Today, Louisville will look to start the month of February with their second win over Rutgers in the past two weeks. The Cardinals have won six of their past eight games but are coming off a disappointing, 69-67, at UConn earlier this week.
The Cardinals were done in against the Huskies by suspect shooting, both from the field and the free throw line. Louisville made just 40 percent of their shots for the game – 29 percent in the first half – and only 57 percent from the free throw line, including two key misses by point guard Edgar Sosa late in the game.
"We've got to keep playing hard," Rick Pitino said. "I think we're a good basketball team, I don't think we're a great basketball team. I think we're good enough that we'll keep getting better. I see a major difference in Juan Palacios. I see a major difference in David Padgett.
"I want our guys to start making free throws down the stretch. I don't want my point guard stepping up to the line and missing free throws. That can't happen. It's important that we relax, go to the line and take our time. At times we rush our free throws."
Now, the Cardinals hope to keep pace in a crowded Big East race with a win over an improving Rutgers outfit. Though they enter today's contest having lost their last game in overtime to Seton Hall, Rutgers had posted back-to-back Top 25 wins over Pittsburgh and Villanova before that.
"Rutgers…I've never seen (a) team have such a change in a two week span not only in the way they are playing but in their shooting percentages," Pitino said. "They were trying to milk the clock and they are no longer trying to do that. They are pushing the pace now and they're shooting the ball extremely well right now."
J.R. Inman (13.8 ppg.) and Hamady Ndiaye (second in the Big East in shot blocking), lead the way for Rutgers.