This highly anticipated match up of the young Big East season will be in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday when the #6 Syracuse Orange look to take control of the Big East Conference against the #1 ranked Louisville Cardinals. Tip off is set for 4:00 from the KFC YUM! Center, and the game will be televised on ESPN. Be sure to follow InsideTheLoudHouse on Twitter (@SaltineWarriors), as I will be tweeting live from Louisville all weekend long with pictures, videos, and all kinds of fun stuff.
The Cardinals are undoubtedly led by their veteran guards in Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. The duo combine for over 40 of the Card’s 76 points per game average while averaging over eight assists per game combined as well. This tandem is what makes the Louisville offense go, are going to be absolutely critical in locking down if Syracuse is going to find success defensively.
Another Cardinal that can hurt the Orange is junior center Gorgui Dieng. Dieng is a 6-11, 245 pound guy who could potentially find himself in position for a lot of offensive rebounds against the Syracuse 2-3 zone. If Dieng can get on the glass offensively, he has the potential to cause Syracuse some problems with both rebounding and fouls on second chances.
Defensively, Rick Pitino loves to press, and the Orange should be prepared to see a lot of pressure being put on them from the Cardinals. who have forced almost 20 turnovers a game to this point in the season. That is a remarkable number, and Syracuse will have to protect the ball in order to beat the Cards this weekend.
For Syracuse, this is a team that is going to have to shake off the rust of going a full calender week without playing a game. The Orange also need to continue to play without James Southerland, whom it appear will not be cleared to play in this game. This leaves a great opportunity for Trevor Cooney to step in and make an impact on a team that has not shot the ball well from three in certain spots this season.
More breakdown after the jump: