Louisville team is "all about defense"

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Louisville basketball team is a much different squad than the one that faced Kentucky on Dec 28. There are plenty of reasons the cardinals are different but the main reason – defense. Cardinal Authority takes a look at the difference in the U of L defense.

In the first meeting with the University of Kentucky, the Louisville men's basketball team struggled on the defensive end of the floor.

The Wildcats hit 43.5 percent from the field, getting several open looks because of breakdowns in the Cardinals' defense.

Fast forward the tape and three months to the date, the two teams will meet again and the Cardinals defense is drastically different.

"We are very, very different," guard Chris Jones said.

Added Luke Hancock: "It's just not the same for us, we are playing better on defense and we are doing more on defense. It's a lot different."

U of L coach Kevin Keatts said the team has "grown so much on defense," while Rick Pitino said last week his team was "winning games because" of defense.

"I really think that last game (against UK) was a big learning experience for us," sophomore Montrezl Harrell said. "It was early and we were still trying to learn everything on defense, just trying to get things down.

"I feel like we didn't play Louisville defense then."

Terry Rozier said the Cardinals are "all about defense" now, several other Cardinals pointed to Chris Jones playing better defense and getting things started from the guard spot for the Cardinals.

"We know our defensive rotation now and we know how to switch," Jones said. "I didn't know our rotations back then, so we've come a long way."

But the U of L players also know that while they have changed quite a bit of things the UK team is also playing better.

"I'd say we are a lot different," Tim Henderson said. "As we grew throughout the season, coach saw that we could do a little more and then a little more.

"We're a lot different. But lets face it, they're a lot different as well."


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