The Pittsburgh Panthers (8-6, 0-1 ACC) head to Kentucky tonight to take on the Louisville Cardinals (10-3, 0-0 ACC) at the KFC Yum! Center. Tip-off is at 9:00 PM and will be broadcast on ESPNU or streamed on ESPN3.
Louisville has been very successful against Pitt at home as they are 8-1 all-time when the teams meet at Louisville.
The Panthers are coming off of a loss against the No. 15 Miami Hurricanes to open ACC play and did it in a very ugly fashion shooting 19/47 (40%) from the field and 4/16 (25%) from beyond the arc. Louisville had a similar fate against No. 16 Kentucky as they lost 90-61.
The Cardinals are playing under first-year coach David Padgett who has helped to start the year 10-3 after Rick Pitino was fired in the offseason after the well-known scandal around Louisville basketball.
Pitt hasn’t beaten Louisville since 2010, but 10 of the past 15 meetings have been decided by 10 or fewer points so while the streak says otherwise, the Panthers aren’t getting absolutely dominated.
The Panthers will likely be without senior forward Ryan Luther for a fifth consecutive game, who is dealing with a foot injury. They will need to rely on their freshman-heavy lineup to compete with Louisville, a challenge that has been a struggle for Pitt this season. Pitt’s freshman class has combined to shoot 48.2% from the field this season. Offensively, when they’re hot, they have competed in some rougher games. Where they fall off is in their consistency and defensive play.
Around the boards, Pitt allows 12.9 offensive rebounds a game, a number that is almost 4.5 more than they grab per game. Their biggest struggle is height under the basket and it is even more compromised by Luther’s injury.
Louisville heads into ACC play led by junior forward Deng Adel who is averaging 15.4 points per game and stands at 6’7″. He and 7’0″ senior center Anas Mahmoud will present a height problem for the Panthers who allowed 40 points in the paint against the Hurricanes.
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