Louisville vs. Indiana: Game Preview

The #8 Louisville Cardinals (15-1, 6-0) put their 14 game winning streak on the line tomorrow against the #19 Indiana Hoosiers (14-5) at Freedom Hall. The game will tip off at 1:00 p.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS.


Date: Saturday, February 1, 2003
Time: 1:00 pm
Site: Freedom Hall - Louisville, KY (18,865)
Television: CBS
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Series History:  Indiana leads series 10-5
Last Meeting: Indiana defeated Louisville 77-62 last season in Bloomington
National Rankings:
   INDIANA: 19th AP, 20th Coaches, 23 Sagarin
   LOUISVILLE 8th AP, 8th Coaches, 1st Sagarin
Significant injuries: Indiana - Bracey Wright (back, probable) U of L – None


Statistical Category


Opponent Points
Scoring Margin
FG %
Opponent FG %
3PT FG %
Opponent 3PT FG %
Free Throw %
Opponent Rebounds
Rebounding Margin




Louisville's last 5 games
 Date Opponent Result
 Thu, Jan 16 at East Carolina W 87-70
 Sat, Jan 18 TCU W 87-74
 Wed, Jan 22 DePaul W 71-43
 Sat, Jan 25 at Tennessee W 72-69
 Wed, Jan 29 at Southern Mississippi W 94-65
Indiana's last 5 games
 Date Opponent Result
 Wed, Jan 15 Northwestern W 71-57
 Sat, Jan 18 Illinois W 74-66
 Tue, Jan 21 Ohio State W 69-51
 Sat, Jan 25 at Purdue L 47-69
 Tue, Jan 28 at Michigan State L 54-61



I had a dream last night and this is how it went.  

I was at the Amtrak station in Jeffersonville, Indiana and was stunned at what I heard over the intercom. 

"Attention ladies and gentlemen, Amtrak welcomes you to Louisville Kentucky. Please prepare to stop as we have reached our final destination on the 2002-03 University of Louisville Revenge tour" 

"What did he just say?" asked an elderly woman from Tecumseh. 

I responded quickly with an emphatic response. "It's a basketball thing madam. Last year the Louisville Cardinals were beaten in Bloomington by Indiana University. Many fans of the Cards felt the Indiana players were less than cordial to our players and have put them on our revenge tour list." 

Smiling broadly with an undeniable gleam in her eye she said, "Revenge tour huh? Well, you just tell those fans that I am an Iowa fan and even though our coach (Steve Alford) played at IU, I hope your team kicks the #%&! out of them."  

After I woke up and wrote down what I could remember, my better half was rudely awakened while I laughed at myself. I realized then that this is the team on the tour I want most. Even though I consciously try to undermine the games significance by claiming a loss to them would be less painful than splitting with Cincinnati or Marquette. Wrong. If I had to have one, I'll take the win against Indiana. Too bad Dane Fife is gone though. 

The 15th meeting of the Hoosiers and the Cardinals could mark the last for sometime as IU coach Mike Davis is looking to end the series. The Hoosiers currently hold a 10-5 advantage on the Cards and has won the last three games including last season's 77-62 loss in Bloomington. Saturday's contest however will etch new milestones into the 82-year series history. 

  • Tomorrow's game will mark the first game played between the Cards and Hoosiers during the last 15 years at Freedom Hall. There have only been 5 games between the teams in that same 15 year period and other than the last game at the Hall, a Louisville win on December 19, 1987, and last years game in Bloomington, the other three games have been on neutral courts. Louisville went 1-2 during that stretch.
  • For the first time since December 3, 1988, the Cards are ranked ahead of the Hoosiers in the Associated Press poll, heading into the contest. Louisville was 13th and Indiana was unranked. Louisville won that game on a neutral court, going away 101-79

During the last meeting, the Hoosiers shot a scorching 64% in the first half and finished at 57% led by Jarred Odle's career best 25 point (10-11) and 11 rebound outing while Tom Coverdale had 16 with Kyle Hornsby and Jared Jeffries pitching in 11 each. Louisville was led by 17 from Reece Gaines, nearly four below his average at the time.  

Odle and Jeffries are gone but Jeff Newton and George Leach emerged to take up the slack after losing Odle to graduation and Jeffries to the NBA. Newton is second on the team behind Bracey Wright in scoring at 14.7 ppg and first in rebounds at 9.2 and third in minutes (33.3) behind Tom Coverdale (33.7) and Bracey Wright (34.6).  Newton has been a force in the paint in the Big 10 and is second on the team in rebounds with 7.7, fifth in minutes (24.7). Leach is first in blocks at 3.2 (55 total first in the Big10 and sixth in D1), 6'11 George Leach will be a handful for Louisville big man Marvin Stone. 

The Hoosiers are led by 6'3 guard Bracey Wright. Wright, a freshman of the year candidate, has had a sparkling freshman outing averaging 18.1 ppg and an outstanding 5.6 rpg before going down with a pinched nerve in his neck recently. Even though he returned for IU's last game against Michigan State, Wright played just 10 minutes and scored only 2 points before leaving the game with muscle cramps. Wright's slow play and AJ Moye abscence from the lineup contributed to IU's three straight defeats in the Big 10. Wright is probable for the Saturday game against Louisville and should be a factor as he has had several days to get back into basketball shape. 


Even though Wright has been hampered by injuries and is still recovering, ball line defense is crucial as nearly half the freshman's shots come from 3 and is hitting 36.4% (39-107) from the arc. Perimeter defense is equally critical for the entire team as nearly half of all Indiana shots are three pointers. Kyle Hornsby has taken 147 shots on the season with 101 of them coming from the three point line and 120 of 180 of Tom Cloverdale's shots have been treys.  

Louisville must continue to improve on the boards at the one, two and three spots. Dean, Brown, Gaines and Garcia must get their share of rebounds and keep guard Bracey Wright off the boards. The Cards also must contain Newton in the post and keep him off the offensive glass for second chance opportunities. The Cards interior players must make Leach work inside and keep off the glass, as well as avoiding driving carelessly into the lane as he is one of the leading shot blockers in the Big 10.  The Cards must force IU's other players to rebound the ball as Newton, Leach and Wright combine for 57% of IU's total boards. 


Louisville is in for a dog fight as IU is a cornered animal after dropping three games to open the Big 10. In a see-saw battle in Freedom Hall, the Cards conditioning, depth and desire will be the deciding factor as the Cards hand Indiana their forth loss in a row, 76-66. 


  • The Cards are ranked 1st in the Sagarin ratings while the Hoosiers are ranked 23rd.
  • UofL has won 14 straight game since an 86-84 loss to Purdue on Nov. 31.  The winning streak is the Cards longest since winning 14 in a row in 1988-89.
  • The Cards are 9-0 at home this season.  Indiana is 1-4 on the road.
  • The Cards are 5-0 this season when playing on national television.  Saturday's game will be televised on CBS.
  • The Hoosiers are 0-1 in Freedom Hall this year, having lost to rival Kentucky in December.

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