Game Two: Louisville vs. Jacksonville State

The University of Louisville basketball team will play its home opener on Monday night at 7 o'clock against Jacksonville State. Cardinal Authority takes a look at five things to watch in this game from the Cardinals and the Gamecocks.

It's game two for the University of Louisville basketball team on Monday, hosting Jacksonville State (0-1) in the home opener at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals whipped Minnesota 81-68 in the opener on Friday night.

The game is the first of four in nine games for the Cardinals, who play Marshall on Friday, Savannah State next Monday and Cleveland State next Wednesday.

Here's what to watch:

1. Blackshear on the rebound: U of L coach Rick Pitino said he wasn't upset with the play of Wayne Blackshear it was simply that the senior got in foul trouble. "The way he's playing in practice, I have no doubt about him," Pitino said. So Pitino isn't fretting after just one game and while the competition isn't the same, it's a time for Blackshear to start getting it going and to stay out of foul trouble. Pitino said he still expects the senior to be a key player and have a big final season for the Cardinals. He had seven points against Minnesota, picking up three fouls in the first half.

2. Rozier playing like a pro: Sophomore guard Terry Rozier was a bit gassed in the end on Friday night but that didn't take away from his stellar performance. Rozier had 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. He played an all-around solid game and Pitino raved about his effort and his heart. Expect another outstanding performance from Rozier, who Pitino said was "professionally and emotionally ready to be a pro." Pitino said the staff is recruiting for the 2015 class as if he was going to turn pro at seasons end.

3. CARDS ARE GOOD IN HOME OPENERS: While the competition hasn't always been the best, the Cardinals are usually prepped and ready for the home opener. U of L is 13-0 in home openers under Pitino and the last loss in the first home game of the season came to Georgetown in Denny Crum's final season. Don't expect a loss tonight to the Gamecocks.

4. JAX STATE GUARD HEAVY: The leading returning scorer and the top two newcomers for Jacksonville State are all guards. The team has just one player over 6-8 and had a hard time on the glass last Friday in a 74-55 loss at Marshall. Darion Rackley is the leading returning scorer at 13.1 points a game but was just 1-for-6 against Marshall. Avery Moore is only 5-10 but can shoot it, while D.J. Felder is 6-7, 232 and will get the test of guarding Harrell. The Cardinals should be able to make quick work of the OVC foe.

5. PRE-GAME VIDEO: If you haven't seen it folks, watch it. While it's great on line and cool to see - look below - the next is to watch it in the arena. The place is going to be fun again this season and that video really adds to the excitement.

HARRELL HONORED

U of L junior Montrezl Harrell was named ACC Player of the Week after his 30 points and seven rebounds against Minneosta.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Pitino was asked about freshman Quentin Snider's play:

"I'm comfortable with putting him in any pressure-packed game," he said.


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