Louisville faces third-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor

samdraut

Louisville men’s basketball completes its three-game road trip Saturday, Jan. 18 against third-ranked Duke. The Cardinals (14-3 overall, 5-1 in the ACC) rallied to force overtime in a 73-68 victory over Pittsburgh Jan. 14 while Duke lost to Clemson on the same night.

In a game between two teams tied atop the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) standings with Florida State, Louisville coach Chris Mack says the biggest factor is to keep Duke off the offensive glass. Duke (15-2 overall, 5-1 in the ACC) leads in the ACC and is ranked fifth nationally with 14.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Center Vernon Carey Jr. is Duke’s leading scorer and rebounder. The 6-foot-10 freshman is averaging 17.6 points and 8.5 rebounds as Duke’s biggest interior presence.

Mack said Louisville must limit Carey’s deep touches around the rim.

“He is going to touch the ball, that’s their focus to throw it in, is he catching it at 3-feet or is he catching it at 10-feet,” Mack said. “We have to be able to do our work early. We have to be able to pressure the ball, pressure the passers in a way that they can’t just find him under the hoop.”

Sophomore Tre Jones averages 15.1 points as a member of Duke’s backcourt. The 6-foot-3 guard is scoring nearly six more points per game compared to his freshman year as his role has expanded offensively.

Cassius Stanely, a 6-foot-6 guard, has emerged in recent weeks. The freshman is averaging 16.0 points and shooting 63.2 percent from the field in Duke’s last four games.

With Jones and junior guard Jordan Goldwire, Mack expects Duke to deny the length of the floor. He said Duke is tenacious on the defensive end, more so than a year ago.

“In Jones and Goldwire, maybe two of the best perimeter players in our league,” Mack said. “Those guys attack the ball, they hawk passing lanes. They do a really good job of putting pressure on your perimeter.”

Mack wants Louisville to take care of the ball against Duke. The Cardinals shot 38.3 percent from the field along with 10 turnovers in the win against Pitt this week. 

The game, which tips off at 6 p.m., will be featured on ESPN CollegeDay. 

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