No. 5 Louisville Faces Off Against Indiana

Teams: No. 5 Louisville Cardinals (7-0) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (7-1)

Time: Approx. 9 pm ET

Venue: Madison Square Garden New York, NY

TV Information: ESPN

Series History: IU leads 10-6 (Last Meeting Louisville won 95-76 in 2003)


2014 So Far…

Indiana- The Hoosiers play away from the friendly confines of Assembly Hall for the first time this season when they head to the Garden to face the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals. Indiana has been up and down so far in their 7-1 start to the 2014-15 season, highlighted by a win over then No.22 Southern Methodist and low lighted by a loss to Eastern Washington at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers have won three straight since that loss, beating UNC-Greensboro, Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and most recently Savannah State.

Louisville- The Cardinals are ranked No.5 in both polls heading into Tuesday night’s Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Indiana marks the third Big Ten team the Cardinals will have seen in 2014-15. They beat Minnesota (81-68) in the Armed Forces Classic and No.14 Ohio State (64-55) as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Cardinals and Hoosiers have shared one common opponent thus far in Savannah State. Louisville defeated them 87-26 while the Hoosiers were victorious 95-49.


Indiana Players to Watch

  1. James Blackmon Jr. SG- The freshman from Fort Wayne, Indiana is the Hoosiers best threat on offense. He is averaging 19.5 points per game and shooting a blistering 54.2 percent from behind the arc. Blackmon will get his shot on a big stage at the Garden. He is also Indiana’s leading rebounder, which as a 6’4” shooting guard is not ideal for the Hoosiers. He can build his NBA resume with a solid game against a great opponent at the Mecca of Basketball.
  2. Troy Williams Forward- Indiana will be at a major disadvantage when it comes to size along the front line. Williams is listed at 6’7” and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest. He will have his work cut out for him against a Louisville front line that averages 6’6”. If Williams can play to his season averages of 12.2 points and 5.3 rebounds, it would go a long way in the Hoosiers’ quest to pull off an upset.
  3. Hanner Mosquera-Perea Forward- Mosquera-Perea has been inconsistent in 2014-15, but he has shown flashes of being an impact player. Mosquera-Perea is shooting 80 percent from the field in the last three contests and has scored in double figures in half of the Hoosiers’ ball games this season. He also has a presence down low as he leads the Hoosiers in blocked shots with nine. Indiana will need Mosquera-Perea to stay out of foul trouble.

Louisville Key Players

  1. Montrezl Harrell, Forward- The junior from North Carolina has to be licking his chops when he sees the lack size along the Indiana front line. The 6’8” forward comes into the matchup averaging 16.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. If Harrell has his way down low the Cardinals will run away with this game. The Hoosiers have no answer for the very talented forward.
  2. Terry Rozier, Shooting Guard- Louisville will have to rely on smaller guards to defend James Blackmon Jr. and it may play a crucial role for a Cardinal victory. Rozier averages 13 points per game but will have to get a hand in Blackmon’s face and force the Hoosier offense to get the ball down low.
  3. Chinanu Onuaku, Center– It may seem redundant to say that his size is key to stopping the Hoosiers, but that is just how thin and small IU is up front. The freshman center will be an impact player on both ends if he stays out of foul trouble. Onuaku is averaging 6.1 points and 7 rebounds per game. He should top those averages in Tuesday’s game.

Indiana Keys to Victory-

  1. Get off to a Fast Start- One of the main ingredients to any upset is for the underdog to get off to a great start and to believe they belong on the same court as the favored team. The Hoosiers cannot let the Cardinals race out to a big lead and force the Hoosiers into throwing up threes.
  2. Don’t Be Intimidated by The Venue- The Hoosiers are a young team and playing at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic is a big deal, especially playing a top 5 team. Indiana needs to focus on the game and not the atmosphere. There should be plenty of Hoosier fans in the crowd as the alumni base in the NYC area is very strong so it is not a true road game.
  3. Play Smart Basketball- Over the past two seasons the Hoosiers have had the turnovers pile up. Through eight games this season, the Hoosiers are averaging 12.1 turnovers per game, and let’s be honest they have not played the most difficult opponents in the country. Junior Yogi Ferrell, who is tied for the team lead in turnovers, needs to play like a veteran. In all, the Hoosiers have four players that are averaging more than 1.5 turnovers a game. If Indiana cannot play smart basketball they will leave New York with their tails between their legs.

Louisville Keys To Victory-

  1. Dominate the Boards- The Cardinals have a clear advantage when it comes to size, but can they translate that to domination in the rebounding game. Even if the Cardinals shoot poorly and miss shots they should be able to clean up the mess.
  2. Control the Hoosier Guards- The Hoosiers have two very good guards in Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. and they will be a handful for Louisville to handle. Blackmon is shooting over 54 percent from long distance and is averaging a team best 19.5 points per game. Ferrell, the man who makes the Hoosiers offense click, is coming off his most complete game of the young season when he scored 18 points and dished out seven assists while only turning the ball over twice. If the Hoosier guards get into rhythm Louisville may be in trouble.
  3. Put the Game Away Early- Louisville is clearly the better team with more things on their plate than a win against Indiana, so they better put this one to bed early. If the Cardinals can jump out to a double digit lead early this game will not be close.



Louisville 92 Indiana 75

The Hoosiers are young and prone to sloppy play especially away from Bloomington. The Cardinals are a veteran squad and are used to the big time games at big time venues. The Cardinals will bully the Hoosiers and take control of the game early. Indiana just is not ready for this type of game.


*Section Photo credit to Andy Lyons, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jamie Rhodes, USA Today Sports. 

Kentucky, UCLA Schedule Home-and-Home
Kentucky, UCLA Schedule Home-and-Home