Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News asks "Who makes shots for Louisville?" as one of the biggest subplots heading into next season. Here's what he had to say...
The Cardinals’ March run was sparked by point guard Peyton Siva (offense) and center Gorgui Dieng (defense), and their return has many projecting Louisville as a candidate for a Final Four return.
No doubt Louisville was terrific in the NCAAs, but the most prominent staple of coach Rick Pitino’s offense generally has been the ability to score from long range. The Cards shot 27-of-70 from 3-point range in the tournament, or 38.6 percent. Senior wings Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric averaged a combined 13.6 points in those games.
Obviously, that second figure is fairly easily replaced. If sophomore Wayne Blackshear enjoys a healthy offseason, he could cover it himself. Kuric and Smith were reliable shooters, though, accounting for 61.4 percent of the team’s made 3-pointers. Blackshear wasn’t healthy long enough to demonstrate he can be that sort of player.I know this is an obvious topic since the Cards strength last season was no doubt on the defensive end, but I have little trouble envisioning a much improved offense next season. Kuric and Chris Smith were big contributors, no doubt, but both saw their production drop as the season roared to an end.
DeCourcy correctly cites a healthy Wayne Blackshear as the biggest elephant in the room. Fattie jokes aside, his presence next season is pretty difficult to overstate. Combine that with the return of Mike Marra on the perimeter (I know I know I know the quote, but he's still a very capable scorer) and Luke Hancock, by all accounts a strong shooter and facilitator, and we should be fine.
And it's not like Gorgui, Chane, and Siva are impotent on the offensive end. Each should benefit from the additional weapons named above.
And when all else fails, Russ it.