4 storylines for IU’s game vs. Louisville

1. Langford and Louisville
For a time, it seemed that Romeo Langford and Louisville might be a good match. The star scorer grew up just across the Ohio River in New Albany, Ind., and former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said on a Louisville radio appearance this past spring that he felt his program was in good shape to land Langford during his recruitment. That changed last September, when the Langford family cut Louisville from the mix immediately after the program was implicated in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. Newly-hired U of L coach Chris Mack made a run at Langford in the spring. By then, it was too late. Mack said the Langford family did not respond to his text expressing interest in recruiting the blue chip prospect. “I wasn’t on pins and needles on his announcement day,” Mack said Friday. “… You’re not going to win a two-week recruitment. You’re just not. It would’ve been nice.”

2. Staying out of foul trouble
Juwan Morgan has navigated early fouls in each of IU’s two losses this season. Louisville, meanwhile, does some of its best offensive work inside the paint. The Cardinals are second in the country in free throw attempts per field goal attempts (247/442), and second nationally with 28.3 percent of their points coming on free throws. Louisville wants to get to the line. Can IU manage to protect Morgan in the process?

3. Bench contributions
Louisville has leaned on its reserves to round out its attack this season. The Cardinals are averaging 37.9 points per game from their bench across the first eight contests of the season. Louisville also has 10 players averaging at least 10.8 minutes per game and ranks 34th nationally in bench minutes per game. In Wednesday’s win over Central Arkansas, V.J. King came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points, adding six rebounds and four assists. On the IU side, the Hoosiers enjoyed solid minutes from sophomore forward Clifton Moore midway through Tuesday’s win at Penn State.

4. Durham continuing strong run
With Langford and Juwan Morgan operating as Indiana’s top options, Al Durham is solidifying his place as the trusty sidekick. There’s a lot to like about Durham’s game through the first month — he’s a reliable, eager defender, he’s IU’s most consistent distance shooter (12-for-25 from 3-point range) and he hits his free throws (13-for-17 on the year). He’s earned his presence in the starting lineup and will be a key matchup against Louisville guards Christen Cunningham and Darius Perry.