U of L basketball: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville men's basketball team is 8-1 heading into Saturday's noon tipoff against Western Kentucky University in the Billy Minardi Classic. Here is our weekly U of L hoops notebook from Cardinal Authority.

CARDS STILL LEAD THE NATION

The University of Louisville men's basketball team still leads the nation in turnover margin thought nine games this season.

The Cardinals are plus-10.8 in turnover margin and rank fourth in the NCAA statistics in fewest turnovers a game at 9.1.

U of L has committed nine or fewer turnovers in nine of the past 12 games, dating back to the final three games of last season.

The defending national champion Cardinals also rank No. 5 nationally in steals per game at 10.9 with double-digit steals in six of nine games this season.

BLACKSHEAR WITH MORE EMOTION

One week after playing his best game of the season, Rick Pitino is hoping to get more of the same from junior Wayne Blackshear.

And for Blackshear it seemingly started with emotion.

In the win over Lafayette, Blackshear was fired up, pumping his fist and taking the ball to the basket. He had 15 points, five rebounds and four steals.

"Emotion plays a big part in basketball," Blackshear said. "Once you do things and get going, you want to keep doing that. It's all about how you practice. You practice like you play and I just have to keep doing it.

"I have to keep working and keep doing it."

DUNK YOU VERY MUCH

Terry Rozier lobbed a ball to Montrezl Harrell in the second half of last weekend's game that resulted in his monster dunk.

Rozier said Harrell has told him to "just throw it up and I will go get it," noting the junior has "dunked everything I've thrown him so far."

But this one didn't look like Harrell was going to get to it.

"Never crossed my mind," Harrell said of not getting the ball.

"Every time they throw the ball towards the rim, I am going to get it regardless. There's never a thought that I won't get it."

Russ Smith MOVING UP THE LIST

Senior guard Russ Smith has 1,400 career points and keeps moving up the all-time scoring list at U of L.

Smith now ranks 26th on the school's all-time list.

He needs 13 points to pass Francisco Garcia on the list.

THE SERIES

U of L has played Western Kentucky more than any team except Cincinnati and Memphis during the all-time series.

WKU leads the series 37-39.

The Cards are 14-1 all-time in the Billy Minardi Classic with the lone loss coming in 2006 to Massachusetts.


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