--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals played their first game of the season on Tuesday; defeating Western Kentucky 102-80. While it was a lopsided win, there were a few things that stuck out in the box score.
Asia Durr being Asia Durr
Louisville’s star last year was the brightest moment on Tuesday. The Senior guard made 12 of 21 for 33 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Those numbers aren’t shabby. In fact, Durr’s 33 led all scorers. And Durr scored Louisville’s first 11 points- in less than two minutes.
While 33 points is a tough benchmark to maintain, Durr could average 20 this season. In 2016-17, Durr averaged 19.2; and last year, she averaged 18.7. While it may look like a decline, Durr scored more points each season.
Her shooting percentage from two and three have also improved year to year.
It will be interesting to see what Durr does against UT Chattanooga on Friday. Chattanooga went 17-13, and made it to the first round of the post-season women’s NIT last year.
Evans or Carter
One surprise was in the starting lineup. Sophomore Dana Evans started ahead of redshirt Senior Arica Carter. While Evans is the starting point guard of the future; Carter had the job all of last season, and many believed to be this season as well.
While it wasn’t asked in the post-game presser, Jeff Walz could just be trying out a new look, something in practice, or a late-game substitution. It could’ve been anything. Carter still did play 19 minutes, and put up 19 points, three rebounds, and one assist. 12 points were from three. In comparison, Evans played 22, and notched four points, one board, and five assists.
Walz spoke about how starting doesn’t matter as much as who plays the final three minutes. Both saw action in the final three minutes. Evans was on the floor for the final 1:34.
Louisville has a deep team, especially at guard. There are multiple looks Walz could go with. But the starting point guard could be something to watch for.
Four guards, Diop leads in rebounds
The starting lineup on Tuesday was: G-Evans, G-Durr, G-Jaz Jones, G-Yacine Diop, and F-Sam Fuehring. Walz went with a fast lineup, and four guards. There were multiple looks that Louisville could’ve went with- Kylie Shook and Bionca Dunham are both over 6-2.
Tuesday proved that height wasn’t necessarily needed in this case. Both Diop and Jones practiced with the forwards. Jones has size, with a height of 6-0; and Diop has athleticism. Diop had a double-double on Tuesday, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jones blocked two shots while rebounding five times.
UT Chattanooga is about as tall as Western. Louisville may go with the same look on Friday, or go taller.
Jeff Walz notched win No. 300 on Tuesday, and it couldn't have been any more memorable. The Louisville coach started his career at Western Kentucky, as an assistant under Paul Sanderford from 1996-1997. He still is popular in Bowling Green.
Walz's 300th couldn't have came at a more memorable place.
Friday’s game is at 7pm. The Cardinals open at the KFC Yum! Center on Monday, November 26th, at 7pm against Miami of Ohio.