Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Duke Blue Devils

Louisville hopes to break a two-game skid when Duke comes to town.
Publish date:

(Photo of David Johnson: Rob Kinnen/USA TODAY Sports)

Louisville Cardinals (9-3, 4-2 ACC) at Duke Blue Devils (5-4, 3-2 ACC)

- Tipoff: Saturday, January 23rd at 4:00 p.m. EST
- Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
- How To Watch: ESPN
- How To Listen: WKRD 790/WHAS 840
- Betting Favorite: Louisville -1.0
- All-Time Series: Duke leads 10-7
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 79-73 on Jan. 18, 2020 (Cameron Indoor Stadium - Durham, N.C.)

Projected Starting Lineups


  • 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.)


  • F Jaemyn Brakefield (6-8, 216, Fr.)
  • C Mark Williams (7-0, 243, Fr.)
  • G DJ Steward (6-2, 163, Fr.)
  • G Jeremy Roach (6-1, 175, Fr.)
  • G Jordan Goldwire (6-5, 213, Sr.)

Main Storylines

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


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

Game Notes


  • Louisville dropped its second straight on Monday after a five-game win streak as the Cardinals fell 78-65 to Florida State. Carlik Jones led UofL with 17 points, three assists and two steals in the Cardinals’ first home loss in seven games. FSU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, the second-highest by a UofL opponent this season, including connecting on 9-of-21 three-pointers.
  • Louisville has a 58-17 record in its conference home games over the last nine years (.773). UofL has the fourth-most conference home wins in its seven years in the ACC with a 43-14 ACC home record (9-1 last season).
  • Carlik Jones is the only player in the ACC to rank among the top five in scoring (17.9 ppg, 3rd in the ACC) and assists (4.7 apg/3rd). Jones has 94 career double-figure scoring efforts, including the last 34 consecutive games (all 11 this year). His season-high 25 points at Miami with seven assists and three steals marked the 29th game of his collegiate career with 20 or more points (three in the last five games). He has collected 11 steals in the last four games.
  • Jae’Lyn Withers has made 71.8 percent of his shots over his last six games (28-of-39). He has produced double-doubles in two of his last four games. He is the Cardinals’ rebounding leader and ranks second among ACC freshman (7.3 rpg, ninth in the ACC), averaging 10.3 points while shooting a team-best 61.7 percent from the field.
  • David Johnson, who is averaging 13.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists (sixth in the ACC), has cut his turnovers significantly recently, with 17 assists and just nine turnovers in his last five games after totaling 29 assists and 29 turnovers in his first seven games.
  • Louisville has started with a 9-3 record or better for each of the last 11 years. The Cardinals have opened with a 4-2 or better conference record for the ninth time in the last 11 years, with the two exceptions being its 2012 Final Four (2-4) and 2013 National Championship (3-3) seasons (later vacated). Louisville and Virginia are the only teams with three ACC road wins this season.
  • Louisville has won the rebounding battle in seven games this year, including four ACC games. The Cardinals tied a much taller Florida State team 35-35 in its last outing, and Miami is the only ACC team to beat UofL on the boards. Louisville produced double-digit rebounding margins in its first two ACC games vs. Pitt and Boston College. UofL’s +6.0 rebounding advantage in conference games is second in the ACC and its +5.2 margin on the season is third in the ACC.
  • The Cardinals grabbed 13 offensive rebounds against FSU, their second-highest total this season (15 at Pittsburgh), and turned those into 15 second chance points. Louisville has faced three of the nation’s five tallest teams in the KenPom statistics this season, winning two of those three matchups (beat 3 Seton Hall and 5 Kentucky, lost to 2 Florida State).
  • Carlik Jones’ 37.3 minutes ranks 18th in the nation. He has played a full 40 minutes twice this season and has six games of 38 or more minutes.
  • UofL has made 78.4 percent of its free throws in the final five minutes of its games (58-of-74). The Cardinals are sixth in the ACC in free throw percentage for the season (.737, 78th in the nation). Louisville has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line on three occasions this season, including 83.3 percent (15-for-18) at Miami two games ago.
  • After a three-game stretch in which the Cardinals made 21-of-49 three-pointers (.428), Louisville followed those two games with making just 7-of-36 threes in its last two games (.194). The Cardinals are ranks 38th nationally in offensive efficiency in KenPom analytics. Louisville’s 47.0 field goal percentage is third in the ACC (69th in the nation). Louisville has shot 50 percent or better in seven halves this season, including 53.1 percent in the second half at Miami. After scoring just 21 points in the first half at Miami, the Cardinals scored a season-best 51 points in the second half, but conversely gave up a season-high 45 points in the half.
  • Carlik Jones handed out his 500th career assist at Boston College (521 now; 52 at Louisville, 469 at Radford), part of his 15 points and game-high nine rebounds and six assists. Jones, who is third in the ACC in assists, has had at least six assists in five of his 10 games this season.
  • Quinn Slazinski has averaged 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds off the bench in the last five games, reaching double figures for the fourth time this season with 10 points and four rebounds against Virginia Tech. His 79 points and 49 rebounds in 12 games this year are nearly five times what he produced in 15 games as a freshman (15 points, 10 rebounds in 2019-20).
  • Dre Davis scored 15 points at Wake Forest, his most in six games, and followed that with 11 points at Miami. 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.
  • UofL’s last in-season jump from unranked one week to No. 16 or higher the next week in the AP poll -- as it did in the Jan. 11 poll -- was Jan. 23, 1984, when UofL re-entered the AP Top 20 at No. 14. UofL is out of the polls this week, essentially No. 26 as the first team among those receiving votes.
  • Louisville is No. 21 in the RPI, No. 31 in the Sagarin Ratings, No. 28 by KenPom, No. 43 in the NCAA NET and No. 52 in ESPN’s College BPI through Jan. 19.


  • Duke’s last visit to Louisville produced the second-largest comeback in program history as the Blue Devils came from 23 points down (59-36) with 9:05 remaining to win 71-69 on Feb. 12, 2019.
  • Jalen Johnson played his most significant minutes Tuesday at Pitt since returning from a foot injury, and the freshman became the first Blue Devil all-time with a 20-15-7-4 statline as he scored 24 points, with 15 rebounds, seven assists, no turnovers and four blocks.
  • Only three times in at least the last decade has a power conference player had 15+ points, 15+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 4+ blocks in a game -- Johnson has two of those three performances.
  • The Blue Devils have deployed seven starting lineups through nine games, with only sophomore Matthew Hurt starting all nine games.
  • Hurt is second in the ACC in scoring at 18.9 points per game, while ranking third in rebounding (8.2) and seventh in field goal percentage (.516). He is also second in conference-only scoring (18.8) and fourth in conference-only rebounding (8.2).
  • The watch list candidate for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, who has also been named both ACC Player of the Week and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week last week, Hurt has scored 17+ points in seven of nine games. Three of his four career double-doubles have come in this season’s first eight games.
  • Senior Jordan Goldwire leads the ACC in steals (2.6), is third in assist/turnover ratio (+2.43) and seventh in assists (3.8).
  • As a team, Duke is third in the ACC in both steals (9.0) and blocked shots (4.7), ranking 18th and 34th nationally, respectively.
  • Duke’s 2020-21 roster features seven newcomers -- six freshmen that comprised the nation’s No. 2 class and graduate transfer Patrick Tapé from Columbia University -- the program’s first grad transfer.

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