Post Season Pandemonium: One More Look at U of L’s Self Penalization

joaniecardIf you haven’t heard, sports fans, the administration of University of Louisville Athletics, or some higher school power — James Ramsey and/or Tom Jurich and/or a Secret Committee and/or Outside Legal Counsel with/without the acquiescence and/or approval of Rick Pitino — has/have seen enough evidence that he/they deemed it wise to declare the men’s basketball team out of post season competition.

It was a preemptive strike, obviously meant to circumvent any such future penalties the NCAA might impose in response to the Herricane Katina allegations, and to display some institutional contrition with the purpose to lessen any other prohibitions the governing body might declare.

The immediate effect has been to punish the current squad, none of whose members are reported to have been recruited illegally, nor feted with strip shows or paid sexual favors in Minardi Hall.

That the current young and inexperienced Cardinals have overachieved has exacerbated the emotional commotion of the fan faithful in response to the declaration. The team is led by two grad student transfers from mid-major schools, neither of whom has previously participated in the NCAA tournament, each of whom came to U of L with the firm prospect of doing so, and neither of which shall have another chance to compete in the Dance.

So the fans, for the most part, are up in arms.

There have not been torch and pitchfork parades heading to the President’s official residence on Longest Avenue . . . yet . . . but . . . stay tuned. The dialog is getting more Trumpian by the hour. Continue reading Post Season Pandemonium: One More Look at U of L’s Self Penalization

Louisville CardFile: Duke

joaniecardWinning at Cameron Indoor is not an easy task for the occasional visitor.

Nor, for that matter, for most of the regulars who stop by annually by league mandate, facing their usually lethal dose of the Blue Devildom and the privileged, raucus Crazies.

Unlike the 91-76 W there in ’83 by U of L’s national semi-finalists, who may have actually been the best Cardinal contingent ever, this year’s still raw squad gave its gutty all, but fell, 65-72.

 * * * * *

The Cardinals were led by The Future.

After a lackluster opening half, sophomore Quentin Snider led the charge, during the Cards’ comeback after the break, when they steamrolled from a 15 point deficit to take the lead. Q netted a trey from the corner to cut Duke’s advantage to four. Then converted a +1 to narrow it to a single digit.

Then another +1 at 6:12 for the lead, 58-57. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Duke

Louisville CardFile: Boston College

joaniecardIn street clothes, hobbled by a minor knee injury, Damion Lee limped to the center circle for a ceremonial toss up.

Less fueled than normal for an early noon tip against ACC cellar dweller Boston College, the Yum! crowd was nonetheless more raucous than usual. Displaying to the Cards’ done&one leading scorer that they indeed have his back, a standing O ensued.

Ball game!

6:32 after the real tip, Donovan Mitchell drained a trey. The Cards led 19-2. Walk on Jay Henderson, who had garnered but 18 minutes of mop up duty on the season, joined the fray moments later.

By then, Boston College had already committed six turnovers. Sitting next to me, Ed Peak wondered aloud, “Could Bellarmine beat these guys?”

Meanwhile, I’m thinking the Eagles might actually be the worst team U of L has played.

At which point, I got a phone message from The Professor, sitting across the arena, “This is the worst team Louisville has played all year.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Boston College

Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

joaniecardBack in the halcyon days of the late 70s and 80s, some fellow Cardinal fans and I had this little shtick, the kind of silliness adoring fans embrace everywhere.

We talked about Season Ticket Insurance. If the Cards lost, or somebody got hurt or something bad would happen, we’d try to lessen the anguish by invoking that we needed to “make a season ticket insurance claim.”

It helped. We’d laugh. It would ease the grief.

This afternoon, before actually hearing that U of L, after its in house investigation in the wake of the Herricane Katina scandal, had decided to self impose a post-season ban this year, I got a text from one of those guys.

“Perfect year for season ticket insurance,” it read.

As if that would somehow dissipate this monumental disappointment. Continue reading Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

Louisville CardFile: North Carolina

joaniecardThe University of Louisville Cardinals woke up on Groundhog Day, the morning after a season redefining 71-65 W over North Carolina, not having to worry whether some previously anonymous groundhog (a/k/a whistlepig, a/k/a woodchuck, a/k/a Marmota monax) in Puxnawhatever, Pa. sees his/her shadow.

After a weekend of soul searching, during which the Cardinals tempered their steel, while their fan base was wondering whether they might have to find some non basketball endeavors to occupy their time in late March, a major question was answered.

This U of L team may go down, but it will not be for lack of effort, or the lack of will to fight back.

Here’s what Louisville did to the Tar Heels, in front of 22,781 Yum! fans who turned raucous once they found their seats. They limited the visitors with the nation’s second best assist/ turnover ratio to 11 assists, while forcing 16 turnovers. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina

Louisville CardFile: Virginia

joaniecardThere was, at least for me personally, an exclamation point to U of L’s  disappointing performance against Virginia, a display by the home team which was even more dispiriting than the fact of the 47-63 loss.

That !!!?

I had a parking ticket nestled between the wiper blade and windshield of my car after the game. You’d think those meter watchers would have had something better to do on such a lovely day, that they might have been a bit more understanding to disheartened Cardinal fans.

 * * * * *

Louisville was never in this game. It was an L from the opening tip. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia

Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

joaniecardThe first name my fingers seem compelled to type in the wake of  Louisville’s latest ACC road W, 91-83 over Virginia Tech, is neither Damion Lee nor Trey Lewis, the Cardinal done&ones who led the way.

The name is Ken Pomeroy. (Not to worry, I’ll get to the Cardinal stars in a bit.)

Pomeroy is the hoops computer geek whom I and other scribes locally and nationally are referencing this season with increasing frequency. He’s risen to guru status.

We adore him around here, because he’s valued the Cardinals higher all season than the humans who actually watch games and vote in polls. Pomeroy considers many variables, way too many for me to understand them all.

What I do know is they add up to #3 national ranking for U of L, behind Oklahoma and Iowa. Though the Cards’s defensive efficiency ranking has slipped from #1 to #5, its offensive ranking has been steadily improving in league play, and is now 21st best in the land.

Anyway, my point. Yesterday I dug deep into Pomeroy’s subscriber site for explanations of his many stats. Most, I frankly didn’t understand.

What struck me though was this admission. He acknowledges that his system is slightly biased in favor of teams with weaker schedules. U of L’s overall schedule is the 144th toughest in the country, but its non-conference slate was ranked #301. Which is perhaps a reason why his computers so admire Louisville. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

Hoopaholics Gazette: Talking Meltdowns on Monday

b-ballSeedy K, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Well, uh, yes, I suppose I do.

So, I’m Seedy K, and I’m a hoopaholic.

 * * * * *

Just the other week, I recanted some dismissals from last year, in which I’d railed against Andy Enfield, who’d leapfrogged from a no-name school in Florida to Southern Cal, based on two games in the Dance. And I chronicled how he was something like 5-31 in his first two PAC12 campaigns. But acknowledged recently how he had turned it around this season, and, as of that writing, had his team perched atop the league standings.

So, I sheepishly mentioned my knee jerk reaction to his early setbacks, and heraleded the uptick.

So, now I want to recant my recantation, even though the Trojans are still seemingly in the hunt at 15-5 (4-3).  Enfield’s team went ofer Oregon over the weekend, regurgitating a 16 point second half advantage in the L to the Beavers. Which was a repeat meltdown. Just weeks ago, the coughed up a 22 point 2d half lead, losing to UDub.

 * * * * *

Aaaaannnnnnd . . . it was about the same time I was lovin’ on the Trojans that I lauded Bobby Huggs’ West Virginia as the Team Nobody Wants To Play In The Dance. And that may well be so . . . eventually. But a home L last week to Texas seems to have moistened the gunpowder in the Mountaineer’s musket. Though they did hold on against Texas Tech on the road. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Talking Meltdowns on Monday

Louisville CardFile: Georgia Tech

joaniecardWelcome to the Spin Zone.

Where there shall be no joking about a certain emerging U of L Cardinal’s ethnicity. No reference to last year’s Triple Crown winner. No analogy to Pyramids in the Paint. No hoops hieroglyphics.

No joking here, unlike The Rick, who, during his post game radio show after the Cardinals gutty 75-71 W over the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, proved he knows more about the Play Book than the Good Book.

Yo, Coach, it wasn’t the Egyptians forced to wander the desert, but, uh, vice versa. Anyway, that’s another discussion for another time.

Like I said, welcome to the Spin Zone.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the right block across the lane for a nifty floating hook shot, southpaw from the Brooklyn side.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the left block across the lane for a nifty floating hook with his stronger hand.

Anas Mahmoud, spinning from the right block, feigning a full traverse of the paint, stopping, switching the ball back from his left hand to his right, for a deft little five foot push floater.

Anas Mahmoud, grabbing the eminently loseable tilt by the short and curlies, thus spinning into the hearts of U of L Cardinal fans hither and yon. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Georgia Tech

Louisville CardFile: Florida State

joaniecardUpdated 1/21 at 1:15.

The dunk, ah yes, The Dunk.

Well, ever the contrarian, I shall not start with that moment. Though, rest easy and be patient, I shall get to it soon enough.

After all it has hoopaholics locally and across the B-ball universe ODing. And, should Dickie V have been telecasting U of L’s 84-65 W over Florida State, we may have had the unfortunate pleasure of watching him implode with hyperbole before our very eyes, his viscera blasting through 55 inch Samsungs across the country. (Thankfully he was elsewhere.)

So, yes, more in a bit about Donovan Mitchell’s splendorous slam, and its place in Cardinal lore. But first, I want to talk about my favorite play of his last night.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Florida State