The Floyd Street Tribune: What's in a season opener? Takeaways from Louisville's start
Inside: An interpretation of Louisville's season-opening win over Southern and how to apply it to future performances. Plus, recruiting thoughts on a new addition and more.
Thanks for reading The Floyd Street Tribune! Missed the previous newsletters? That’s OK. With a paid subscription, you can access all of ‘em here. In the previous edition, I made 20 observations and predictions ahead of the 2021-22 season. (Editor’s note: Due to my travel and work schedule, next week’s newsletter will arrive slightly later than usual Thursday.)
We have one (1) game in the books as the The Floyd Street Tribune hits the printing press, so let’s all overreact together, shall we?
Today’s newsletter is an attempt to interpret what we saw Tuesday night and point out which elements of the performance might be concerning vs. which aren’t, at least to me.
What’s not worrisome
(1) Louisville won’t regularly shoot 25% from 3-point range. I’ll discuss shot selection below, but in a given game, with the shooters on the roster, Louisville is likelier to make 10 of 28 (35.7%) than 7 of 28. It’s the first game of the season, plus several players appeared to be point-hunting at times.
(2) El Ellis’s layup selection in traffic will improve as the season progresses. He is adjusting to Division I basketball after two seasons at the junior college level, where he had a little more space and time to create off the dribble. At the highest level in college basketball, he is going to have to learn when he can navigate the crevices in traffic with longer, more athletic defenders and when he needs to pull back or pass off. That decision-making and feel comes with experience.
(3) Jae’Lyn Withers’s line of three points from two shots is a reflection of his learning process (and foul trouble). The redshirt sophomore has the talent to lead Louisville in scoring, but he he has to be more assertive to get there. Perhaps Tuesday will remind him of that. Louisville’s offense is very different when he is hitting shots, driving his defender and creating for himself and others. I’m confident he’ll be fine.