despite the team missing four good players that would normally be in the rotation (three of which are possible starters).

A sluggish start by Louisville was quickly erased by a couple of momentum changing plays by sophomore guard David Johnson and forward Jae’Lyn Withers.

The Cardinals had just 8 points through over eight minutes of play to start the game and Prairie View A&M led for the first 13 minutes of action.

It was smooth sailing for the Cardinals there after as they upped their intensity and put the clamps down to obtain the easy victory in the second half.

There was a huge performance by an unusual suspect and some overarching thoughts on this basketball team to go through.

Let’s review three takeaways from Louisville’s win against Prairie View A&M.

Jae’Lyn Withers stole the show

The redshirt freshman forward had himself a game against the Panthers. Withers shot 8-for-10 with 20 points and 9 rebounds in his performance.

It was a night that seemed like Withers could have scored 30 if he wanted it. He was dominant on the offensive end and Prairie View A&M had zero answers for him.

In the first half, Withers caught a lob from David Johnson and threw it down with authority on a poor unsuspecting Panthers defender. It was an and-one for Withers on just one of his many impressive plays on the evening.

Withers has been forced into playing center for the Cardinals. While he is not a natural fit there at just 6’8″, he is showing he is too athletic for most centers he matches up with. A smooth mover who has put on a ton of weight since he was declared a redshirt by Chris Mack prior to the 2019 season, he is finding his stride early.

He can step out and shoot the three with a beautiful stroke, he can show off his bouncy athleticism, and he is very crafty and strong for an undersized player around the rim.

Overall, Withers is the most offensively gifted big man I can remember Louisville having. He’s got so much potential at all three levels of the floor.

He is not a great defender and is not going to be a guy to stand in the paint and be a rim protector. But he is fantastic on offense and has been getting better each of the first two games.

Withers was playing at a high level Sunday night and he will draw his toughest matchup of the year so far when he faces Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey.

Let’s take this Withers performance for what it is. It’s one game and it was against a mid-major school. But, it’s a start and he showed Louisville fans that he has a ton in his arsenal.