Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Miami Hurricanes

The Cardinals hit the road for the second half of a two-game road trip.
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(Photo of Jordan Nwora, Harlond Beverly: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 16 Louisville Cardinals (9-1, 4-0 ACC) at Miami Hurricanes (5-6, 1-5 ACC)

- Tipoff: Saturday, January 16th at 8:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
- How To Watch: ACC Network
- How To Listen: WKRD 790/WHAS 840
- Betting Favorite: To Be Determined
- All-Time Series: Louisville leads 13-4
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 74-58 on Jan. 7, 2020 (KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, Ky.)

Projected Starting Lineups

Louisville

  • F Samuell Williamson (6-7, 210, So.)
  • F Dre Davis (6-5, 220, Fr.)
  • C Jae'Lyn Withers (6-8, 215, R-Fr.)
  • G Carlik Jones (6-2, 185, Gr.)
  • G David Johnson (6-5, 210, So.)

Miami

  • F Matt Cross (6-7, 225, Fr.)
  • C Nysier Brooks (7-0, 240, R-Sr.)
  • G Isaiah Wong (6-3, 180, So.)
  • G Harlond Beverly (6-5, 185, So.)
  • G Earl Timberlake (6-6, 215, Fr.)

Main Storylines

Here are the more significant storylines to follow ahead of Louisville's matchup with Miami: Points of Emphasis: Louisville vs. Miami

Comparison

See how the Cardinals stack up against the Hurricanes, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape & Prediction: Louisville vs. Miami

Game Notes

Louisville

  • Louisville won its fifth straight on Wednesday as the Cardinals beat Wake Forest 77-65 in Winston-Salem, N.C. behind a pair of double-doubles from Carlik Jones (season-high 23 points, 10 rebounds) and Samuell Williamson (15 points, 11 rebounds). David Johnson added a careerhigh nine assists and Dre Davis scored 15 points.
  • The Cardinals limited Wake Forest to a season-low 36.8 field goal percentage. The Hurricanes (5-6, 1-5 ACC) have dropped four of their last five, including falling 84-62 at Boston College in their last game on Jan. 12.
  • Louisville is off to its best conference start in its seven years in the ACC and its first 4-0 conference start since 2008-09 when the Cardinals won their first eight Big East games.
  • Louisville has started with at least an 9-1 record through 10 games for the 10th time in the last 13 years. UofL has won at least 10 of its first 11 games on eight occasions over the past 10 years entering Saturday’s game.
  • Louisville’s 31 ACC road wins in its seventh year in the league is the fourth-most in the ACC in that period.
  • Carlik Jones is the only player in the ACC to rank among the top 15 in scoring (17.2 ppg, 4th in the ACC), rebounding (6.6 rpg/14th) and assists (4.7 apg/2nd). Jones has 92 career double-figure scoring efforts, including the last 32 consecutive games (all nine this year). His season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds at Wake Forest marked his second double-double of the season and the 28th game of his collegiate career with 20 or more points.
  • David Johnson , who handed out a career-high nine assists at Wake Forest, has scored 17 or more points in six of the last eight games. He has made 10-of-16 threes in his last four games and has more than tripled his three-point production from a year ago (17-of-37 this year, .459).
  • Louisville has held six opponents below 40 percent shooting from the field this year. The Cardinals lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.388, 23rd in the nation) and 32nd nationally in scoring defense (63.0 ppg)
  • Louisville’s 47.6 field goal percentage is second in the ACC (54th in the nation). UofL has made 21-of-49 threes over its last three games (.428).
  • Samuell Williamson recorded the second double-double of his career with 15 points and 11 rebounds at Wake Forest, burying 3-of-4 three pointers in the game. Williamson entered the night 4-of-15 from three-point range on the season and had not made multiple three-pointers in any of his previous 38 games in a Louisville uniform. He is third in scoring (9.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg, 17th in the ACC) for the Cardinals.
  • Saturday’s game will be Louisville’s fourth ACC road contest in five conference games this season due to two home postponements. The last time UofL played four of its first five conference games on the road was 1994-95 in a season which the Cardinals finished tied for second in the Metro Conference. It will be the second of three games in six days for the Cardinals, with two occurring on the road. UofL’s last 4-0 start in conference play with three road wins was 1992-93 when it started with road wins at USF, Charlotte and Southern Miss, and a home win vs. VCU.
  • Louisville out-rebounded Wake Forest 36-31, its seventh rebounding battle won this year -- including all four ACC games -- and sixth straight ACC rebounding advantage dating back to last season. Louisville produced double-digit rebounding margins in its first two ACC games vs. Pitt and Boston College. UofL’s +11.0 rebounding advantage in conference games is second in the ACC and its +7.2 margin on the season is 40th nationally and third in the ACC.
  • Through its 10 games this season, Louisville has produced 12 runs of 8-0 or better, including a 16-0 and 8-0 run at Wake Forest in its last game. The 16-0 run was its best of the season. UofL has forced its opponents into 26 scoring droughts of three minutes or more, including stretches of 4:31 and 3:30 at Wake Forest in its last game. UofL held Evansville scoreless for a season-best 8:36 stretch on Nov. 25.
  • — Louisville’s defense continues to improve, leading the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.388, 23rd in the nation) and ranking 32nd nationally in scoring defense (63.0 ppg). The Cardinals held Boston College (.333) and Wake Forest (.368) to a season-low field goal percentage, marking the six times this season UofL has limited its opponent to below 40 percent accuracy from the field (four under 35 percent).
  • Dre Davis scored 15 points at Wake Forest, his most in six games. He was named the ACC Freshman of the Week for games Nov. 30-Dec. 6. In the Cardinals’ only game of the week, Davis scored 21 points in UofL’s 75-54 victory over Western Kentucky, adding two rebounds and two assists while connecting on 7-of-9 shots from the field. His 21 points are the most by a UofL freshman since V.J. King scored 24 at Virginia in 2017.

Miami

  • Miami’s four returning senior starters have totaled eight–of a possible 44–outings in which they were available start to finish. Chris Lykes hurt his left ankle late in game two and missed the next nine contests. Kameron McGusty injured his hamstring early in game four and missed six of the next seven affairs. Rodney Miller Jr., missed two games with injuries and is now out for the year with a right knee injury. Sam Waardenburg hurt his left foot in October and will not play all season. Freshman guard Earl Timberlake, a top-40 recruit, also missed five games with a right ankle injury.
  • Due to the injuries to all four returning senior starters, 64.1 percent of Miami’s minutes thus far have gone to either freshmen or sophomores. Another 20.6 percent have been played by transfers in their first year competing for the Hurricanes. In total, 84.7 percent of all minutes have gone to players in their first or second season with the program.
  • The Hurricanes are one of just seven teams from a high-major conference (Power Five + BIG EAST) that did not lose a transfer from last season’s roster, alongside Baylor, Florida State, Marquette, TCU, Villanova and Virginia. Of those programs, only four (Miami, Baylor, TCU and Virginia) also lost no players to the NBA early-entry list.
  • Miami has used five opening lineups this season, with two players (Nysier Brooks and Isaiah Wong) starting each contest.
  • The Hurricanes are 112-39 (.742) at the Watsco Center in Jim Larrañaga’s nine seasons at the helm, including 62-19 (.765) over their last 81 outings. As a whole, Miami is 207-83 (.714) at the Watsco Center, which opened as the BankUnited Center Jan. 4, 2003. Prior to Coach L’s arrival, the Hurricanes were 95-44 (.683) there.
  • Due largely to injury issues over the past three-plus seasons, the last time Miami used double-digit scholarship players in the same game was Dec. 23, 2017, against New Mexico State in the Diamond Head Classic semifiinals in Honolulu. For the last 24 games of the 2018-19 season, as well as in several contests in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, Miami had just seven scholarship players available, even entering a game with only six once last season.
  • Before rallying to beat Purdue (12/8/20), Miami posted just 14 points in the first half, its lowest total in a frame since joining the ACC in 2004-05. The Hurricanes trailed by 20 with under 21 minutes left, by 18 at halftime, by 17 with fewer than 13 minutes to go, by 13 with below nine minutes remaining, by eight with under five minutes to play and by one in the final two minutes. The 20-point comeback was Miami’s biggest in the ACC era, while the 18-point halftime deficit was the largest it has overcome since the program rebirth in 1985-86.
  • Twice in 2020-21, Miami has finished a game at least +20 on the glass. The Hurricanes had a 49-29 edge (+20) against Stetson on 12/4/20 and a 49-26 advantage (+23) versus Jacksonville on 12/19/20. Over the first nine seasons of Jim Larrañaga’s tenure, Miami had just two games with a margin of at least +20.
  • Miami registered 18 assists in each of its first two games of the 2020-21 season, victories over North Florida (11/29/20) and Stetson (12/4/20). The Hurricanes reached 18 assists in a contest just once in 2019-20, doing so on 3/7/20 in an overtime matchup with Syracuse. The Hurricanes then logged 20 assists at Virginia Tech (12/29/20), their 15th time reaching that mark–sixth in ACC play–under Jim Larrañaga.
  • The Hurricanes registered 14 steals agiainst North Carolina on 1/5/21, good for their most in over eight years, as they last reached that mark on 12/23/12 against No. 4/5 Arizona in Honolulu. In addition, it was the second-highest total Miami has ever recorded in ACC competition.

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