Long Beach St.-Louisville Preview
Kyle Kuric is doing his best to keep Louisville from succumbing
to some early injures, but he might need help in the next game.
After using a late run to stay unbeaten, the No. 6 Cardinals
could face another challenge Monday night against visiting Long
Beach State, which upset another top 10 Big East foe earlier this
As many as five players have missed time this season for
Louisville (5-0), and forward Stephan Van Treese is out once again
– this time indefinitely – after re-aggravating his ailing left
knee in practice Saturday. Mike Marra (knee) is expected to miss
the rest of the season, and Wayne Blackshear is recovering from
The news isn’t all bad, however. Rakeem Buckles (knee) has
returned to limited practice, and Peyton Siva made a surprise start
Friday against Ohio after missing two games with a severely
sprained left ankle.
Siva missed all seven of his field-goal attempts but provided
some much-needed defensive help in a 59-54 victory that gave his
team the Global Sports Invitational title.
With Siva trying to get back into a groove, Kuric provided 16
points and hit the tying 3-pointer with 2:20 remaining. That shot
was part of a 16-5 game-ending run that erased a six-point
“We’re in a survival mode right now is all we’re trying to do,”
coach Rick Pitino said. “We are so banged up, we lack practice so
much because our practices right now are so light and so easy, I’m
just afraid to get somebody hurt. We’re just trying to survive
right now and hold off the enemy until the cavalry comes.”
Kuric has helped his team get by as the only Cardinal averaging
double figures in points at 13.0. The senior swingman has also made
nine of his team’s 27 3-pointers.
Gorgui Dieng has chipped in 10 points in each of the past two
games and had a career-high 16 rebounds in the win over Ohio.
The Cardinals might need more contributions from their sophomore
center against the 49ers (3-2).
Long Beach State has dropped two of its past three games – by a
combined six points – but claimed an 86-76 win at then-No. 9
Pittsburgh on Nov. 16.
Senior guard Casper Ware, averaging a team-best 18.8 points, had
a career-high 28 and shot 10 of 18 in that upset. He has struggled
to find his touch over the past two games, however, misfiring on 16
of 21 attempts.
Ware was 4 of 12 and finished with 15 points during a 73-71 loss
at Montana on Saturday. T.J. Robinson, the school’s all-time
leading rebounder, tried to pick up the slack with a season-high 25
points and 13 boards.
Long Beach State will try to bounce back by winning its first
meeting with Louisville, which is seeking a 14th consecutive home