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Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Cardinals kick off a tough stretch in ACC play against the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-7, 5-3 ACC) at Louisville Cardinals (11-6, 4-2 ACC)

- Tipoff: Saturday, January 22nd at 4:00 p.m. EST
- Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
- How To Watch: ESPN
- How To Listen: WKRD 790 AM
- Betting Favorite: Line not yet set.
- All-Time Series: Louisville leads 26-15
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 69-57 on Feb. 23, 2021 (KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.)

Projected Starting Lineups

Louisville

  • F Malik Williams (6-11, 245, Sr.)
  • C Sydney Curry (6-8, 270, Jr.)
  • G Noah Locke (6-3, 210, Sr.)
  • G El Ellis (6-3, 180, Jr.)
  • G Mason Faulkner (6-1, 185, Gr.)

Notre Dame

  • F Nate Laszewski (6-10, 235, Sr.)
  • F Paul Atkinson, Jr. (6-9, 230, Gr.)
  • G Blake Wesley (6-5, 185, Fr.)
  • G Prentiss Hubb (6-3, 175, Sr.)
  • G Dane Goodwin (6-6, 208, Sr.)

Main Storylines

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

Comparison

See how the Cardinals stack up against the Fighting Irish, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of The Tape & Prediction: Louisville vs. Notre Dame

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Game Notes

Louisville

  • Saturday's game will feature the retirement of consensus All-America Russ Smith’s No. 2 jersey at halftime.
  • After dropping three straight, Louisville defeated Boston College 67- 54 on Wednesday as the Cardinals limited the Eagles to 29.2 percent shooting from the field. Sydney Curry scored a team-high 13 points, Noah Locke added 10 points (3-of-7 3FG), Mason Faulkner matched a season high with seven assists, and Jae’Lyn Withers added 10 points in his first double-figure scoring effort in 13 games.
  • Jae’Lyn Withers scored 10 points against Boston College on 4-of-6 shooting for his first double-digit scoring night since Nov. 25 against Mississippi State
  • Malik Williams needs 12 points for 800 in his career. He grabbed his 600th rebound at Pittsburgh. His 8.8 rebounds per game is the highest average for a Cardinal since Montrezl Harrell averaged 9.2 rebounds in the 2014-15 season
  • Noah Locke, who scored 10 points against Boston College, has scored in double figures 13 times this season and seven times in the last eight games. Locke has made multiple three-pointers in eight consecutive games and at least three of them in 10 games this season. Locke leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage in ACC only games (50 percent; 24-for-48) and has made 20-of-40 threes over the last seven games (.500)
  • Mason Faulkner matched his season high of seven assists against Boston College in his first starting assignment, adding eight points and three rebounds. He has scored in double figures in four of his last eight games, including 12 points and three assists at Florida State. He is second on the team in assists (49 total), and is sixth in the ACC in assist-turnovers ratio in ACC only games (2.89; 26 assists, nine turnovers in ACC games). He missed UofL’s game at Georgia Tech due to COVID protocols
  • Dre Davis missed the Cardinals’ Jan. 19 game against Boston College after suffering a right ankle sprain in practice on Jan. 18. Davis has scored nine or more points in three of his last five games off the bench. Davis leads the Cardinals in free throw percentage (.818, 27-of-33)
  • Sydney Curry’s 22 points against NC State matched the highest total by a Cardinal in any game this season (El Ellis at Michigan State and Malik Williams vs. DePaul). Curry had 14 double-figure scoring efforts in his 18 games as a sophomore at John A. Logan College. Curry leads the Cardinals in field goal percentage (.769; 30-of-39), and is the only player shooting above 50 percent from the field (with more than 10 field goals). Louisville’s current .422 field goal percentage is its lowest since UofL shot .413 during the 2000-01 season
  • El Ellis has scored in double-digits in three of his last five games. He is averaging 10.4 points per game over the last five. He grabbed a season-high six rebounds and scored seven points against Boston College
  • Louisville committed just nine turnovers at Pittsburgh, its second-lowest of the season, and had just 11 against Boston College
  • After starting 4-0 in ACC games for the second consecutive season, Louisville dropped its next three games before winning against Boston College in its last outing
  • The Cardinals first four ACC victories were by five points or less ... Louisville is one of eight teams with two ACC road victories this season
  • Louisville has a 48-19 record during the month of January over the last six years (.716)

Notre Dame

  • Notre Dame (11-6, 4-2 ACC) had won six straight games before falling 79-73 at Virginia Tech last Saturday, then beat Howard 71-68 on Jan. 17 in its last game as Nate Laszewski posted a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The Cardinals will play at Notre Dame on Feb. 9.
  • Dane Goodwin as established himself as one of the most efficient and skilled scorers in the country – and is the only major conference player (and one of just two players in the country) to average .500 FG%, .400 3FG%, .900 FT% and score over 15 ppg. He has scored in double figures all 17 games this season, which is a career-best streak.
  • Blake Wesley is one of the most dynamic playmaking freshmen in the country, owns four 20-point scoring games, including last two of the last four. He was the National Freshman of the Week on January 10 (CBSSports/BWAA) and two-time ACC Freshman of the Week. In his first career start in Purcell Pavilion, hit the game-winning jump shot with :12 left to defeat No. 10/12 Kentucky.
  • Paul Atkinson Jr. provides a low post scoring option, hitting double digit scoring in six of last nine games, set ACC personal high with 19 pts at VT. He was the 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year at Yale, did not participate in 2020-21 as the Ivy League canceled all intercollegiate athletics. He was ranked by ESPN+ as the fourth-best transfer prospect in 2020-21.
  • Prentiss Hubb's driving lay up with :19 seconds left proved to be the game-sealing basket in the victory at Howard – as he returned to the DMV area to play for the first time. He connected on the game-winning jumper with five seconds remaining at Pittsburgh (12/28/21). He became the ninth Notre Dame player to reach 500 assists in a career at Virginia Tech.
  • Nate Laszewski posted a break out game of the season in victory over North Carolina (1/5/22) with 20 points, shooting 6-for-7 from three-point range. He is Notre Dame’s best rebounder who is coming off a 17-point, 13-rebound performance at Howard. He scored over 20 points four times last season and has six 20-point games in his career.
  • Cormac Ryan is the team’s best on-ball defender who routinely assumes the assignment of the opponents best perimeter scoring threat. He filled up the stat line against No. 10/12 Kentucky with seven points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. He scored 21 points in the first half in the victory at Duke last year, eventually scoring career-best 28 points.

(Photo of Malik Williams: Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal - USA TODAY NETWORK)

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