Syracuse scouting report: Louisville

The Orange will try for its sixth straight win when it travels to Louisville to play the Cardinals. It will be SU’s third game in six nights.

STREAKING CARDINALS: On Jan. 10, the Louisville Cardinals’ season hit rock bottom when it lost to Providence 90-59. Little went right for Rick Pitino’s squad that night, as the Cardinals shot just 37.9 percent from the field, while allowing the Friats to shoot 52.8 percent. The loss dropped Louisville to 1-4 in conference play, and landed them a spot in the Big East basement. Since then, the Cardinals have lost just once, and are riding a six-game winning streak heading into Monday night’s matchup against Syracuse.

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SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: Center Gorgui Dieng may not have the most flashy stats, but he is perhaps the most important player on the Louisville roster. The sophomore is averaging 10.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks a game for a team that doesn’t have much depth at that position. Dieng affects the game in a similar manner to Syracuse’s Fab Melo by anchoring the defense, frequently altering interior shots and gobbling up any available rebounds. He suffered a sprained ankle on Feb. 4 against Rutgers, but returned the very next game against Connecticut. The Cardinals had no problems in that game, dismantling the Huskies, 80-59.

IN LOUISVILLE’S LAST GAME: Freshman Wayne Blackshear played in his first game of the season, finishing with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting as the Cardinals defeated West Virginia 77-74 on Saturday. The McDonald’s All American had been out with a shoulder injury since October.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The last time these two games met, the Cardinals defeated Syracuse 73-69 at the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 12, 2011. Kyle Kuric had 23 points and Preston Knowles had 22 to lead Louisville. Pitino will hope to make it eight straight wins against his former boss, SU coach Jim Boeheim, although there may be some danger in pointing that out.

GAME INFORMATION: Mon, Feb. 13, 7:00 p.m. Louisville, KY. TV: ESPN. Follow us on Twitter @thejuiceonline for live game updates.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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