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Louisville vs. TCU: Game Preview

ITV's Scott Stepro previews the #15 Louisville Cardinals (11-1, 3-0) game against C-USA rival TCU. The Cards and Frogs play tomorrow at 12:00 at Freedom Hall. The game will be televised on ESPN+ <body> <p><b><font size="2"><a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/laq/schedule">(Internet game broadcast)</a></font></b></p> </body>


Date: Saturday January 18, 2003
Time: 12:00pm
Site: Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
Television: ESPN+ (WDRB, Fox 41 in Louisville)
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Series History:  Louisville Leads 2-0 (1-0 at home, 1-0 Neutral)
Last Meeting:  C-USA Tournament, March 6, 2002. Louisville won 110-86
National Rankings: Unranked AP, Unranked USA Today/ESPN; Louisville is 15th AP, 18th USA Today/ESPN
Significant injuries: TCU - None U of L - None

2002-03 Season Averages (TCU – Opponent)

                                          83.0 PPG – 82.8 PPG

                                         43.4 % FG (311-716) – 47.6 % FG (344-723)

                                         31.0 % FG 3 pt (216-325) – 32.4 % FG 3 pt (162-245)

                                          41.7 Reb – 39.8 Reb

                                          A/T 183-169 – A/T 200-165

                                          Steals 72-70

                                          Blocks 30-58

Coach: Name. Neil Dougherty 6-5 in his first year at TCU.

2001-02 record: 16-15(6-10 in C-USA)Home: 12-6, Away: 2-7, Neutral: 2-2. Season ended in a loss to Louisville in the C-USA tournament on March 6, 2002.

2002-03 record: 6-8(0-2 in the C-USA) Home: 4-3, Away: 2-5, Neutral: 0-0. Including home losses to Texas Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Cincinnati. Road loses include Southern Miss and Depaul

TCU Probable Starters

Alan "Junior" Blount #15 (6'0, G, Sr 31.0 min 18.1 ppg 1.7 rpg)

Corey Santee #03 (6'2, G, So 32.1 min 16.2 ppg 2.6 rpg)

Bingo Merriex #34 (6'9, F, Sr 28.3 min 11.6 ppg 8.6 rpg)

Chudi Chinweze #22 (6'6, TF, Fr 21.1 min 10.9 ppg 5.5 rpg)

Marcus Slone #05 (6'8, F, So 12.5 min 2.5 ppg 1.9 rpg)

Key Reserves Average more than 10 minutes and 5 ppg

Jamal Brown #30 (6'7, F, Sr 19.6 min 8.8 ppg 9.4 rpg)

Nucleus Smith #01 (6'2, G, Jr 19.5 min 6.0 ppg 2.0 rpg)

Ron Hobbs #0 (6'6, G, Jr 15.1 min 5.2 ppg 2.5 rpg)

Scott's Take

One word.


In a week when Cardinal boss and master media manipulator Rick Pitino was openly disappointed (furious would be more like it) with his teams practice sessions, and stop number three on the 2002-03 revenge tour looming, threats of players being left off the plane to Greenville few round the river city like leaves in hurricane. Claims of heads getting larger and games getting selfish, Coach sent a message. Play the game that got us here or get ready to watch the game while you pack. 

Message received Coach. The Cards responded most admirably. Just look at Kendall Dartez's play, 3-3 from the floor, 2-2 from the stripe to go with 4 rebounds and no fumbles in 7 minutes of action. 7 minutes? Play like that from the bench is why this outstanding Cardinal squad is 11-1. When you have a player that can come in and do that for your team while your starter gets a blow has to be discouraging the coach who is unfortunate enough to draw scout duty on the Cards. Shut down one and another comes in and sticks it to you. 

Who would have thought it? 16 days after East Carolina's stunning upset of then #9 Marquette in Greenville the young Louisville Cardinal team would walk into Minges Colliseum, a place that has one of the most feared home court advantages in the conference mind you, and run Pirates out of the gym. I mean RUN them out of the gym completely. The final margin of 17 was not remotely indicative of the actual drubbing that occurred. 

After a foul riddled start, the game was in this writers opinion the finest 40 minutes of basketball played to date by the Cards as the Pirates were out shot, hustled and rebounded and out everything'ed from horn to horn, quieting the unruly student heavy crowd early and keeping them quiet with the Reece Gaines to Marvin Stone show. Or was it the Stone to Gaines show? The Gaines to everybody show maybe? Pick your pleasure; it was far from a two-man show. 


In the fashion that has the cards averaging 18.5 assist per game, the Cards stayed true to unselfish form against ECU by dropping enough dimes (19 total, Gaines 6) to fill a Salvation Army bucket. Ten players scored for the Cards but it was big man Marvin Stone and Reece Gaines who got the lion's share of rock. Simply amazing that Gaines, a likely first round pick in the spring NBA draft, not only lead the team in assists, but was thanked for his kindness by being on the receiving end of a few himself on his way to a 22 point outburst, second only to Stones 23 point, 9 rebound game. 

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