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Louisville vs. Saint Louis: Game Preview

#19 Louisville (9-1) takes on Saint Louis tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in Freedom Hall. The game will be televised live on WFTE.<body> <p><b><font size="2"><a href="">Internet Audio Broadcast</a></font></b></p> </body>


Date: Saturday, January 11, 2003
Time: 2:00 EST
Site: Freedom Hall, Louisville Kentucky (18,865)
Television: WFTE (Channel 58 in Louisville)
Don Russell, play-by-play;
Bob Valvano, analyst;
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Series History: Louisville leads 42-19 (24-6 Home, 15-13 Away, 3-0 Neutral)
Last Meeting: February 22, 2002 in The Savvis Center, Saint Louis, UofL 50 - SLU 56.
National Rankings: AP-unranked, USA Today/ESPN-unranked; Louisville is 19th AP, 25th USA Today/ESPN
Significant injuries - SLU- None U of L - None

2002-03 averages (Saint Louis – Opponent)

  • 61.1 PPG – 60.8 PPG

  • 45.1% FG (272-603) – 42.0% FG (257-612)

  • 32.8% FG 3 pt (59-180) – 36.9% FG 3 pt (69-187)

  • 30.1 Reb – 33.2 Reb

  • A/T 155-145 – A/T 135-158

  • Steals 89-72

  • Blocks 31-37

  • Coach: Name. Brad Soderberg, first year at SLU. 137-84 all time (8 years, including 6-6 this year).

  • 2001-02 record: 15-16 (9-7 in C-USA) Home: 10-6 Away: 3-8, Neutral: 2-2.

  • 2002-03 record: 6-6(0-1 in C-USA) Home: 5-3, Away: 0-3, Neutral: 1-0. Losses at home came from UT-Martin, SW Missouri State and Marquette. SLU has notched solid home wins against Dayton, Southern Illinois and Saint Bonaventure. Road losses include drubbings from #1 Arizona, Kansas State and Butler.

Probable Starters

  • Marque Perry #05  6'1, G, SR (34.8 min 15.8 ppg 5.2 rpg)

  • Josh Fisher #04  6'2, G, JR (31.4 min 8.6 ppg 2.8 rpg)

  • Anthony Drejaj #20  6'2, G, FR. (28.5 min 7.5 ppg 2.9 rpg)

  • Kenny Brown #41  6'10, C, SR (23.8 min 7.0 ppg 5.6 rpg)

  • Chris Sloan #33  6'7, G/F, JR (23.0 min 6.1 ppg 2.8 rpg)

Key Reserves Average more than 10 minutes

  • Drew Diener #21  6'5, G, SR (22.2 min 5.6 ppg 1.7 rpg)

  • Izik Ohanon #30  6'9, F, SO (19.5 min 8.0 ppg 4.0 rpg)

  • Chris Braun #52  6'10, F, SR (16.1 min 5.5 ppg 2.3 rpg)

  • Ross Varner #25  6'7, F, JR (12.6 min 1.8 ppg 1.5 rpg)

Scott's Take

Prior to the season, had someone said that this years #19th ranked (AP, 25th ESPN/Coaches poll) Cardinal squad would be 8-1 going into conference play at Charlotte, many fans would have rolled their eyes and pronounced it as wishful thinking. Many may have thought it possible, some even vocalizing their belief that a talent laden, yet inexperienced bench would leave naysayers shaking their heads in disbelief. Elated disbelief? You bet. Still, it would be disbelief none-the-less. Count me in that group. I freely admit it. No name calling yet, as this season is far from over, but I have no reason to believe that a letdown is on the way.  To the contrary, as both coaches and players believe there is yet room for improvement.  A scary thought, as this team has looked sharp more often than not this season.

Personally, while cautiously optimistic at seasons end last year, I was convinced that a berth in the NCAA tournament in the 2002-03 campaign would be an accomplishment for the last recruiting class of former Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum as they are now Juniors. Satisfaction from that achievement would have to suffice and hold Card fans over until the REAL Pitino team, one that had a REAL chance to make a deep run at championship number three was running the floor in Freedom Hall during the 2003-04 campaign. It's too early to say for sure, but its beginning to look like a run may come a year early as this group of Cards are playing with more intensity, desire, heart…. Ok EVERYTHING since some of the great teams of Coach Crum's 80's teams. Everything Card fans have long desired from the Cards is here and now.

The Cards dismantling of Charlotte on Wednesday was somewhat surprising as Charlotte has been tough at home in years past. That thrashing, the worst for Charlotte in the history of Halton Arena, was the Cards third straight road win, an accomplishment unequaled since the 1999-2000 season, the last season Louisville appeared in the Big Dance.

Now that Louisville has started conference play in fine fashion, the Cards face what is probably one of the most enigmatic teams on their conference schedule as the Bilikens have had their number. This is stop number two in the 2002-03 revenge tour and the Cards are in prime position to stuff the Billikins as Louisville is coming into the Freedom Hall match-up undefeated at home and on a 7 game win streak. A streak that includes a shellacking of in-state rival Kentucky, the first stop on the revenge tour. As sweet as that was, a win against SLU should be every bit as sweet considering the Cards two losses to Saint Lou

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