Cards to face Tigers in ESPN showdown

#4 Louisville (19-2, 9-1) will face the Memphis Tigers (16-5, 7-3) Wednesday night at 7:00. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.

Cards and Tigers to battle on ESPN

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Time: 7:00 pm
Site: Freedom Hall - Louisville, KY (18, 865)
Television: ESPN
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Last Meeting: Memphis won 80-70 last season at the Pyramid
National Rankings:
   MEMPHIS           NOT RANKED/ 40th RPI
   LOUISVILLE       4th AP, 3rd USA Today/ESPN, 3rd RPI
Significant injuries: UM - Earl Barron (ankle)  U of L - None

Fourth ranked Louisville (19-2, 9-1) hosts old rival Memphis (16-5, 7-3) Wednesday night at 7:00.  The key conference battle will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Tigers have posted impressive wins this season over Top 25 teams, Syracuse and Illinois and have beaten Villanova, Mississippi and Arkansas and appear to be hitting their stride after battling suspensions and injuries earlier in the season.  The Tigers have won their last 5 games by an average of 21 and sit atop the American Division with a 7-3 record.

Memphis is led by 6'9 forward Chris Massie, who averages 16.6 points and 11.5 rebounds and 6'1 point guard Antonio Burks who scored 27 points and 10 assists against UAB last Saturday at the Pyramid in Memphis.  

The Tigers are deep, athletic and talented and will provide a solid test for the Cards.  Memphis has eight players that average 8.7 or more and play nine guys 10 or more minutes.  The status of center Earl Barron remains in doubt after he suffered a severe ankle sprain last week.  

The Tigers like to get up and down floor, shoot the three and rely on the strength of Massie down low.  The Tigers rank second behind Louisville in three point field goals made per game and have made a respectable .34% on the season.  They also play solid defense, limiting opponents to just 41% shooting but have been vulnerable defending the three point line (36%). Memphis has out rebounded opponents by more than four per contest this season and average more than 5 blocks per game, demonstrating their outstanding athleticism inside.

However, look for the Cards to double Massie as soon as he touches the ball in the post and force him to make good decisions with the basketball and force the other Tiger players to provide the offensive punch.  Reece Gaines will provide a tough match up for Burks and should be able to create problems all night with his penetration, freeing Louisville's outside shooters, Francisco Garcia, Eric Brown, and Taquan Dean for open three point looks the entire game.  In the end, expect the Cards to pull away from the Tigers for an 82-71 victory and notch their 20th win of the season.

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

Louisville
Statistical Category

Memphis

82.3
Points
74.1
64.9
Opponent Points
66.3
+17.7
Scoring Margin
+7.8
.473
FG %
.442
.390
Opponent FG %
.417
.372
3PT FG %
.345
.286
Opponent 3PT FG %
.358
.709
Free Throw %
.639
38.4
Rebounds
39.6
35.0
Opponent Rebounds
35.1
+3.4
Rebounding Margin
+4.5
17.3
Assists
16.9
13.7
Turnovers
14.6
4.9
Blocks
5.2

7.0

Steals

8.0

Probable Starting Lineups

#4 Louisville Cardinals (19-2, 9-1)
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
F 2 Ellis Myles 6-8 235 Jr.
7.7
8.1
2.0
F 32 Francisco Garcia 6-7 175 Fr.
9.9
2.8
2.0
C 21 Marvin Stone 6-10 240 Sr.
11.7
8.0
1.4
G 5 Taquan Dean 6-3 175 Fr.
8.8
2.9
1.5
G 22 Reece Gaines 6-6 205 Sr.
18.6
2.6
5.1
Memphis Tigers (16-5, 7-3)
Pos No . Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
G 23 Anthony Rice 6-4 205 So.
9.7
3.2
2.6
G 01 Antonio Burks 6-1 200 Jr.
8.7
1.7
5.1
F 04 Chris Massie 6-9 255 Sr.
16.6
11.5
1.6
C 30 Earl Barron 6-11 270 Sr. 8.9
4.7
0.9
F 20 John Grice 6-7 200 Sr.
12.0
6.4
2.0

Tidbits

  • Memphis Clyde Wade and UofL's Francisco Garcia were teammates at Wincendon last season.
  • Reece Gaines is second in C-USA in scoring at 18.6 ppg.
  • Gaines was named ABC Player of the Game after hitting the game winning shot at #11 Marquette last Saturday
  • Memphis forward Chris Massie ranks second in C-USA with 11.5 rebounds per game
  • The Cards are 9-0 on national television games this season
  • Memphis is 4-3 on the road this season

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