Louisville basketball vs. Miami gameday primer

Carlik Jones #1 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Carlik Jones #1 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Louisville basketball is back in action on Saturday night as they continue their perfect record in ACC play. It was far from perfect on Wednesday against Wake Forest, but Louisville has not in nearly a month.

On Saturday night, Louisville will get to play a Miami team that has been battling injury issues all year long. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are getting back closer to full health once again.

Charles Minlend was available against Wake Forest but only played for one minute against the Demon Deacons.

Miami has had a tough season so far, but that can mostly be attributed to injury problems with their team.

The Hurricanes have dropped six of their last eight contests including a blowout loss to Boston College in their most recent game. This could easily be a trap game for the Cardinals if they do not play up to their ACC foe who could potentially be getting two of their stars back for the game Saturday night.

Lykes has not played in a game since the first week of December while McGusty last played on Jan. 2 against Clemson. Lykes is one of the best players in the ACC and his return would be monumental for the Hurricanes.

Let’s preview the matchup between Louisville and Miami

Who: Louisville Cardinals (9-1) at Miami Hurricanes (5-6)

Where: Watsco Center; Coral Gables, Florida

When: Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8 pm eastern time

Spread: Louisville -3

TV: ACC Network

Projected starting lineups (via gocards.com)

Louisville  (9-1, 4-0)

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 6-1 185 Gr. Cincinnati, Ohio

G 13 David Johnson 6-5 210 So. Louisville, Ky.

Miami  (5-6, 1-5)

F 33 Matt Cross 6-7 225 Fr. Beverly, Mass.

C 3 Nysier Brooks 7-0 240 RSr. Philadelphia, Pa.

G 2 Isaiah Wong 6-3 180 So. Piscataway, N.J.

G 5 Harlond Beverly 6-5 185 So. Detroit, Mich.

G 13 Earl Timberlake 6-6 215 Fr. Washington, D.C.

Players to watch for Miami

Chris Lykes – If he plays, Lykes will be a huge factor in this game. He is Miami’s best player when healthy and is an elite three-point shooter for the Hurricanes. His game status is up in the air, but he has been practicing recently. A mighty mouse kind of player that is extremely quick.

Isaiah Wong – He is a rising star in the ACC as a sophomore; can play on and off the ball for the Hurricanes and is the team’s leading scorer.

Earl Timberlake – He is a big, strong freshman that could cause issues for the Cardinals. He had missed some time earlier in the season, but he is now playing with a lot of confidence and shooting the ball at a high percentage.

Final thoughts

Louisville should win this game against a slumping Miami team. The return of McGusty and Lykes could certainly make things interesting. The Hurricanes are a very athletic team that struggles to shoot the ball as a whole.

It’s a long road trip for the Cardinals and while it is difficult to tell what the outcome might be if Miami gets their guys back, I would still expect Louisville to win. Miami has lost four of their six games by four points or less.

Score prediction

Louisville 70, Miami 65

Miami has kept games close, but does not have a quality win this season. As has been the case for the entirety of the season, expect Carlik Jones or David Johnson to take control of the team. If one struggles, the other has picked up every bit of the slack to push the team over the top.

Louisville is streaking and playing high level basketball this year. Jones and Johnson should be enough to avoid a letdown loss against a young, talented, and inconsistent Miami team.

Next. Lamar Jackson highlights anticipated quarterback duel. dark