Illinois State vs Louisville

Time: 01:00 P.M. EST
  •  

Despite losing its shot-blocking center and the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game within days, Louisville doesn't appear to be hanging its head.

The fifth-ranked Cardinals will try to move forward Saturday when they return to their home court for the first time in nearly two weeks to take on Illinois State.

Two days after falling to then-No. 5 Duke 76-71 for the tournament title last Saturday in the Bahamas, Louisville (5-1) received more bad news when it learned Gorgui Dieng would miss four to six weeks with a broken left wrist.

The 6-foot-11 junior, who suffered the injury in the tournament semifinal game against Missouri on Nov. 23, is averaging 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. He set a single-season school record with 128 blocks to lead the Big East last season.

With Dieng expected to be out until at least the start of the Big East schedule in January, sophomore Zach Price, senior Stephan Van Treese and freshman Montrezl Harrell will try to fill the void in the middle.

Price got the start against the Blue Devils, finishing with four points - three more than he had in the first four games combined - and three rebounds.

"We will miss (Dieng's) defensive presence and passing ability, but it's time for other guys to step up their performances," Rick Pitino said.

Louisville, which dropped from second in the AP rankings, should be in good hands with leading scorers Russ Smith and Peyton Siva continuing to play well.

Siva led the way with a season-best 19 points and Smith, who averages a team-high 19.2, scored 17 in the Atlantis final.

The Cardinals, however, will try to improve at the free-throw line after hitting 22 of 34 (64.7) in their last two games, including four straight misses down the stretch against the Blue Devils.

"We had a very good opportunity but we missed our free throws," Pitino said. "But our effort was extraordinary and I'm proud of them."

Poor free-throwing shooting also cost Illinois State (5-1) last Saturday at the South Padre Island Invitational. The Redbirds made just 10 for 20 from the line in a 72-69 overtime loss to Northwestern in the championship game.

Illinois State's Tyler Brown, though, nearly made up for it with a career-high 36 points on 7-of-13 shooting from 3-point range. It was the most points scored by a Redbird since Tarise Bryson tallied 41 against Central Michigan on Dec. 3, 2000.

Brown, the team's top scorer at 18.8 points per game, will try to follow up with another big performance against the team he grew up cheering for.

"It's our next game," said Brown, who grew up not far from Louisville. "So it's our biggest game and that's how I'm going to approach it. I'm going to play it like any other game - besides my parents being there."

Brown's backcourt mate, Bryant Allen, also had a 30-point effort against UAB in South Padre on Nov. 23, but scored just three on 1-of-10 shooting versus Northwestern a day later.

The Redbirds are one of the nation's top offensive teams, averaging 85.0 points and 50.5 percent shooting, but Louisville is tough on the defensive end, allowing an average of 54.5 points.

The Cardinals won the only other meeting 117-107 on March 4, 1974 at Freedom Hall.

"They're good," Illinois State coach Dan Muller. "And it's always hard to wait a week after a loss."

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
College Basketball Current Odds
GameCurrent Line
Illinois State
@ Louisville
 
-11.5
Missouri Valley
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wichita St.17-130-517
N. Iowa16-231-414
Illinois St.11-722-1362
Indiana St.11-715-16190
Evansville9-924-12119
Loyola-Chi.8-1024-13123
Drake6-129-22269
Missouri St.5-1311-20247
So. Illinois4-1412-21278
Bradley3-159-24288
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Virginia16-230-47
Duke15-335-46
Notre Dame14-432-616
Louisville12-627-921
N. Carolina11-726-1211
Miami (Fla.)10-825-1365
NC State10-822-1439
Syracuse9-918-1369
Pittsburgh8-1019-1576
Clemson8-1016-15106
Florida St.8-1017-16110
Wake Forest5-1313-19150
Boston College4-1413-19165
Georgia Tech3-1512-19153
Va. Tech2-1611-22228

Related Video

August 28, 2015
Inside College Hoops (1:12)
August 26, 2015
Candid Coaches Series
(1:17)
August 24, 2015
Candid Coaches: Best Defensive Coach
(1:23)
August 21, 2015
John Groce's struggles
(1:46)
 
 
 
 
Other Games
NICS 39 Final
MIST 84
BAYL 64 Final
UK 55
OKST 71 Final
VT 81
NFLA 59 Final
MINN 87
DEL 50 Final
DUKE 88
NMEX 77 Final
IAST 68
APP 56 Final
MIZZ 72
BAMA 56 Final
CINCY 58
STJO 51 Final
CREI 80
MICH 74 Final
BRAD 66
NKY 43 Final
OHST 70
UAB 84 Final
UNC 102
HAW 63 Final
UNLV 77
COPS 51 Final
IND 87
ARIZ 85 Final
TTU 57
UOP 67 Final
GONZ 85
COLO 69 Final
WYO 76
SDSU 78 Final
UCLA 69