Darius Perry leads Louisville offense against Clemson
Darius Perry proved his confidence in his perimeter shooting had potency.
The junior scored a career-high 19 points on five 3-pointers as Louisville men’s basketball defeated Clemson 80-62 at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 25. Perry made 5 of 6 shots from behind the arc to lead the Cardinals (17-3 overall, 8-1 in the ACC) in scoring in their sixth straight win.
Perry went into Louisville’s second straight conference home game shooting 35.7 percent on 3-point attempts, but said his confidence with his perimeter shot has always been high.
“I feel like I have always shot the ball really well since I have been in high school,” Perry said. “I have never been shy shooting the ball.”
The 6-foot-2 guard scored Louisville’s first five points, making a pull-up jumper in the lane and hitting a 3-pointer.
Perry went into Louisville’s game against Clemson averaging just three points in his last four games. Louisville coach Chris Mack thought Perry’s opening scoring burst helped him settle in.
“I think if any player sees a couple go in, they gain a lot of confidence,” Mack said. “What I like the last couple games Darius hasn’t tied his defensive energy and toughness and readiness to how the ball is going in or the amount of shots he is getting. That’s a sign of a mature player, more mature than he was a year ago.”
Perry finished with 10 points in the first half and made both shots from behind the arc.
With Louisville leading by 22 points early in the second half, Perry made back-to-back 3-pointers. Perry doesn’t necessarily want more shots after making the most 3-pointers in his career.
“I have always been a team-oriented player,” Perry said. “I just make the right plays, I don’t think all the shots I shot tonight were contested or bad shots. I think I shot the open shots. I got a lot of good ones.”
Mack said Perry had his best game since he has been coaching him. He matched a career-high in six different categories.
Perry had five rebounds, tying a career-best, and led Louisville in scoring, which was the first time in his career.
“I think sometimes you equate ‘hey the ball goes in, everything is going right.’ He has really been locked in on the defensive end the last three games,” Mack said. “He has made a difference for our team. It was really good to see a guy that puts in the time, he has confidence from three. He is a really good shooter, sometimes you get perplexed why he goes 1 for 4 from three, but it was really good to see him knock the shots in that he did today.”