Louisville vs. Illinois State: Complete Basketball Game Preview and Predictions

Jon HancockSenior Analyst INovember 30, 2012

Peyton Siva
Peyton SivaKevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Louisville had three tough games in the Battle of Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas last week and is ready to get back to the KFC Yum! Center.

The Louisville Cardinals will take on the Illinois State Redbirds Saturday afternoon.

This will be the first time the two teams have played each other since 1974, when Louisville beat the Redbirds in Freedom Hall, 117-107.

Louisville comes in ranked fifth in the nation with a record of 5-1. The Cardinals lost to Duke in the finals of the Battle of Atlantis tournament Saturday.

Louisville will be without their prized center Gorgui Dieng after he broke his wrist against Missouri last Friday. Dieng is expected to be out four to six weeks.

"With a little luck, Gorgui will be back by the start of our BIG EAST schedule," said Louisville Coach Rick Pitino via GoCards.com. "We will miss his defensive presence and passing ability, but it is time for other guys to step up their performances."

Illinois State comes into the game after losing to Northwestern in overtime on Saturday, 72-69.

Senior Tyler Brown had a career-high 36 points in a losing effort for the Redbirds.

Illinois State's coach, Dan Muller, will plays his almost his entire bench. The Redbirds' bench averages 27.2 points a game. 


Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.

When: Saturday, December 1 at 1:07 p.m. ET

Watch: WHAS in Louisville, Ky.

Online: ESPN3


Listen: WKRD Radio (790 AM) in Louisville, Ky.

            WJBC Radio (93.7 FM) in Chicago, Ill.


Starting Lineups

Illinois State

F Jon Ekey, 6'7", 220 pounds

PF Jackie Carmichael, 6'9", 240 pounds

G Tyler Brown, 6'4", 185 pounds

G Kaza Keane, 6'1", 185 pounds

G Bryant Allen, 6'0", 180 pounds



C Zach Price, 6'10”, 250 pounds

PF Chane Behanan, 6'6”, 250 pounds

F Wayne Blackshear, 6'5”, 230 pounds

G Russ Smith, 6'0”, 165 pounds

PG Peyton Siva, 6'0”, 185 pounds


Matchup to Watch: Zach Price vs. Jackie Carmichael

Since Dieng is out for the Cardinals, Louisville needs someone to step up at the center position every game.

Price, who started against Duke Saturday, has some experience but has not developed as quickly as most Louisville fans would like. He averages one point and 1.6 rebounds a game.

Senior Stephen Van Treese will also see some quality minutes at the center position off the bench.

Carmichael is a very talented and experienced senior for the Redbirds. He is their second-leading scorer this season with 16.2 points a game, and he also leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game.


Game Notes

- Illinois State averages 85 points a game and has allowed just 66.5 points per game by their opponents.

- Louisville averages 74.2 points a game and has allowed 54.5 points per game by their opponents.

- Senior point guard Peyton Siva is 119 points away from having 1,000 career points at Louisville.

- Illinois State averages 18.3 assists a game.

- Louisville averages 40.8 rebounds a game.

- Louisville's Russ Smith is 12th in the nation in steals with three a game. Siva is tied for 18th with 2.83.

- Peyton Siva is 21st in the nation in assists with 6.3 a game.

- Illinois has a 50.5 percent field-goal percentage so far this season.


Game Predictions

Louisville should win this game, but they cannot take the Redbirds for granted.

Illinois State will try to stay in the game with their outside shooting.

Louisville's guard will bring pressure the entire game, and will score a lot of their points off of turnovers.

Wayne Blackshear will lead the Cardinals in scoring with 18 points.

Chane Behanan will have a double-double and lead Louisville in rebounding.

Freshman Montrezl Harrell will give Louisville a spark off the bench, and will be used at the power forward and center position.


Louisville will win 78-65.


You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo.