Louisville Card File: Georgia Tech

joaniecardLoathe as I am to give my pal, my nemesis and long time Cardinal fan, The Professor, credit for any insight, I admittedly rue this moment for what I’m about to say. And shall be paying for it, for a good while, I suppose.

But when he’s right, he’s right.

For the second game in a row, the Cards pulled out a Jersey Victory. Which was the message Prof sent me after the game.

Not Jersey in the Paulie Walnuts sense, but jersey in that the continuum of the Louisville Cardinal tradition prevailed. While last night, Georgia Tech did what it usually does on the hardwood, i.e. remain the Ramblin’ Wreck, just as Miami’s Hurricanes couldn’t close the deal against U of L the other day at the Yum!.

No, here, it’s Jersey as in a program that’s had a winning tradition for decades. One where the force of long time accomplishment, where the spirit of Hickman and Crum and Unseld and Griffith and Ellison and Siva, where the come through in the clutch of Hancock and Tony Branch, are sewn in Cardinal unis with every stitch. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Miami

joaniecardIf Louisville’s successes this season hinge on how hard the team plays defense, and I fall in line with The Rick, and most everybody else who has observed the Cards flaky, often non existent, on again off again offensive prowess, agreeing that it’s stops über alles.

If that be the case, then it’s Man Up!

Mano a mano.

English translation: Man to man, Denny Crum style.

Or, as Jim Larranaga would call it: Manslaughter on man. (More on that in a moment.) Continue reading

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Louisville’s Future, Pitino at his Worst, TV Madness & More

hoopgaz3Watching Purdue’s solid 67-63 W over rival Indiana last night in Assembly Hall, to surprisingly sweep the season series, I saw the future of Louisville basketball.

And, no, I don’t expect to be the next Cards coach, as John Landau became The Boss’s manager, after writing an article, declaring “he’d seen the future of rock and roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

Watching the Boilermakers’ backup pivot, 7’+ Isaac Haas, lay 12 points on the Hoosiers, while grabbing 9 boards in just a dozen minutes of action, all points generated within a step of the hoop, here’s what I envision next season and beyond in the Yum!. Quinton Snider from the point, or Anas Mahmoud or Chinanu Onuaku at the high post, feeding Matz Stockman for easy buckets from the semi circle.

Rick Pitino is not only not afraid to run his offense through a big, posting low, I believe he’s inclined to prefer it. When the Cards had Wildcat transfer Marvin Stone, they did it all the time, including, to winning effect, about the first dozen offensive possessions in the one game Stone played in red and black against the Big Blue.

Anyhow, Purdue’s plan worked to victory against shorter IU.

As it will for the Cards in the future.

Remember where you heard it first. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Syracuse

joaniecardCorrected 2/19 at 11:25 am

It didn’t take long after the final buzzer for the calls and texts to come rolling in.

“Did you hear that thud? The sky just fell.”

“Boeheim totally shut us down in the second half. Why didn’t The Rick adjust?”

Something about the ineffectiveness of Anton Gill’s game, in a conversation with Doc, the details of which I can’t recall. Because, by that time, my brain was shortcircuiting due to the whirligig of despondency over the Cards’ second half meltdown, second loss in a row, and its third in the last four outings.

And, oh yeah, some more sighs and the invocation of this too often heard refrain, among friends and in the media, “Where are Luke, Peyton, Russ and Gorgui when we really need them?” Continue reading

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Cagers best Cabin Fever

hoopgaz3I’m not actually house bound, it’s just that I have no need to venture out and motor through the slush. (Though I did take a four mile trek for exercise this a.m.) My cupboard is filled with enough white bread, that slices placed end to end would go from here to the Carrier Dome. So, I’m good. And toasty here in front of my screen.

As for the term “cagers”, a forerunner to street lingo “baller,” there are as many tales of its origin as their are guys and gals, declaring they have an explaination for it. We know for sure that once upon a time, not too long after James Naismith fashioned our favorite winter indulgence, to keep his students fit and inside during the cold, basketball courts were surrounded with wiring, i.e. cages, to: 1) Keep the fans sitting on the edges of court safe, or, 2)To keep those playing, safe from those fans watching, or, 3) To prevent cagers from fighting over the ball when it went out of bounds, or, 4) All or none of the above.

Now you should have a sense of my title, and so, on this Tuesday afternoon, with the steps swept and the drive cleared, I’m just catching up on college hoops.

* * * * *

Do not misunderstand, it is indeed a pleasure — some might refer to it as a necessity or indulgence — for an addicted basketball buff as myself to watch games on the Lord’s Day. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: North Carolina State

joaniecardOn the fourteenth of February in 1929, a half dozen business associates of George Clarence “Bugs” Moran, along with an innocent mechanic who, much to his misfortune, happened to be repairing the wrong vehicle in the wrong garage at the wrong time that St. Valentine’s Day in the Windy City, never made it home with roses and heart shaped boxes of chocolates for their sweeties.

Nor did Joe and Jerry, a couple of musicians, played in Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot” by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. They happened to be carrying their instruments through that garage at that inopportune moment, witnessing the territory clearing carnage known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. During which the minions of one Alphonse Gabriel Capone, aided by several former associates of a brotherhood known as Egan’s Rats, chose to circumvent the chances for success of their rival through the use of machine guns, rather than threeballs.

Joe and Jerry, along with their instruments, which may or may not have been crafted in Paris, France and adorned with Louisville Cardinal logos, and donated by Mark and Cindy Lynn, were more fortunate. They skedaddled to Miami Beach in the cloak of night as transvestist members of an all-girl band, which featured one Sugar Cane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe).

While what happened to the Louisville Cardinals yesterday at the Yum!, a steady and stealth-bereft beatdown at the hands of Anthony “Cat” Barber and those of his fellow North Carolina State Wolfpack, wasn’t a massacre, it was also not even a reasonable facsimile to a Kiss Cam-worthy bed of roses. Continue reading

Louisville Card File: Pittsburgh

joaniecardCoincidence or catalyst?

With 12:05 left, Louisville’s unimpressive five point halftime advantage had dissipated.

And then some.

A Panther trey had just given the feisty visitors a six point advantage. L 39, P 45.

Never one to hold onto timeouts, The Rick called his fourth of the battle, second in the last 90 seconds. To the bench, he escorted Chris Jones, who was playing as if he was still 1 on 5 at Northwest Florida State College, along with Anton Gill, who has yet to rediscover the scoring panache he displayed in prep school.

In their stead, coach inserted Q and Qx2 into the lineup. That would be Quentin Snider and Shaqquan Aaron. Continue reading

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Weekend Perspective on a Sad Sunday

hoopgaz3Corrected 2/9/15 at 12:30 pm.

My guess it has something to do with the effective, if abominable, four corners.

Or, his nasal whine.

Or, watching those games back in the day, played at Carmichael Auditorium, with its quaint flip card scoreboard in the corner of the court, and having to watch the baby blue-clad North Carolina Tar Heels come back time and again.

Whatever, I’ve always thought Dean Smith to be kind of a pain in the ass.

I’d heard the testaments of adulation through the years, how much he’d done for this fellow or that organization, how he was universally revered by his proteges, who came back year after year to visit Chapel Hill wherever life had taken them. Despite all that, I have to say I haven’t understood the true measure of the man.

Given the torrent of respect, elicited on this day of Smith’s passing, I now do.

With the recruitment of Charlie Scott, he integrated the decidedly Dixie, severely Old South ACC in the 60s, whether the rest of the league still wanted Jim Crow playing pivot or not. Apparently it wasn’t just because the league’s first black, Smith (Charlie), could ball, for it is said Smith (Dean), from his first moments on the Carolina coaching staff, chose to worship on Sundays in a mainly black congregation.

Etc, etc.

I must assume that all the academic fraud of the university, for which there hasn’t been a bit of punishment yet, came after Dean Smith’s reign.

So, I guess I was wrong about Dean Smith. Continue reading