By Conner Farrell —
With three ACC conference games under their belt, men’s basketball is still trying to footing in the rough-and-tumble league.
Aside from finding their footing, Louisville must find a front court rotation to shore up their rebounding trobules.
Louisville’s 2.6 rebounding margin is 120th in the nation.
The Cardinals have out-rebounded opponents in two of their last three bouts in large part due to sophomore forward Dwayne Sutton.
Let’s take a look at how Sutton has shown signs of being a viable option off the bench for a thin front court and what this could mean going forward:
Advanced Metrics love him
Per CollegeBasketballReference.com, Sutton is second on the team in True Rebounding percentage at 14.5 percent. He falls right behind starter Raymond Spalding, who leads the team at 18.7 percent. This is a significant stat considering Sutton has played nearly 200 less minutes than his starting counterpart.
Sutton is also one point off the team lead in Defensive Rebounding percent at 20.4 percent. This is an important facet for a team who has surrendered 29 offensive rebounds in the past two tilts.
If the Louisville native continues to provide solid rebounding off the pine than the frontcourt rotations could be more than shored up as conference play heats up.
Grit and toughness
An aspect of Sutton’s game that cannot be tabulated in the score sheet is the edge that he plays with each time he enters the game.
The 6-foot-5 forward has a grit about him where he refuses to be pushed around by bigger players in the paint, this is especially evident on the defensive side of the ball where he often has to defend such players.
This junkyard dog play is needed in the frontcourt where the big men are mainly comprised of finesse big men like Malik Williams and Anas Mahmoud.
An often overlooked aspect of the forward’s game is his ability to be a threat from behind the arc. Shooting a 35.7 percent clip from 3-point , Sutton could be a valuable piece moving forward in the scoring column.
You can follow Conner Farrell on Twitter @ConnerFarrell9.