The game was never in question. Louisville jumped out to a 22-2 advantage in the early stages of the first half to put Cornell away early, ultimately winning 99-54.
The story of the night, however, was Kevin Ware’s return to the floor. Ware played 13 minutes and scored just five points, but to see him effortlessly running certainly was encouraging. He was 2-3 from the floor, and pulled down three rebounds to go along with two assists.
It wasn’t just seeing Ware back on the floor, it was how he moved out there. He drove to the basket without any hesitation and looks to be back at 100% — in fact, it’s safe to say he is without a doubt because Rick Pitino wouldn’t let him touch the floor if he wasn’t at full-go.
While Ware was the story for the sole fact that he is back, Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell led the way. Blackshear had 20 points on just eight shots; he was 4-6 from 3PT. Harrell had just seven points, but corralled 14 rebounds.
More than anything, what makes this Cardinal team so potent is just how deep they are. Having Chane Behanan, Luke Hancock, and Kevin Ware all coming off the bench tonight bodes well for the rest of the season. Given the pressing nature of Rick Pitino’s defense, having depth is an absolute must. Fifth year senior Stephan Van Treese, who has been nothing more than a role player for his career, contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.
Van Treese was used to spell Gorgui Dieng last year, and he filled that role nicely. Still, he has flown under the radar with many focusing on Behanan and Harrell ahead of him. Van Treese won’t be counted on to score, but he’s active on defense and a strong rebounder.
The one downside — if you can find one in a 99-54 victory — was Louisville’s shooting at the free throw line, where they were just 18-32.
Louisville next plays at home against Hartford on Tuesday.