Big guys get their turn for Louisville basketball

UofL’s Jaylen Johnson and Mangok Mathiang create a barricade for Mike Rodriguez of Southern Illinois (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The big guys were having their way for the University of Louisville basketball team on Wednesday, dominating offensively for a change, relegating the guards to support roles in UofL’s 74-51 win over Southern Illinois University.

Matz Stockman tells SIU’s Armon Fletcher to get that ball out of here (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Playing in some rarified air at the KFC Yum! Center, with Magok Mathiang actually scoring UofL’s first seven points while SIU was still searching for its first basket. Probably the best overall performance of his career, Mathiang leading his team in scoring with 15 points for the night.

Then there were Deng Adel and Jaylen Johnson, adding 12 and nine points, 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Matz Stockman getting in on the act with seven points, a couple of rebounds, a block and a steal.

The Louisville guards having an off night, according to Coach Rick Pitino, because they weren’t moving the ball, not making passes. “It was obvious to me that they thought they had the game under control and were looking for shots,” he said. 

Guards Donovan Mitchell, Quentin Snider, Tony Hicks, David Levitch and Ryan McMahon contributing 20 points collectively. “The points will come when they enjoy passing as much as they enjoy taking shots,” added Pitino.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.