Cardinals face talented and experienced WKU

samdraut

After five consecutive homes games, Louisville men’s basketball plays its first neutral site match up this season Friday Nov. 29 against Western Kentucky (WKU) in Nashville at 5:04 p.m. The Cardinals have won their first six games to begin a season for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

Louisville is second nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 55.5 percent from the field. Cardinal coach Chris Mack thinks WKU is talented and experienced.

Charles Bassey, a 6-foot-11 center, is averaging 15.7 points and 9.7 rebounds. The sophomore is WKU’s best player and most imposing threat around the interior.

“Bassey is an NBA player, should have gone last year,” Mack said. “He is big, very skilled, he has a soft touch, when he gets to the free throw line he converts.”

Steven Enoch and Malik Williams are tasked with guarding Bassey. Enoch competed against Bassey over the summer in a Nike camp while Williams is set to appear in his third game this season after recovering from foot surgery.

“I love to play against high competition,” Enoch said. “People who give me a challenge.”

All five of WKU’s starters are double-figure scorers. Junior Taveion Hollingsworth averages 11.6 points as WKU’s point guard. Cameron Justice is averaging 14.0 points while Jared Savage has scored 10.7 points per game.

Carson Williams, a 6-foot-5 forward, is WKU’s second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game.

“They have some guys that can really shoot the ball from the 3-point line,” Mack said. “It stretches your defense, at the same time you have such a concern on what he [Bassey] is doing on the interior that offensively they have the makings of a special group.”

With top-ranked Duke’s loss to Stephen F. Austin Nov. 26, the Cardinals are primed to move up a spot in next week’s rankings if they can defeat WKU. Despite the potential of becoming the top-ranked team nationally with a victory, Louisville players aren’t concerned about the polls.

“We have to continue to go out there and be the same people every night,” Enoch said. “As long as we do that, everything else will take care of itself. We don’t pay too much attention to the rankings.”

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