By Matthew Mueller

After Louisville’s latest encounter with the University of Pittsburgh, the Cardinals continue their lowball season with a 75-54 loss at home. This adds to the already recording setting and appalling record of 2-17, 0-8 in ACC play.

A familiar crash and burn

Pitt controlled Louisville on the defensive side of the ball throughout both halves of the game. Greg Elliott led the way for the Panthers with 23 points, making 75% of his shots from the field.

Furthermore, Jamarius Burton showed off his passing game shelling out 11 assists. He led all players in assists in the game, and Pittsburgh as a team recorded 21 to Louisville’s 6.

The dark (and bright) spots

As far as game positives go for Louisville, senior El Ellis had a good night leading the team with 19 points and going 5/5 at the free-throw line. Senior Jae’lyn Withers grabbed an additional 7 rebounds and 8 points.

Louisville faded fast, trailing for the rest of the second half — winning energy just wasn’t present enough to keep the Cards afloat, especially with the Pitt threes continuing to rain down in the Yum Center. They shot 41% while U of L only shot 25%.

What is to be said about this game has been said a hundred times before this season — the team is in a rough spot, and has a lot to overcome if it’s going to be among the top basketball programs in the near future.

The team especially needs leaders, and right now it feels like there are none leading to the monstrosity of the season we’ve been watching.

While Ellis and Curry are the veteran players, it feels like that key leadership role is empty, and without it being filled to get new players fired up, we could be looking at the rest of the season being nothing but an uphill fight all the way to the end.

Trying to stay positive

To stay optimistic over the latter half of ACC play, let’s point out some positives:

The team has a week’s break to prepare for their next four games. All those opponents are currently sitting in the bottom half of the ACC, meaning there are potentially a couple of realistic chances to add some wins (if the team comes to play).

Payne and company also signed top NBA Africa Academy prospect Emmanuel Okorafor, a 6-9 guard. He is eligible to play immediately, and while he may not get immediate minutes, he could provide the Cards some much-needed energy and an answer to that leadership problem in the locker room. He averaged 9.2 points and 10.4 rebounds last season.

Photo Courtesy // Adam Creech Louisville Athletics //