No. 6 Louisville is feasting on turnovers

Lance Murphey | Associated Press

Through 10 games, one thing sticks out about this Louisville basketball team: The sixth-ranked Cardinals are forcing turnovers at an amazing rate.

Rick Pitino’s club has forced 20 or more turnovers in eight of the 10 games it has played to this point. Memphis shot 51.8 percent, outrebounded Louisville by six (34-28) but lost to the Cards 87-78 at home on Saturday in part because the Tigers turned it over 24 times.

After getting those turnovers, the Cards get fouled. Louisville shot 46 free throws on Memphis’ home court, hitting 38 for 82.6 percent. That helped offset theCards’ 42 percent shooting from the field.

Back to the turnovers. Through nine games, the NCAA’s latest stats had Louisville leading the nation in turnover margin at a +9.2 per game. Kentucky was tied for 111th at +1.8 per game.

Louisville’s opponents are turning it over about once every three times down the floor. All ten of its foes have had more turnovers than assists. Memphis recorded 18 assists on Saturday, a nice number until you realize that that was six fewer than the number of turnovers committed by Josh Pastner’s club.

All of U of L’s last four opponents have turned it over at least 20 times: Illinois State (22), College of Charleston (27), Missouri-Kansas City (24) and Memphis (24).

Duke is the only team to have beaten the Cards so far this year. It’s not too surprising that the Blue Devils took care of the basketball better than any other U of L foe, turning it over just 14 times, or 19 percent of their possessions. The next lowest rate against U of L was posted by Miami of Ohio at 28 percent.

Louisville hosts Florida International at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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