Three takeaways from Louisville basketball overpowering Duke

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) /
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louisville basketball, charles minlend
Charles Minlend #14 of the San Francisco Dons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Charles Minlend is not ready yet

Folks, there was clearly a reason Chris Mack was holding Minlend out of action for the past few games despite being available to play.

He may be “available,” but he is far from ready to contribute. Minlend entered the game in the first frame, but he made little impact in nine minutes of game time with just two rebounds in the box score. He was one of just three players to come off the bench, but he just does not look like he has the desired movement yet.

At San Francisco, Minlend was a very good athlete that got buckets by way of grinding and using that athleticism to his advantage.

Currently, the graduate transfer is wearing a large brace covering the entirety of his left knee. You don’t often see such a thing on basketball players so it can be assumed that brace is limiting his ability to move on offense and defense.

Mack expressed confidence in him earlier this week for his improvements since he got just one minute a few games ago against Wake Forest. Despite that hope, he just is not where he needs to be yet.

In summary…

This was a huge win for Louisville. A loss would have put them in a danger scenario in a shortened season and a generally weak ACC with limited opportunities for resume building wins.

With a core in place, Louisville will have to ride it out with this big three for the rest of the year.

The addition of Malik Williams could be a game changer to this team when the time comes.