Louisville targeting shooting touch vs. Boston College

·2 min read

Louisville will get back into Atlantic Coast Conference action looking for a third straight win Saturday when it visits Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Cardinals (6-1, 1-0 ACC) are coming off a six-day break after their 62-59 nonconference home win over Kentucky on Dec. 26.

After leading the ACC in 3-point shooting percentage at 37.6 percent in 2019-20, the Cardinals are 12th at 31.9 percent so far this season.

Over the past three games, Louisville has shot just 29.4 percent (15 of 51) from beyond the arc. Coach Chris Mack said hitting open threes needs to improve, and he's looking for smarter offensive play in general against the Eagles.

"That's a tough one. I think we just have to continue to take good open threes," said Mack, whose team is tied for 13th in the ACC in scoring at 69.3 points per game.

"I think we have to be cognizant of the time and score and the context of the shot. ... It's not like we've got to make nine or 10 more of them, we just got to hit a couple of them. You know we've got better shooters than I think the last three games have shown, but having said that, they've got to go in.

"It's more about running our offense harder, with more purpose. I think getting cheap baskets, pushing the pace way more than we have been, that's more of a concern than making a few more open ones. But that'll certainly help," Mack said.

One of the Cardinals' better 3-point shooters is David Johnson, who's averaging 13.6 points per game -- second only to Carlik Jones (16.7 ppg) on Louisville -- and shooting 40 percent (10 of 25) from downtown. Johnson is the reigning ACC player of the week after he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds over two games against Pittsburgh and Kentucky.

The Eagles (2-6, 0-2) will have their hands full with the Cardinals. Boston College has lost five of its past six games and ranks last in the ACC in points allowed per game at 81.8.

But there have been signs of encouragement for the Eagles. Of their past five losses, three have been by five points or less, including a 79-76 defeat at North Carolina State on Wednesday.

"On the road, like I said, you have to just make one more play than them," Boston College coach Jim Christian said. "And we had our opportunities and didn't do it. So it's hard, disheartening, but we got to get better."

On the road or at home, the Eagles will look to improve while continuing to ride their strong backcourt of Wynston Tabbs (team-leading 15.6 points per game) and Jay Heath (12.6).

--Field Level Media