Dec. 1, 2011
Louisville Game Notes | Vanderbilt Game Notes
Rick ~nbsp>Pitino | Chris ~nbsp>Smith
Rick ~nbsp>Pitino | Chris ~nbsp>Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As part of the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge that takes place from Thursday-Saturday this week, the University of Louisville men's basketball team will play host to No. 20/19-ranked Vanderbilt on Friday, Dec. 2, at the KFC Yum! Center. Tip is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN, with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (color) calling the action.
The Cardinals, No. 6 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls, will be facing their first ranked opponent of the season in the Commodores. In the last four years, Louisville has won an impressive 22 games against top-25 teams.
Louisville is coming off a solid 79-66 victory against a Long Beach State team that upset ninth-ranked Pittsburgh earlier in the year. The Cardinals forced the 49ers into 21 turnovers and held them to just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Offensively, five players reached double-digit point totals for the Cardinals, led by senior Chris Smith's 18 points. Russ Smith had a career-high 11 points off the bench, and Jared Swopshire contributed 10 points and six rebounds in a reserve role. Peyton Siva, who had 11 points, dished out five assists and had a season-best five steals.
Along with its 6-0 record this season, the Cardinals have won 14 consecutive games (mark dates back to last season) at the KFC Yum! Center. The program also boasts a 24-2 record in its second year at the new venue.
Vanderbilt is 5-2 this season after falling in overtime to Xavier, 82-70, on Nov. 28. John Jenkins led the charge for the Commodores, netting 20 points, while Jeffrey Taylor and Lance Goulbourne each netted 18. Tu Holloway was Xavier's high scorer, as he finished with a game-high 24 points (nine from the free-throw line). Xavier owned a major advantage on the glass, outrebounding Vanderbilt, 54-33. Of the Musketeers' 54 boards, 25 came on the offensive end. Xavier also made 27 trips to the charity stripe as opposed to Vanderbilt's 12 free-throw attempts.
The Commodores are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Kevin Stallings, who boasts a 241-150 mark at Vanderbilt. The program, which returned all five starters, was picked to finish second in the SEC's preseason poll, and three players were named to the first team all-SEC coaches' team: Jenkins, Taylor and Festus Ezeli (has yet to play a game this season after injuring right knee). Jenkins, who's recorded 121 points this season and is 24-of-56 from 3-point land, leads the SEC in scoring at 20.2 points per game.
THE SERIES - Vanderbilt vs. Louisville
The Cardinals hold an 8-7 advantage over the Commodores in a series dating back to 1929. Louisville, which has won five of the last seven meetings, registered a 78-62 victory the last time the two teams met (Feb. 6, 1994). DeJuan Wheat had a team-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and three other Cardinals finished the game with double-digit point totals. Clifford Rozier had a double-double, recording 16 points and 13 rebounds. That year, the Cardinals reached the Sweet 16. The last time Louisville has lost at home to Vanderbilt was in 1972, a 66-57 win for the Commodores.
GAME FACTS - Vanderbilt at Louisville
Date: Friday, Dec. 2
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Site: KFC Yum! Center/Crum Court, Louisville, Ky. (22,000)
TV: ESPN will televise the game, with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Jimmy Dykes (color) calling the action.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM) will broadcast the game on radio, with Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the action.
SIRIUS: Game will be available on SIRIUS Channel 92 and XM Channel 207.
Series History: Louisville leads the all-time series, 8-7 (5-2 in Louisville, 2-4 in Nashville, 1-1 neutral).
Officials: John Cahill, Michael Stephens, Jamie Luckie
Next U of L Game: Dec. 7 vs. IUPUI, KFC Yum! Center, 7 p.m. ET (WHAS)