Darius Perry's confidence adds to Louisville backcourt


Darius Perry is different from a year ago.

The 6-foot-2 guard’s attitude has changed for the better in his junior season. Louisville men’s basketball coach Chris Mack said Perry has put in the time along with the right attitude to have a bigger impact.

“He hasn’t let his practice habits be defined by his results in games or lack of playing time in certain games determine his outlook or his preparation or his practice attitude,” Mack said. “That has been incredible.”

Perry had a career-high 19 points with five 3-pointers as Louisville won its sixth straight game with a victory over Clemson at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 25. Perry has started all 20 games for Louisville (17-3 overall, 8-1 in the ACC) with the capability of playing both guard spots.

Perry showed his confidence in his jump shot against Clemson, making 5 of 6 shots from behind the arc. Mack, who calls Perry a good shooter, said the guard has worked on his perimeter scoring ability.

“He has a really good pull-up game and that’s a little unique. Coaches are always trying to get their team to work it and pass the ball, make the extra pass, so generally that leads to guys taking shots off the catch,” Mack said. “I think Darius is stronger at taking shots off the dribble, we have to give him a little bit of that rope, but it was great to see some of the shots he made the other night were off the catch.”

Perry has proven his ability as a passer, he ranks 14 in the ACC in assists while his assist/turnovers ratio ranks seventh in the conference. Perry has five or more assists in five games this season, but he hasn’t looked for his own shot as much.

“He hasn’t always been the guy that has a clean look and shot it,” Mack said. “Sometimes he would dribble it, sometimes he would jab it. He would jab step at a guy that wasn’t guarding him. He is becoming more experienced and more confident in that area.”

Perry has made 9 of 17 shots from behind the arc in his last six games, raising his 3-point shooting percentage to 41.7 percent. He averages 23 minutes per game with the versatility of playing point guard or off-ball.

“Our team needs him to continue to be consistent whether he is playing the one or the two,” Mack said.