UNC Basketball: “Q and A” With Big Red Louie


To get you ready for Louisville and North Carolina today, KIH did an interview with Big Red Louie, FanSided’s Louisville site.

Responses were keyed by staff writer John Grasch and by editor Montana Eck. My questions and their answers are below. Enjoy!

Q: What players have disappointed you this season and what players have surprised you this season?

A: I think Mangok Mathiang has been the biggest disappointment so far in this season. He really did a good job of gaining some weight, increasing his strength, and working on getting his body in shape to play the center position at a high level. Unfortunately that hasn’t translated into better results on the basketball court.
The player that has surprised me the most is Shaqqaun Aaron. The NCAA really dragged their feet in deciding on his eligibility and he ended up not being able to play the first 9 games. He’s only seen meaningful time in a handful of games and while he hasn’t set the world on fire, you can already tell that he has the talent to be a significant contributor come tournament time this season.

Q: Take us back to that Louisville Kentucky game — what did you learn about Louisville from watching that game?

A: I learned that Louisville’s defense is good enough to compete in any game no matter how poorly the offense is playing. You look at the horrendous shooting percentages that they put and you would think UK would have won by 25. If the Cardinals can just get their offense to mediocre, their defense can lead them to win the games they need to this season.

Q. How do the Cardinals match up with the Tar Heels?

A. I think that Louisville matches up well with UNC because both teams like to get up and down the floor. Louisville has struggled with teams that slow them down and UNC wants to run. That typically gives Louisville a chance to force turnovers with their defense and score in transition. Both teams have a lot of talent and are well coached so I expect it to be a close, competitive game. The question is which team can score? UNC has no consistent three-point shooter and Louisville struggles to get any offense going when forced to set up in the half-court.

Q. Who has played better so far this season — Montrezl Harrell or Terry Rozier?

A. That’s a tough one because they have both played so well, but I have to go with Montrezl Harrell because of his consistency and that he has improved his free throw and jump shooting, which makes him a more all around threat as long as he’s not sitting on the bench in foul trouble. He is averaging nearly 16 point per game and pulls in an average of nine rebounds in each game, he is obviously one of the most dominant players on the court for Louisville. He is irreplaceable.

Q. Who wins and why?

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A. Louisville has struggled so much on offense recently that I have trouble seeing the Cards scoring enough to win at the Dean Dome. Yet, UNC is far from a defensive juggernaut, so if the Cardinals can get clicking they will have a shot. I think I will take Carolina because it will be a big home game against a top 5 opponent and UNC really needs a quality win on the résumé. The Florida and UCLA wins earlier in the season have lost some luster and Carolina needs some mojo heading into the rest of ACC play. Now, if Louisville can find some rhythm on offense early…The Cardinals will definitely have a better chance by taking an early lead or staying even with the Tar Heels and not by pulling the “trail at the half, come back late” strategy. Louisville is so good on defense and UNC can be very good on offense….I’ll say the final score will be UNC 70, Louisville 62.


Thanks to Big Red Louie and go follow them on Twitter @thebigredlouie.

Enjoy the game this afternoon, everyone!