No. 11 Louisville not only is coming off Monday's loss at Florida State, the Cardinals are trying to deal with the thought of playing without injured junior center Malik Williams for an extended period of time.
Williams, averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, left the game early in the first half after suffering what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. When he returned to the bench, he was in tears wearing a boot on his left foot.
Williams, who has not practiced this week, said he's taking things "day by day." He said he has not yet been ruled out of Sunday's game against Virginia Tech at Louisville.
"I am just taking it day by day right now and not trying to rush it," Williams said during Louisville coach Chris Mack's radio show this week. "It could be tomorrow when I am ready. I'll know when it's time."
Before the 82-67 loss to Florida State, Williams had 11 or more points in five of Louisville's previous six games. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds in a 90-66 win over Syracuse on Feb. 19.
Mack said Williams' absence against the Seminoles was significant because he is Louisville's "best defender."
"On the defensive end, we are always going to miss Malik no matter who we play," Mack said. "He defends the rim. Very vocal. He sees the game."
Louisville (23-6, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) will play Virginia Tech (15-13, 6-11) in its final home game of the season. The Cardinals are 16-1 at home this year.
Two starters -- forward Dwayne Sutton (9.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game) and center Steven Enoch (9.4 ppg.) -- will be honored on Senior Night.
The Hokies have dropped eight of their last nine games, including a 56-53 home loss to Virginia on Wednesday. The Hokies made 9 of 27 shots from 3-point range and rallied in the second half from a 15-point deficit to tie the game in the closing seconds.
Virginia Tech coach Mike Young shuffled his starting lineup, playing redshirt freshman forward Landers Nolley II off the bench for only the second time this season. True freshman John Ojiako made his first career start against Virginia and had two points and three rebounds in nine minutes.
Nolley led the Hokies with 13 points and had five rebounds in 32 minutes before fouling out.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Wilkins also started for only the fifth time this season. He did not score and had two rebounds in 10 minutes.
"I thought John had been playing well, and I'm trying to get him 21, 22, 23 minutes because I just feel that good about his direction as a player," Young said. "I thought Isaiah Wilkins helped the team. He stuck it up in there and played a good basketball game against Duke (11 points, five assists and three steals last weekend).
"Nothing more than that. I've always been more concerned with who finishes than I am who starts. Typically who finishes are those who are helping us win, and I thought the lineup we went with late in the second half did just that."
--Field Level Media