Cards face Coogs in Houston

#5 Louisville (17-1, 7-0) travels to Houston to face the Cougars (6-12, 4-3) Saturday night. The game will be televised by ESPN at 9:00.

Cards face Coogs in Houston

Date: Saturday, February 8 2003
Time: 9:00 pm
Site: Hofheitz Pavilion - Houston, TX (8, 480)
Television: ESPN
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Series History:  The Cards lead the series 11-4
Last Meeting: Louisville won 79-67 in Jan. 2001
National Rankings:
   HOUSTON          Not ranked
   LOUISVILLE       5th AP, 6th Coaches
Significant injuries: UH - None  U of L - None

Fifth ranked Louisville (17-1, 7-0) takes their nation's best 16 game winning streak on the road to Texas Saturday night to face Conference rival Houston (6-12, 4-3) for a 9:00 ESPN showdown.

The Cougars started the season slow but have won three of their last four games, beating Southern Miss, South Florida and TCU before losing to Tulane earlier this week.   At 4-3 in C-USA play, the Cougars enter Saturday's game in a three way first place tie in the National Division.

Houston is led by 6'7 forward Louis Truscott who averages 16.1 points and a Conference best 12.3 rebounds and 6'4 point guard Andre Owens (14.3 ppg), a transfer from Indiana.  

While they have played better of late, the Cougars face a major test in the deep, talented and focused Cards.  Louisville is 6-0 on the road and have major statistical advantages over the young, thin Cougars.

Three areas could prove troubling for Coach Ray McCallum's Cougars to overcome against the Cards.  Houston is one of the lowest scoring teams in the league at 60.1 points per game and have struggled shooting the ball this season at just a .402 clip.  Contributing to Houston's lack of offensive punch is their poor assist to turnover margin per game.  The Coogs average just 10.1 assists while committing a dreadful 17.7 turnovers.  In order to be competitive against the Cards, Houston will have to take better care of the ball and change the numbers on the scoreboard more frequently than it has this season.

Those weaknesses play right into Louisville's primary strengths as a team.  The Cards have been one of the top defensive teams in the nation this season, limiting its opponents to just .395 shooting while forcing 17.9 turnovers per outing.  Making it even more difficult on its opponents, the Cards average a C-USA best 84.2 points while shooting a very respectable 48% from the field.  

Look for the Cards to force a fast and furious tempo early in the game and wear down this Houston team that plays just 7 guys.  Louisville simply has too much fire power for Houston and will have an easy time with the Coogs..The Cards win their 17th straight game and improve to 8-0 in conference play, 90-62.

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

Louisville
Statistical Category

Houston

84.2
Points
60.1
65.4
Opponent Points
67.1
+18.8
Scoring Margin
-7
.480
FG %
.402
.395
Opponent FG %
.412
.370
3PT FG %
.324
.286
Opponent 3PT FG %
.296
.723
Free Throw %
.694
38.6
Rebounds
37.9
35.1
Opponent Rebounds
35.2
+3.5
Rebounding Margin
+2.7
17.5
Assists
10.1
14.0
Turnovers
17.7
5.2
Blocks
4.6

7.3

Steals

5.0

Probable Starting Lineups

#5 Louisville Cardinals (16-1, 6-0)
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
F 2 Ellis Myles 6-8 235 Jr.
7.9
8.0
1.9
F 33 Erik Brown 6-5 205 Sr.
7.8
2.5
1.1
C 21 Marvin Stone 6-10 240 Sr.
13.3
8.0
1.5
G 5 Taquan Dean 6-3 175 Fr.
8.3
2.5
1.5
G 22 Reece Gaines 6-6 205 Sr.
18.2
2.5
5.2
Houston Cougars (6-12, 4-3)
Pos No . Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
G 24 Bryan Shelton 6-3 180 So.
5.3
2.1
1.3
G 20 Andre Owens 6-4 200 So.
14.3
4.8
3.3
F 15 Louis Truscott 6-7 220 Sr.
16.1
12.3
1.6
C 5 Jeremy McGuire 6-11 220 Sr. 7.2
5.9
1.2
F 30 Cedric Hensley 6-4 195 Fr.
4.8
3.6
.7

 

Louisville's Last 5 Games
Date Opponent Result
 Wed, Jan 22 DePaul W 71-43
 Sat, Jan 25 at Tennessee W 72-69
 Wed, Jan 29 at Southern Mississippi W 94-65
 Sat, Feb 1 Indiana W 95-76
 Wed, Feb 5 Cincinnati W 77-71
Houston's Last 5 Games
Date Opponent Result
 Wed, Jan 22 at Memphis L 66-77
 Sat, Jan 25 at Southern Mississippi W 76-75
 Wed, Jan 29 South Florida W 59-57
 Sat, Feb 1 at TCU W 61-56
 Tue, Feb 4 Tulane L 58-65

Tidbits

  • The Cougars Louis Truscott leads C-USA in rebounding at 12.6 per game
  • Houston point guard transferred from Indiana University
  • The Cards have won a nation's best 16 consecutive games
  • Houston will honor legendary Coach Guy Lewis during Saturday's game
  • This season marks the 20th anniversary of the 1983 Final Four matchup between the two programs

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