Friday, November 15, 2013

Louisville Sports Live on Cornell

Opponent: Cornell Big Red
Game Location: KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, Ky.
Tip Off: 7:07 pm
Record: 0-3
Head Coach: Bill Courtney (4th Season)
Conference: Ivy League
TV: WHAS-11 & ESPN3 with Drew Deener & Bob Valvano on the call
Radio: 84-WHAS with Paul Rogers & Doug Ormay on the call
Last Meeting: This marks the first meeting ever between these two programs
Spread: Louisville – 32.5
Officials: Tom Eades, Jeff Clark, Tim Nestor
Starting Line-ups
Russ Smith – G    6’0, 175 lbs
Chris Jones – G    5’10, 175 lbs
Wayne Blackshear – F    6’5, 230 lbs
Montrezl Harrell – F    6’8, 235 lbs
Stephan Van Treese – C    6’9, 250 lbs
Devin Cherry– G    6’3, 185 lbs
Nolan Cressler– G    6’4, 183 lbs
Robert Hatter– F    6’2, 165 lbs
Dwight Tarwater – F    6’6, 230 lbs
David Onuorah – C    6’9, 230 lbs
After back-to-back convincing home wins, the Cards will try to make it three in seven days as they host Cornell tonight in the KFC Yum! Center. Tip is set for 7:00 on WHAS-11 and ESPN3 and the Big Red (0-3) are searching for their first victory of the young season. In facing Louisville, Cornell (who has already played Syracuse) will have already played two of the teams that participated in last season’s Final Four. A win against the Cards would snap a nine-game losing streak dating back to last year for head coach Bill Courtney and his team. The Last time Cornell defeated a ranked team was in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in which they dispatched then-#19 Wisconsin. Currently the Big Red are averaging 76 points per game (176th in the nation), 35.3 rebounds (230th in the nation) and are shooting 45% from the field (162nd in the nation). Tonight marks the first ever meeting between these two schools.
Cornell is in a bit of a rebuilding mode and they’ve relied heavily on their younger players through their first three games. In their last outing, they sputtered late and dropped a second half lead, ultimately falling 93-89 to Loyola (Md.). Freshman two-guard Robert Hatter led all scorers in the loss, dropping 32 points in the losing effort. For the season, Hatter is second on the team in scoring (15.7) and leads the way in assists (4.3). Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is also off to a great start, averaging 18.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Cressler had 14 points against Loyola but had bigger games against both Syracuse (23 points) and Binghamton (19 points). Inside, in the loss against Loyola, Cornell got a big effort from power forward Dwight Tarwater who posted a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Fo0r the season, the lone senior starter is averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds, but has struggled from the field, shooting just 37% from the field.
Despite its 0-3 record, this is not a terrible Cornell team. The Loyola loss occurred in overtime and they actually held a double-digit first-half lead against Syracuse and went into halftime with a 6-point advantage. Louisville hasn’t exactly been dominant on the boards so far in their opening three games, so an otherwise clear weakness of Cornell’s might not be exploited. That said, I would think the Cards come with a slightly better effort on the glass tonight given the anger level of Pitino after the Hoftsra win (in which they were out-rebounded 39-38). Cornell won’t back down from running with Louisville, but you have to think that after watching film of the 35-2 run against Hofstra, a better point of emphasis would be to slow things down and chip away in the half court. The Cards enter tonight’s game as a 32.5-point favorite, so that should tell you it’s going to be an uphill climb for the visitors.

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