Goode shines in FDU loss to No. 5 Louisville

George Goode lost a tooth after taking an elbow in the second

half. He still smiled. Nothing could go wrong in his return to

Louisville.

Goode, who played three seasons at Louisville before

transferring to pursue a graduate degree, had 17 points and 12

rebounds for Fairleigh Dickinson in an 80-58 loss to the

fifth-ranked Cardinals on Saturday.

”I just loved it,” Goode said. ”I enjoyed every minute of it.

I would never change it for the world. I was happy to be

back.”

Melquan Bolding added 23 points for the Knights (1-8).

Goode, a role player at Louisville who received a degree in

communications before leaving for the Knights, got a loud ovation

during pregame and shook coach Rick Pitino’s hand after being

introduced.

”It felt great to be back. The fans really showed a lot of

love,” Goode said. ”My team came out and played as hard as we

could. It felt good.”

Goode also scored the game’s first points with a dunk, but FDU’s

lead would be short-lived.

Siva answered with two layups and Louisville never trailed

again.

”George had some intricacies in their offense that he was able

to exploit so it was good,” FDU coach Greg Vetrone said. ”He

played tremendous tonight. The last three games he’s really got his

feet on the ground. He’s had three games of double-doubles. I think

he could be an all-conference player for us, without

question.”

Goode’s putback dunk cut Louisville’s lead to 27-18 when no one

blocked out their former teammate. Gorgui Dieng grabbed an

offensive rebound after the timeout and scored to spark a 10-0 run

that made the margin 19 points with 2:39 left in the first

half.

FDU, which has lost 19 of its last 20 on the road and was picked

to finish last in the Northeast Conference, never came closer than

16 the rest of the way.

Goode took an elbow from Zach Price late in the second half and

pulled out his mouth guard with the tooth still attached.

”It was fake anyway,” Goode said.

Dieng had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Kyle Kuric added 18 points

and Peyton Siva had 16 for Louisville, which is in the midst of a

10-game homestand that will get a lot tougher when the Cardinals

host No. 21 Memphis next Saturday after finishing final exams this

coming week.

The Cardinals’ upcoming schedule also features meetings with No.

18 Georgetown on Dec. 28 and top-ranked Kentucky on Dec. 31.

Louisville has already had seven different players sit out games

this season with Saturday’s absence of reserve guard Russ Smith

(neck), but the Cardinals have relied on defense to remain

undefeated.

”They got great guard play tonight. They’re active defensively.

We’ve never seen defense like that so far this year. They really

defend and rebound,” Vetrone said. ”It’s great motivation for our

team. We go 10 for 21 from the free throw line. So, you know, you

make six or seven of those and you’re under double figures to the

No. (5) team in the country on their floor. That’s what coaches

say. Realistically, as a coach: Coach Pitino is my friend. I love

him and I say thanks for not blowing me out by 40 points.”