IUPUI vs. No. 5 Louisville
7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7
SCOUTING IUPUI: The IUPUI Jaguars will look for the its first ever win over a ranked opponent when they travel down I-65 Wednesday to the KFC Yum! Center. IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, if you’re scoring at home) enters with a 2-7 record, with their only win against a Division I-opponent on Nov. 26 against Texas Southern. Since then they’ve dropped three straight with losses against Georgetown and two Summit League foes.
The Jaguars are led by Alex Young, the conference’s preseason player of the year. The 6-6 forward from Indianapolis averages 18.7 points and 6.7 rebounds a game and is the nation’s leading active scorer with 1,801 points through Dec. 3.
CARDINAL CONNECTIONS: First-year IUPUI coach Todd Howard played on the 1988 Ballard squad that won a state title and then walked on for the Cards, later serving as a program assistant under Denny Crum. Former UofL standout David Padgett is in his first year as an assistant for the Jaguars after serving as the Cardinals assistant strength coach last season. Louisville beat IUPUI 80-60 in their only previous meeting in 2004.
BLUEGRASS HOMECOMING: Five IUPUI players hail from Kentucky, including three from Louisville. Sophomore Ian Chiles (Ballard) and freshman Lyonell Gaines (Eastern) are expected to start Wednesday. Sophomore Donovan Gibbs (Iroquois) and freshmen Marcellus Barksdale (Lexington/Tates Creek) and Jordan Shanklin (Bowling Green/Warren Central) are regular contributors off the bench.
Another Bluegrass connection: In 2003, IUPUI lost 95-64 to No. 1-seeded Kentucky in the school’s only NCAA tournament appearance.
RAK RETURNS: Louisville forward Rakeem Buckles is expected to see his first action this season since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Pittsburgh on Feb. 27. Louisville coach Rick Pitino will look to get Buckles 10-14 minutes of action on Wednesday and said he will look to slowly work the 6-7 junior back in the rotation, not playing him for more than 4-minute stretches.
BALL SECURITY: IUPUI ranks 14th nationally (11.1) in fewest turnovers per game, the lowest number of any Cardinal opponent this season.
Photo: Courtesy of University of Louisville Cardinals