Louisville gears up for Chattanooga

Louisville (2-0) hosts Chattanooga Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center in the second of four games in the Global Sports Shootout. The Cardinals beat Jackson State in the first round Saturday night, while Chattanooga slipped by Marshall.

Louisville will host Chattanooga Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center in the second of four games in the Global Sports Shootout.

The Cardinals improved to 2-0 this season with a 62-45 win over Jackson State Saturday night in the opening round of the shootout, while Chattanooga beat Marshall 69-68.

Though his team won their second game of the young season, Louisville coach Rick Pitino wasn't happy about his team's performance. Pitino was particularly upset with his team's sloppy play – the Cards committed 19 turnovers.

"We did what we did the first two exhibition games, we callously handled the basketball and it affected us negatively," said Pitino. "We had 19 turnovers because of it. We'll go to work, we have a lot to improve on. I'm glad we got the victory, but we have a lot to improve on to beat Chattanooga on Monday."

Pitino wants to see starting guards Peyton Siva and Preston Knowles make better decisions with the basketball. Siva and Knowles combined to make eight turnovers against Jackson State, though Siva did hand out a career-high six assists.


Rick Pitino wants better play from starting guard Preston Knowles.
"I thought Peyton [Siva] gave us a big lift and played good basketball down the stretch," Pitino said. "We had an off night, an off game, but you have to give them credit for controlling the tempo of the game.

"We have to get Preston [Knowles] to play a great all-around game--great defense, great passing, great rebounding. If you keep looking to just shoot the ball, you're going to strike out. If you play a great all-around basketball game, you're going to score 20. We didn't play well, but that's a credit to them. We'll try to come back against Chattanooga."

Louisville didn't shoot the basketball particularly well against Jackson State. The Cardinals shot just 43 percent for the game, including a porous 27 percent from three-point range.

"We have one day to prepare for Chattanooga, and they're a team that plays excellent defense so we have to be ready for them," Pitino said.

What Pitino learned about his team is that they need more work against zone defenses. Jackson State utilized a zone to slow the Cardinals and it worked, as Louisville made only 6 of 22 three-point tries.

"We played a zone and that zone hurt them a little bit, but we got tired," Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson said. "I felt like a zone hurt them a little bit, but they made the adjustment in the zone to give them another run."

While Louisville struggled offensively, the Cardinals defense was solid in their first two games, particularly before halftime. Pitino's team held Butler and Jackson State to a combined 21 percent shooting in the first half. Saturday, Jackson State made just five first half field goals, as Louisville held them to 16 points, the lowest total for a UofL opponent since East Carolina in 2005.

"They are probably a top 25 team. They didn't shoot it as well as they usually shoot it, but they are a good shooting team," Anderson said. "They dictate tempo; that is one of Coach Pitino's things. Give Louisville credit, they are a good team. They will have my top 25 vote and I'm probably going to vote for them this week, come Monday."

Louisville and Chattanooga tip at 7 p.m. The contest will be broadcast online at ESPN3.com.


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