Louisville had questions that needed to be answered before coming into the College of Charleston game Tuesday night. These questions were quickly answered as Louisville went into TD Arena in S.C. and beat College of Charleston, 80-38 in front of a packed and rowdy Cougar fans.
Sophomore Wayne Blackshear led all Cardinals with 18 points, also adding four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Louisville coach Rick Pitino has been waiting for the talented guard to reveal his talents and it appears Blackshear is getting more confident.
Russ Smith and Peyton Siva gave the Cougar guards fits with their pressure defense. Siva ended the game with five steals; Smith had four. Louisville had 18 steals total in the game.
"They are a great team if they get into a half-court set and that was our main key not to let them," Siva said via GoCards.com after the game. "Our goal was to pressure their guards and it worked tonight."
College of Charleston had 27 turnovers in the game. The Cougars came into the game averaging just 16.1 turnovers a game.
One of the main questions that needed to be answered was how well would the Cardinals play without their star center, Gorgui Dieng. Dieng gave Louisville size and a much more dynamic defense for Rick Pitino and the question was who was going to step up and make an impact for this Cardinal team.
Dieng broke his wrist two weeks ago and will not return to the team until early January after having surgery. Without Dieng, Louisville lost to Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game and struggled against Illinois State last Saturday.
Stephen Van Treese continues to step up in Dieng's absence. The 6'9" senior had four points, 10 rebounds and two steals off the bench.
Zach Price, who started the game at center, scored 6 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Louisville has also been struggling from the free-throw line all season, shooting just 65 percent from the stripe. The Cardinals went 18-20 in the win.
Sophomore forward Adjehi Baru led the Cougars with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Andrew Lawrence, who is the Cougars' best shooter, was held to just three points.
Louisville will take on the UMKC Kangaroos Saturday at home.
All statistics were acquired from ESPN.com.
You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo.