RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team will face arguably its toughest opponent yet when the Colonels square off against No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 17 at the KFC Yum! Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
WHAT TO KNOW
- The game will be carried on the ACC Regional Sports Network. Colonel fans across the country can watch on a variety of channels: FOX Sports South/FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Midwest/FOX Sports Indiana, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, YES, NESN, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports North Plus, FOX Sports Wisconsin Plus, FOX Sports Southwest – OK, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports San Diego, FOX Sports Prime Ticket, ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn. and ROOT Sports Northwest.
- It can also be viewed on ACC Network Extra through the WatchESPN app (subject to blackout).
- EKU (6-5) has won five of its last seven games, despite dropping an overtime heartbreaker at Ball State, 91-86, last Saturday.
- Freshman guard Asante Gist led EKU with 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals at Ball State.
- Three Colonels scored career highs at Ball State: junior guard and ex-Louisville Cardinal Dillon Avare (pictured) knocked down five three-pointers to finish with a career-high 15 points. Freshman forward DeAndre Dishman, meanwhile, came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points, while freshman forward Marlon Adams – making his second consecutive start – matched a career high with 11 points.
- Gist was voted the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday. He is the first freshman to be named OVC Player of the Week since Eastern Illinois’ Cornell Johnston on January 19, 2015. Gist averaged 21.5 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds-per-game last week. He ranks 12th in the conference in scoring at 14.4 points-per-game. As of December 10, he ranked 11th out of all freshmen in the country in total points (158).
- Gist and sophomore forward Nick Mayo have combined to score the third-most points of any underclassmen (freshman/sophomore) duo in the country (370).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
- This is the 74th all-time meeting between EKU and Louisville. The Cardinals lead the series, 51-22.
- This is the Colonels’ first visit to the Yum! Center. The two teams last met on December 30, 2004 at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The Cardinals won that game, 78-63. EKU’s last win over Louisville came in Richmond on December 4, 1963 by a score of 78-65.
- The EKU staff and roster features several connections to Louisville. Head coach Dan McHale was a staff assistant from 2001-03 and Director of Video Operations from 2005-07 at UofL. Assistant coach Reece Gaines was an All-American guard for the Cardinals from 1999-2003. Avare played at Louisville from 2013-16. Graduate manager Bobby DiRaimo was a student manager for the Cardinals from 2012-15.
- Louisville (9-1) comes into the weekend ranked No. 11 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. The Cardinals’ lone loss of the season came against Baylor, 66-63, on November 25. They have won four straight since then.
- Sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell leads Louisville in scoring at 11.8 points-per-game.
- Louisville leads the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency through December 11. The Cardinals are eighth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.360), 11th in scoring defense (59.7 ppg), eighth in blocked shots (6.4 per game), 24th in three-point field goal defense (.283) and 20th in turnover margin (+5.0).
EKU will fly to Virginia to face Norfolk State on Monday, December 19, at 7:00 p.m.
EKU Athletics Photo