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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Louisville basketball
Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals . (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Team 107 has a different identity than Team 106

In 2019, the Louisville Cardinals were a lot about grit and shooting the basketball from the outside led by the likes of Jordan Nwora and Ryan McMahon with toughness instilled by players like Dwayne Sutton and Steven Enoch.

Those players are gone now and it is a bit of a new age in the Louisville basketball program. This team has a ton of offensive upside with much less focus on shooting the deep shot and more focused on creativity.

First off, Jae’Lyn Withers is a whole new flavor at the center position. His offensive versatility has really changed the dynamics of the team on its head with him being able to score in the ways he can.

Generally this team in 2020 is primarily run through the guards while the 2019 team was run through the forwards.

Fresh Kimble was a fine transfer pick-up for the Cards for last year’s team. But he’s no Carlik Jones as a scorer. Jones is a different breed.

This team goes as David Johnson and Carlik Jones do at the moment. Both of those players are crafty, gifted offensive talents that Louisville just did not have last year for the most part.

Sam Williamson is a guard-forward combo, but he attacks and plays the game like a guard with his ability to shoot the midrange game and shoot it off the bounce.

Johnson, Jones, Williamson, and Withers are all guys who can create their own shots and opportunities at the rim as it stands right now. Once Josh Nickelberry is healthy, he may be able to come in and do similar things.

Last year, Jordan Nwora was the one shot creator the Cards could rely on for consistent points in a game of one-on-one.

This team in 2020 is young, but they are talented as offensive players. Add in the grit of Dre’ Davis and JJ Traynor as well as the length and potential of David Johnson and Sam Williamson on defense and you are looking at a complete team that really only lacks size and depth due to injuries.

Louisville may not have the shot blockers or rebounders in the paint they usually have but they do compete in man-to-man defense and the players seem to understand their roles as defenders with the team.

It’s hard for me to imagine this team going on many scoring droughts with the potential of players like Jones, Johnson, Withers, and Williamson seemingly able to have the ability to take over the game at any moment. If the defense follows and they can struggle through the potential of getting out-rebounded in games this year, they may be hard to stop.

Team 107 is offensively gifted and they’re just getting started.