LAHAINA, MAUI, HAWAII– Louisville enters into the 2022 Maui Invitational against the #9 Arkansas. Coming into the game, the Cardinals knew it was going to be a challenge facing off against the Razorbacks considering the two different stages the programs are in.
Head Coach Eric Musselman of the Arkansas Razorbacks has been in Fayetteville for three years and has a cumulative record of 73-38. The San Diego graduate has had time to establish his culture, had time for his players to buy in to his system, and has had time to recruit a stellar recruiting class headlined by five-star point guard Anthony Black.
Black is a 6-foot-7 point guard who cemented his name into the NCAA basketball world as he filled in for the injured Nick Smith Jr, who is a projected 2023 NBA Lottery pick. The Duncanville, Texas native scored a season-high 26 points in the matchup against Louisville.
The mismatch that he created against El Ellis on the defensive end really affected the way that Ellis played. Ellis finished the game with 11 points on 4-of-16 from the field. Not his most ideal stat line, but the Razorback defense was swarming.
Louisville finished the game with 22 turnovers which allowed Arkansas an advantage in fastbreak points, leading the Cardinals 15-9 in that department. There were several possessions when Louisville looked sound defensively and their effort on the court exceded any other game they have played this season.
But Arkansas proved to be too much and wore down the Cardinals. Louisville was able to stay with the 8-12 range in point differential but in the second half the Razorbacks pulled away.
Louisville is set to face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders this evening in hopes of reaching the best possible outcome at this point, which is ranking fifth place in the Maui Invitational Tournament. Tip off is set for 2:30 PM EST.