Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here
Conference: Big East
Coach: Rick Pitino
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 2
– RPI: 3
– AP/USA Today: 4/4
Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Louisville as a No. 1 seed playing in Lexington in Saturday’s bracket projection. Man, that has gotta hurt in Big Blue Nation.
Names you need to know: Russ Smith (18.3 ppg, 2.0 spg), Peyton Siva (10.0 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.2 spg), Gorgui Dieng (10.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg), Chane Behanan (10.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
Stats you need to know: 80.9 is the Cards’ adjusted defensive number. Per Kenpom, that makes them the nation’s top defensive team.
How’d they get here?: Louisville came back from a 35-22 halftime deficit against Syracuse in the Big East final, locating their offensive mojo when 6’8″, 235-lb. freshman Montrezl Harrell broke out for 20 points. The final tally was 78-61 in favor of Louisville. Formidable? I think so.
Outlook: Louisville has always had the requisite parts to win a title this season. It’s finally starting to look like those parts are meshing into the unit that can get it done.
How do I know you?: Luke Hancock, the designated gunner for offensively-challenged Louisville, is a transfer from mid-major darling George Mason.
Eric is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.