Player of the game:
Chinanu Onuaku and Donovan Mitchell share player of the game honors.
Onuaku: 12 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks
Mitchell: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, and no turnovers.
- Donovan Mitchell- This kid shows up to play. He plays with energy and determination that are unmatched. Doesn’t hurt he is incredibly talented too.
- Shooters- I couldn’t stand any more Louisville teams that struggle shooting. Thank you Lewis, Lee, Mitchell, and Snider for sparing me.
- Transition defense- This was by far one of the worst performances I have seen in a while. Wake Forest scored way too easily in transition.
- Defense in general- Too many open shooters. It was better than the UK game, but it still wasn’t good.
Other Odds and Ends:
– It is worth repeating how well Donovan Mitchell is playing for a freshman. The energy he plays with reminds me of Russ Smith or a Preston Knowles. I know it is quite hard to bump the likes of Lewis, Lee, and Snider of many minutes, but Pitino has to find a way to get this young man on the floor more often.
– Pitino’s matchup zone defense is one of great recent success but also great complexity. At this point in the season, this team isn’t ready for it. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, there are too many shooters that are being left open. I think Pitino needs to bite the bullet and go with man, at least until the team can start functioning better in the matchup zone. This team easily has the athleticism to play straight up man, at least let’s give it a shot.
– The improvement Chinanu Onuaku has made from his freshman year to now is absolutely phenomenal.
– Remember, we are still early in the year. There will be close games like this one you really didn’t expect to have. The difference in prior teams and this mature team is the ability to win those games. There will be more games like tonight, what matters is another check in the win column.
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