A Look into the Weekend
Saturday, Dec. 8
Men's basketball travels to Bloomington to take on Indiana at 2:30 p.m. Sitting at 6-2, Chris Mack has lead his team to some impressive victories including wins against Michigan State and Seton Hall. This game can be found on FOX.
The Cards get to face the "one who got away" freshman Romeo Langford. IU does have a win over Marquette, a team that beat UofL this year.
Sunday, Dec 9
Women's basketball will host rival Kentucky at 2:00 p.m. This is one of those games that's circled on the schedule at the beginning of the season. The Battle of the Bluegrass will feature a pair of undefeated teams, sitting at 9-0 each. Unfortunately, I will have to miss seeing that I will be performing in a concert at the same time (great planning, right?).
JEFF WALZ PREVIEWS THE CONTEST: https://gocards.com/watch/?Archive=12180&type=Live
No. 19 Kentucky enters the match-up 9-0 with their most recent victory coming at home against Rhode Island last night, 75-52. They have wins against NCAA Tournament teams from last year: Virginia (63-51) and UCLA (75-74).
The Cats have outscored opponents 719-497 so far this season. The 79.9 points per game is fairly average for early season, but the defense allowing 55.2 points per game is something to make note of.
Defensively, Kentucky is one of the better teams out there. They're forcing nearly 27 turnovers per game and are right at 14 steals per game. Their 32 blocks on the year puts the average at about 3.6 per game, enough to make you think twice about driving in the lane.
Sending the Wildcats to the free throw line might not be a good idea as they are shooting .763 on the year. Their three-point shooting is equally as dangerous, with an average right at .400.
Kentucky's biggest weakness might be the rebounding category, were they have been out-rebounded 342-330. 41% of their total rebounds have been offensive, a higher rate than the more-common 33.3%. It's the defensive rebounding where Kentucky has struggled and been dominated.
Howard (62) and Keke McKinney (46) have been the major threats down low on the boards. Fuehring is the closest to those numbers for Louisville with 58, but both Kylee Shook and Jazmine Jones are in the 40's. Depending on foul trouble the rebounding could be a major key to victory in this one.
Murray is a solid scorer, but her passing is more dangerous. She's tallied 39 of Kentucky's 128 assists and has been a great senior leader for Matthew Mitchell's squad.
Jeff Walz vs Matthew Mitchell
Both men became head coaches of their respective programs in time to start the 2007-2008 season.
The two had completely different starts to their careers at these programs.
Mitchell came to Kentucky after coaching Morehead State for two years. Kentucky's program began to turn around in his third season, the year he earned SEC Coach of the Year honors and led the team to a 28-8 record. Mitchell has made it to the Elite Eight three times, the last appearance in the Elite Eight was in the 2012-13 season. Last year, the Cats did not make the NCAA Tournament with only a 15-17 record.
Mitchell had previous experience at UK, having been an assistant coach there from 2003-2005.
Walz was an associate head coach at Maryland before getting called up to Louisville. He found immediate success in Louisville, guiding the Cards to their first ever Final Four appearance in his second season, falling to UConn in the championship. Louisville has made it to the Final Four three times and appeared in the NCAA Championship twice.
The gang (Jeff, Paulie and Daryl) and I review this matchup and these coaches more on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR, on WCHQ 100.9 FM and Facebook Live Saturday at 11 a.m. and we'd love to have you join us! Go to the website www.wchqfm.com to listen live as well and be sure to download the WCHQ app while you are there.
Happy Friday and Go Cards!
- Jared -