Thursday night presents ladies’s college hoops fans with an interesting Big Ten/ACC tilt, with the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals hosting the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).
With a success, Michigan might end up being the 4th Big Ten group ranked in the Top 10, even more enhancing the conference’s case as the country’s finest. If the Wolverines do get the roadway win, anticipate it to be since of the offending quality of senior forward Naz Hillmon.
Last season, Hillmon became an offending force, utilizing her strength to grow as a near-unstoppable small interior scorer who balanced 24.5 points per video game on much better than 62 percent shooting. So far this season, she is balancing 21.8 points per video game on 59.1 percent shooting.
In Michigan’s win over No. 16 Oregon State, she worked her method to 20 points, capitalizing 8 of her 10 complimentary toss efforts. She likewise got 13 boards and snagged 4 takes to lead the Wolverines to the success over a ranked challenger.
Can the Big Ten Player of the Week power her method to points versus Louisville?
Currently, the Cardinals sport the second-ranked defense in the country. However, there is factor to be a bit doubtful of Louisville’s protective expertise. With the exception of their opening video game versus the then-No. 22 Arizona Wildcats, which the Cardinals lost in overtime, Louisville has actually dealt with a quite soft schedule, permitting it to build up remarkable protective numbers while locking down lower challengers in Bellarmine, UT Martin and Cal Poly.
Yet, to safeguard its house court versus Michigan, Louisville likely will require its defense to stay on point.
The past 2 seasons, the Cardinals’ offense was the Dana Evans program. In Evans’ lack, Louisville has yet to develop a clear offending identity. Last season, the Cardinals published 76.8 points per video game. This season, their scoring average has actually dropped to 67.8 points per video game. And, as kept in mind, Louisville has actually played a flexible schedule.
Luckily, the Cardinals do have actually the workers required to slow Hillmon and, even if their offense is not shooting on all cylinders, make the win. The trio of Olivia Cochran, Emily Engstler and Liz Dixon have the mix of size and smarts to difficulty Hillmon. Although, at 6-foot-1, she stands much shorter than 6-foot-3 Cochran and 6-foot-5 Dixon, Engstler leads the Cardinals in blocks, whacking 2 shots per video game.
No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (5-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. No. 12 Michigan Wolverines (7-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
When: Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Yum! Center in Louisville, KY
How to enjoy: ESPN
Key to the match: Can Hailey Van Lith discover her stroke? If there was a prospect to make up for the scoring Louisville lost with Dana Evans, Hailey Van Lith would be at the top of numerous lists. Yet, the sophomore guard has actually started the season in an extreme shooting depression. After balancing 11.2 points last season, her scoring production has actually dropped to 9.3 points per video game, mostly since of her severe battles from deep. A 38.3 percent 3-point shooter as a freshman, Van Lith just has actually made one of her 19 efforts from behind the arc, providing her a freezing 3-point portion of less than one percent. Van Lith’s finest scoring efficiency of the young season came versus Arizona, when she got to the line for 12 complimentary toss efforts. Attacking the basket and making journeys to the line might assist Van Lith create effective offense, even if her shot continues to avoid her.