A few thoughts from Louisville's 86-45 victory over Samford in the opener on Friday night

The University of Louisville basketball team opened the season with a blowout on Friday night, beating Samford 86-45 at the KFC Yum Center. It was the largest margin of victory in an opener for Louisville since a 54-point win over South Alabama in 2001, the first game of the Rick Pitino-era at Louisville.

The University of Louisville basketball team opened the season with a blowout on Friday night, beating Samford 86-45 at the KFC Yum Center.

It was the largest margin of victory in an opener for Louisville since a 54-point win over South Alabama in 2001, the first game of the Rick Pitino-era at Louisville. It was the highest point total in a season opner since 88 in the win over Butler in 2010.

The Cardinals (1-0) had 11 players score points and nine had assists in the contest.

MVP - Chinanu Onuaku

Sophomore Chinanu Onuaku didn't lead the team in scoring but was soid in 14 minutes of action, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds, five blocked shots and two assists.

Onuaku picked up two quick fouls in the first half and didn't get another.

Pitino said he was impressed with Onuaku because of his "attitude. He has really matured and played well."

Onuaku had a one-handed slam on a fast break in the second half and finished 5 of 5 from the field.

Big-time debut

It was a near-perfect start for Donovan Mitchell.

The freshman was 4 of 4 from the field, hit 5 of 6 free throws and finished with 14 points, three rebounds, three steals and one assist.

Mitchell came into the game when Damion Lee picked up two quick fouls and hit a three-pointer to spark the Cardinals. He played 17 minutes in his college debut.

His 14 points marks the sixth highest performance in a Louisville debut by a player. Former U of L guard Jerry Smith holds the record with 24 points in his career debut.

Stat of the night

Pitino said this team hasn't been great at passing, but they were in the opener.

Louisville had 19 assists - by nine different guys - on 30 made field goals for the game. Trey Lewis led the way with seven assists.

Quentin Snider had six, while Onuaku and Deng Adel had two apiece.

"We had a lot of bounce passes," Pitino said. "The more bounce passes you throw, the better of a team you will be."

Up next

The Cardinals (1-0) will host Hartford on Tuesday night at 7 o'clock at the Yum Center.

Louisville will play North Florida, a team that beat Illinois in the opener on Friday night, next Saturday at 12:02 p.m.


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