What shouldn't be lost about Marra's impressive play is his athleticism and passing prowess. Mike had three dunks today -- each one sent home with authority. And some of the passes that he's needling into the post -- I just didn't know before this year he had that type of capability. No one did. Except Rick Pitino. And he'll never let us forget it.
Beyond Marra, I was happy to see Peyton Siva find a groove especially in the second half. He finished with 15 points, 4 assists and 3 steals, with only one turnover and two personal fouls. Like Mr. Red, I've been concerned about his rhythm early on this year. Today was a step forward. His dashes to the rim are faster than last year. I think he should look for it more often.
Our presence down low was solid. Both Buckles! and Jennings performed well, each playing within their game for the most part. TJ finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 embarrassing blocks (only 3? seemed like more). Buckles! scored 12 points and pulled down 14 (!) boards. 7 offensive rebounds between them. Dieng also played hard, though there was some dispute about the number of fouls he committed.
Knowles shot selection makes me nervous. My sense is I'm preaching to the choir on that one. Nonetheless, he made impressive baskets today. The announcers said he leads the team in steals. I wouldn't have guessed that.
The announcers also said that Louisville is 4th in the country in steals and 1st among Big East teams. That should be everyone's favorite statistic at this point. They keep that up, and they can play up-tempo forever.
Full stat sheet here. Awesome win today. More awesome if we win the next two.