Jan. 3, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville men's basketball team begins the New Year and concludes its four-game swing on the road with a trip to AAC foe Rutgers on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Piscataway, N.J.
The Jan. 3 game will air on CBS Sports Network, with Sean Grande (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst), and Susannah Collins (reporter) calling the action. Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) will announce the game on WHAS 840 AM. The contest also is available on SIRIUS channel 91 and XM channel 91.
Louisville and Rutgers will be meeting for the 13th time in series history, with the Cardinals holding an 11-1 edge. Louisville, which has won the last seven contests, posted a 68-48 win in Piscataway last season on Feb. 6 behind a solid second-half effort. Wayne Blackshear finished with a game-high 19 points off the bench, as he connected on 7 of his 11 field goal attempts, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
No. 14/10 Louisville (12-2, 1-0 AAC) won its last game of the 2013 calendar year with a 90-65 decision at UCF on Dec. 31.
The Cardinals recorded 28 assists in the win, the most in 127 games and since handing out 29 against Chattanooga in a 106-65 win on Nov. 22, 2010. Louisville shot exceptionally well from the field, connecting on 54.8 percent (34-of-62) for the game, and 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from beyond the arc. Of the 15 turnovers they forced, the Cardinals scored 24 points.
Individually, Russ Smith scored a game-high 24 points and had nine assists. He tied a career high with six 3-pointers and matched a season best with four steals. Montrezl Harrell added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Luke Hancock came off the bench to score 16 points - 12 came on his four 3-pointers - and collect three steals.
For the season, Smith is pacing Louisville with 17.4 points and has a team-high 73 assists. He and Chris Jones, who is averaging 13.2 points, are tied for the team lead in steals with 25. Montrezl Harrell, who is third on the team in scoring at 12.2 per game, is averaging eight rebounds.
Through Dec. 29, Louisville ranks among the nation's best in turnover margin (No. 1, +8.5), scoring margin (No. 3, +23.6), turnovers per game (No. 6, 9.5), and total steals (No. 8, 123).
Rutgers has won its last three games after dropping six of its previous seven contests. Following their conference-opening victory against Temple on Jan. 1, the Scarlet Knights boast a 7-7 overall record.
Against Temple, the Scarlet Knights ended the game on a 6-0 run in the final 54 seconds for the 71-66 win. Four of Rutgers' starters finished with double-digit points, including Kadeem Jack's team-high 18. Wally Judge and J.J. Moore each chipped in 12.
Temple, which won the rebounding battle 44-41, grabbed 19 boards on the offensive glass. The Owls were led by Quenton Decosey's 25 points.
For the season, Myles Mack is pacing the Scarlet Knights with 16.1 points per game and team highs of 62 assists and 29 steals. Jack, who is averaging 14.3 points, ranks first on the team with 20 blocks, while Judge is the team's top rebounder at 7.3 per game.
Rutgers is under the direction of first-year coach Eddie Jordan, who spent last season with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant. The Scarlet Knights were picked to finish 10th in the American Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll after posting a 15-16 mark last year.
GAME FACTS - Louisville at Rutgers
Date: Saturday, Jan. 4
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Site: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, N.J. (8,000)
TV: CBS Sports Network will broadcast the game, with Sean Grande (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst), and Susannah Collins (reporter) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS 840 AM will broadcast the game, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (analyst) calling the action. The broadcast also is available on SIRIUS channel 91 and XM channel 91.
Series History: Louisville leads 11-1 (5-0 in Louisville, 4-1 in Piscataway, 2-0 neutral).
Next UofL Game: Thursday, Jan. 9 vs. Memphis in KFC Yum! Center, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)