What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Louisville

uva basketball
Photo by Dan Grogan.

Virginia commits 13.4 fouls per game, third-fewest in the country. Louisville attempts 18.9 free throws per game, 168th nationally.

Keep those two stats in mind when you consider the second half at the Yum! Center back on Feb. 8.

UVA was whistled for 15 fouls in the final 20 minutes, leading to 24 Louisville free-throw tries.

This after the ‘Hoos had been whistled for five fouls in the first half, resulting in nada in terms of free-throw attempts for the Cards.

This was how Louisville scored 36 points in the second half on 7-of-19 shooting, 1-of-7 from three.

It was like the Hand of God coming down from on high, a voice proclaiming, from the heavens, Louisville must win.

That, or it was John Swofford, either way.

Louisville won, 80-73, and it was BS, and we all know that, and none of us can do anything about it, and life goes on.

It doesn’t. I never let go.

Getting to know: Louisville

The Cardinals are sort of stumbling toward the postseason, going 3-3 in their last six, a streak that started after the gift win over UVA back a month ago.

A big reason for the stumblebumming has been the inconsistent play of 6’7” junior Jordan Nwora (18.0 ppg, 7.6 rebs/g, 44.3% FG, 40.0% 3FG), who has averaged 12.2 points a game on 35.1 percent shooting over the last six.

Nwora had 22 points and seven rebounds in the win over Virginia, shooting 7-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-8 from three.

6’10” senior Steven Enoch (9.4 ppg, 5.6 rebs/g, 51.4% FG, 32.0% 3FG) was a load in the first matchup, scoring 13 on 5-of-7 shooting.

What strikes you about this group is that the production is a bit top-heavy. Nwora is the only double-digit average scorer, but eight other guys average at least 4.4 points per game, giving coach Chris Mack ultimate flexibility lineup-wise.

6’5” freshman David Johnson (6.5 ppg, 2.8 assists/g, 49.3% FG, 21.7% 3FG) and 6’0” senior Lamarr Kimble (5.1 ppg, 2.6 assists/g, 37.2% FG, 29.6% FG) split the minutes at the point.

6’0” senior Ryan McMahon (8.7 ppg, 42.0% FG, 43.1% 3FG) has been getting big minutes at the two of late, scoring in double-digits in three of the last four.

6’5” senior Dwayne Sutton (9.3 ppg, 8.3 rebs/g, 50.5% FG, 35.8% 3FG) is getting 31.4 minutes per game at three, and Nwora is getting 32.9 minutes per at four, and with his range, he’s a classic college stretch four, a tough matchup for just about everybody.

The depth in the backcourt comes from 6’7” freshman Samuell Williamson (4.4 ppg, 46.8% FG, 33.3% 3FG) and 6’2” junior Darius Perry (5.3 ppg, 39.2% FG, 39.1% 3FG).

The status of 6’11” junior Malik Williams (8.8 ppg, 6.3 rebs/g, 50.3% FG, 29.0% 3FG) is unknown at this writing (publishing at 2 p.m. EST Thursday). Williams went down with a sprained ankle in Louisville’s 82-67 loss at Florida State back on Feb. 24.

How Virginia matches up

The key guy for Virginia for this one might be 6’8” senior Braxton Key (10.0 ppg, 7.4 rebs/g, 43.6% FG, 19.0% 3FG), because at first glance you have to think it would be Key who would be given the task of trying to contain Nwora.

An intriguing possibility for Nwora is 7’1” junior Jay Huff (8.4 ppg, 6.2 rebs/g, 57.0% FG, 35.3% 3FG), who normally guards bigs, but actually did a nice job checking Clemson stretch four Aamir Sims, and could present Nwora with some issues with his size.

6’9” senior Mamadi Diakite (13.6 ppg, 6.7 rebs/g, 47.7% FG, 37.0% 3FG) gets Enoch in the post. As has already been mentioned, Enoch is a load in the paint.

6’5” junior Tomas Woldetensae (6.7 ppg, 35.6% FG, 36.7% 3FG) rather memorably put up 27 on 10-of-13 shooting in the loss at the Yum! Center, but after an eight-game stretch that had him averaging 13.3 points per, Woldy has scored a total of three points on 1-of-16 shooting in his past three games, and seemed reluctant to even try to squeeze one off in the 46-44 win at Miami Wednesday night, putting up just three shots in 37 minutes.

5’9” guard Kihei Clark (10.6 ppg, 5.9 assists/g, 37.3% FG, 36.6% 3FG) has been thoroughly outplayed in his last two games, by Duke’s Tre Jones and Miami’s Chris Lykes.


Louisville (24-6, 15-4 ACC) at Virginia (22-7, 14-5)
Saturday, 4 p.m., ESPN
Bart Torvik:
Louisville 56-55, 51% win probability
Louisville 56-55, 53% win probability
Louisville +1.5, 56.8% win probability

Story by Chris Graham

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