BOZICH | Vitale praises Indiana's offense; Warns Kentucky about - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Vitale praises Indiana's offense; Warns Kentucky about South Carolina

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SOMEWHERE ALONG I-75 (WDRB) – Dick Vitale will analyze the Kentucky-South Carolina game Saturday from Columbia. That made a rainy Friday afternoon drive to South Carolina a perfect time to ask Vitale for his thoughts on the Wildcats, Louisville and Indiana.

The first team Vitale mentioned was Indiana. He made the Hoosiers (15-4) his Team of the Night for their jarring 89-70 victory over Maryland Thursday in Assembly Hall.

“They're so much fun to watch, the way they play offense,” Vitale said. “We need more of that in college basketball.”

The Hoosiers made 15 of 22 three-pointers while defeating the Terrapins. They also shot 60 percent from the field. Yogi Ferrell made seven of eight threes and did not turn the ball over once in 37 minutes. Vitale picked Ferrell, IU's junior point guard, as his Player of the Night.

“He was terrific, the way he ran the team and giving them so much energy,” Vitale said. “Tom Crean has done a great job of coaching that team and figuring out the best way for his team to play and taking advantage of their strength, which is shooting the basketball.

“They play hard. Their effort is always outstanding. The next step for Indiana is taking that kind of performance on the road.”

Indiana plays at Ohio State Sunday.

Ken Pomeroy's computer power formula puts UK's probability of winning at South Carolina at 87 percent. Vitale, who will call the noon game on ESPN, does not believe this will be a walkover, even though the Gamecocks have lost four of five SEC games.

“If I was Big Blue Nation, I'd be a little nervous, even though they are 18-0,” Vitale said. “Kentucky has lost three of their last five at South Carolina (including last season).

“This will be a good challenge to see if they can respect their opponent and come out and play the way they have played when they have really dominated teams.

“When they come and play that way, their defense can be suffocating. We've seen it so many times. But the next step for them is to do that every night. That's what the great teams do.

“(South Carolina coach) Frank Martin has his team playing very hard and if you look at their non-conference record, they have some nice wins. They beat (ninth-ranked) Iowa State. They beat Oklahoma State. They beat Clemson.”

Louisville's eight-day gap between games ends when the Cardinals visit Pittsburgh Sunday. Vitale worked the Cards' loss to Duke last Saturday, a game where U of L made only 4 of 25 three-point shots.

Pittsburgh is 13-6 overall. The Panthers have split six Atlantic Coast Conference games, losing to Duke, Clemson and North Carolina State, while beating Georgia Tech, Florida State and Boston College.

At home, the Panthers are 9-1, losing to Clemson.

“I'd like to see Terry Rozier and Chris Jones concentrate on slashing and attacking the basket,” Vitale said. “They're two of the best guards in the country at doing that.

“We all know Louisville can struggle to make shots at time. It happened in the Duke game. They just couldn't make a shot. But they're at their best when they're attacking the basket.”

Vitale said he would also like to see Montrezl Harrell, the Card's mammoth forward, position himself closer to the rim.

“He's improved his shot this season but he's such a force inside, especially one-on-one, that I'd like to see him take advantage of strength and size and not take any many jumpers,” Vitale said.

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