Mangok Mathiang's absence will be a big loss for the Cardinals

12/20/2015 07:30 AM

Louisville suffered a big loss in yesterday’s 78-56 win over Western Kentucky. Junior Forward/Center Mangok Mathiang broke a bone in his foot in the second half. He underwent successful surgery on Sunday but is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks recovering.

Numerous times Rick Pitino has called Mathiang the Cards’ best big man – not just from a talent standpoint but in leadership as well. Mangok talks a lot during a game. We hear him from our media vantage point. More importantly, the Cardinals hear him as Mangok helps make sure that everybody is in their proper positions and knows what to expect.

So what should UofL fans expect while Mathiang is sidelined? Look for Sophomore Anas Mahmoud to get more playing time. Chinanu Onuaku told us he will have to not only up his game but make sure, physically, he plays more minutes. The Cards might also, from time to time, go with a smaller line-up depending on the opponent and the situation.

Louisville’s next three games are Tuesday and Wednesday against UMKC and Utah Valley, respectively, in the Billy Munardi Classic. The Cards then take on arch rival Kentucky Saturday at noon in Lexington for the annual Bluegrass showdown.

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