Morning After: Cards run over the Bulls

Cardinal Authority brings you the 'Morning After,' a few thoughts from Tuesday's 80-54 win for the University of Louisville basketball team. The Cardinals tagged South Florida to move to 22-4 on the season.

1. Cards didn't play as well, but still won: I believe the 80-54 win by Louisville over South Florida on Tuesday night was another step in the right direction. The Cardinals didn't play as well as they have been, but still won by 26 points. U of L hit 47 percent from the field, won the rebounding battle, had just eight turnovers and scored 20 points off turnovers. Again, they just didn't look as sharp as they have been but I say it was because of the third game in five days - and they had been going through some tough practices. It's amazing how Rick Pitino knows the right buttons to push. A team his team should beat, so a tough practice to get something out of his team. I still like the direction they are headed into this stretch.

2. Russ Smith moving up the list: Russ Smith moved past Wes Unseld and Billy Thompson and into the No. 10 spot on the school's career scoring list and is now second in all-time steals. It's two feats that two years ago - and even some last season - Smith would have bragged a lot about but on Tuesday he gave a grown up answer. He talked about the history of the program, the players who came before him and how he can still get better. Russ has come a long way on the court and off the court.

3. Trez is the dunk master: Montrezl Harrell set a new single-season dunk record for the Cardinals. He had four against the Bulls and now has 63 on the season. Harrell said "it's all mine now and that means a lot to me." He talked about the great dunkers before him at U of L and then set his goal high, saying he "want to get 100. I might need 10 in a couple of games, but I want to get 100." Might as well go big!

4. Blackshear and foul troubles: Wayne Backshear doesn't lead the team in personal fouls - he has 62 this season and is three behind Luke Hancock and Russ Smith - but he sure doesn't have much luck with the foul situation. It seems like Blackshear gets called for some of the smallest things and he's always in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said he "isn't having much luck," this season and he needs to improve on it. I don't think it's anything he can do, he must stay aggressive and keep his head up.

5. A few leftovers: It was the fifth straight game with nine or fewer turnovers - the Cards had eight - . . . U of L had 26 more field-goal attempts more than South Florida. . . . Terry Rozier scored double figures for the second straight game and had one turnovers, just his 15th turnover on the season. . . . Smith now has 1,697 career points and 230 steals.


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