Louisville basketball: Three things we learned from Duke win

Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Head coach Chris Mack of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /
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Louisville basketball
Carlik Jones #1 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

New starting lineup shows flashes of greatness

Heading into halftime, Louisville had a dominant 10-point lead against a Duke team that needed a victory behind a very hot shooting Matthew Hurt. The team looked about as dominant as they’d been all season.

Throughout the game, the Cardinals had handled Duke. That is until Malik Williams was forced to exit.

Carlik Jones, Jae’Lyn Withers, and Samuell Williamson all had outstanding evenings. Jones took over late in the game and was steady throughout the course of the night as the floor general. 25 points and extremely efficient was Jones.

Withers hit tough shots and was active on the offensive glass. It’s unfortunate that a Williams injury could force them back to playing small-ball center.

It was another great night for Sam Williamson who scored with efficiency and looked comfortable with a veteran starting lineup. A couple of dunks and more excellent work as a rebounder showed off everything of what he has become as a player.

David Johnson had his fair share of foul troubles. Some calls against him questionable, he looked comfortable despite a slew of turnovers and inefficiencies as a scorer. The hope, obviously, is that he bounces back with consecutive games played.

Together, they looked efficient, high-flying, and as exciting as they’ve been all year. Having them completely healthy was a really nice touch for about 25 minutes of playing time. Things were clicking. They looked cerebral and dangerous with each individual showing their own improvements over the course of the year.

Hopefully we get to see this group again.