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What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Louisville: Cardinals enter finale in search of Q1 win

LouisvilleLouisville somehow finds itself in must-win mode as it prepares for its regular-season finale on Saturday against #20 Virginia.

The Cardinals (13-5, 8-4 ACC) have a win over Kentucky, two over Duke – including a win in OT in Durham this past weekend.

The only bad L: at Miami back on Jan. 16.

The other losses are all to teams that you’ll expect to see get dance invites on Selection Sunday: Wisconsin, Florida State, Clemson, UNC.

But when you look at the metrics: they’re good, not great.

As of this writing, Louisville is 26 in KPI and RPI, 27 in Sagarin – which, those are the metrics of a team that is not only in, but playing over the next week for seeding.

The other two metrics that the tournament selection committee uses are the ESPN Basketball Power Index and NET.

UL is 49 in both.

That’s outside looking in, maybe well on the outside, lucky to get a quick peek.

A win over Virginia (16-6, 12-4 ACC) would be a second Quad 1 win for Louisville, in other words, huge, in that respect.

And it would certainly help with the BPI and NET.

Lose this one, fall into having to play on Wednesday next week in Greensboro, then lose your first one there …

They don’t want to get that far.

Cardinals to watch

  • 6’1” senior Carlik Jones: 17.6 ppg, 5.2 rebs/g, 4.5 assists/g, 42.1% FG, 32.7% 3FG
  • 6’5” sophomore David Johnson: 12.5 ppg, 5.7 rebs/g, 3.4 assists/g, 41.6% FG, 39.2% 3FG
  • 6’8” freshman Jae’Lyn Withers: 10.1 ppg, 8.0 rebs/g, 57.1% FG, 35.3% 3FG
  • 6’7” sophomore Samuell Williamson: 10.0 ppg, 7.9 rebs/g, 50.0% FG, 28.1% 3FG
  • 6’5” freshman Dre Davis: 7.9 ppg, 41.2% FG, 23.3% 3FG
  • 6’8” sophomore Quinn Slazinski: 6.2 ppg, 43.8% FG, 23.8% 3FG
  • 6’11” senior Malik Williams: 5.0 ppg, 6.0 rebs/g, 30.0% FG, 28.6% 3FG
  • 6’8” freshman J.J. Traynor: 3.9 ppg, 47.2% FG, 44.4% 3FG

Breakdown: Offense

Efficiency numbers from Synergy Sports

Spot-ups: 25.1 percent of offensive possessions

This is the biggest part of the offense, and maybe the least effective. Synergy rates Louisville “poor,” scoring 0.815 PPP on its spot-ups.

  • Who to watch for: Johnson (19-of-43, 44.2%, 1.135 PPP), Traynor (6-of-15, 40.0%, 1.125 PPP), Jones (20-of-57, 35.1%, 0.885 PPP).

Inside game: 22.4 percent of offensive possessions

Louisville is “very good” at post-ups (0.921 PPP), though only 4.5 percent of the overall offensive possessions are post-ups.

“Average” on cuts (1.117 PPP), and “below average” on offensive rebounds (1.009 PPP).

  • Who to watch for: Davis (7-of-10, 70.0%, 1.5 PPP on post-ups, 11-of-18, 61.1%, 1.154 PPP on lane cuts), Johnson (7-of-9, 77.8%, 1.364 PPP on lane cuts), Williamson (10-of-16, 62.5%, 1.238 PPP on offensive rebounds, 17-of-26, 65.4%, 1.118 PPP on lane cuts), Withers (20-of-32, 62.5%, 1.225 PPP on lane cuts, 11-of-23, 52.2%, 1.071 PPP on offensive rebounds).

Pick-and-rolls: 21.5 percent of offensive possessions

“Excellent” at P&R man (1.243 PPP), though only 5 percent of the overall offensive possessions are P&R man.

“Good” at P&R ball-handler (0.767 PPP).

  • Who to watch for: Jones on P&R ball-handler (44-of-98, 44.9%, 0.913 PPP), Johnson gets a lot of touches on P&R ball-handler (20-of-58, 34.5%, 25.6% TO rate, 0.616 PPP), Withers on P&R man (17-of-29, 58.6%, 1.059 PPP).

Transition: 15.3 percent of offensive possessions

“Good,” per Synergy (1.042 PPP).

  • Who to watch for: Traynor (7-of-8, 87.5%, 1.6 PPP), Williamson (16-of-24, 66.7%, 1.258 PPP), Withers (8-of-12, 66.7%, 1.167 PPP), Jones (18-of-30, 60.0%, 0.978 PPP).

Breakdown: Defense

Efficiency numbers from Synergy Sports

Traynor rates “excellent” by Synergy (0.635 PPP), with Slazinski (0.722 PPP) and Jones (0.780 PPP) “very good.”

Davis (0.795 PPP), Withers (0.814 PPP) and Williams (0.824 PPP) all rate “good.”

At a glance

Efficiency data from KenPom.com

  • Offense: Louisville 109.0 (74), Virginia 115.1 (16)
  • Defense: Louisville 92.6 (34), Virginia 92.4 (29)
  • Tempo: Louisville 66.6 (285), Virginia 60.4 (357)

Details

#20 Virginia (16-6, 12-4 ACC) at Louisville (13-5, 8-4 ACC)
Saturday, 4 p.m., ESPN2

  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +3.7, 66.3% win probability
  • BartTorvik: Virginia 60-58, 58% win probability
  • KenPom: Virginia 62-61, 56% win probability

Story by Chris Graham


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