As has been the pattern this season, Card Nation attendees who actually showed up at the Yum! were late-ish arriving and small-ish numerically.
By the time many of them arrived at their seats, the rout of U of L’s latest plug du jour was a fait accompli.
Here’s how U of L opened against its fourth absurdly overmatched foe of the season:
Damion Lewis hit 1/2 FTs after being fouled while shooting. Full court press. Chinanu Onuaku missed a one-hand slam on an alley oop. Next trip down he canned a five foot J. Next trip he netted a follow. Full court press. Steal. Lewis tallied a fast break layup. Full court press. Quentin Snider banked in a sweet layin after a crossover dribble to lose his man. Full court press. Steal. Lewis scored on a follow shot. Full court press. Lewis tally +1.
15:37. First TV timeout. Cards 14 points, 4 steals, Terriers 4 points.
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I have promised not to beat that horse already dead, processed at the glue factory, bottled, and now sitting on a shelf at Oscar’s Hardware with an Elmer’s label upon it.
I will admit however, as a function of that phenomenon, I am not able to report on the tilt’s final 7:54. At which media timeout, Louisville had run off ten in a row since the previous stoppage for commercials.
I joined in as a significant portion of similarly stultified Red Sea of Cardinal Faithful (de)parted.
Get used to it, kids, it won’t be fun at the Yum! til after auld lang syne’s been sung.
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Speaking of Eqqus caballus dearly departed, allow me to raise a long standing shibboleth.
Free Throw Shooting.
After watching the Red/White scrimmages, I was encouraged about the possibility that Louisville would shake off its ineptitude at the charity stripe this season. Which is important because, you know, like, in close games, every point counts, etc, etc.
Coming into last evening’s encounter, U of L was a mediocre 65% at the line. The Cards were a scintillating 2/8 before intermission, improving only slightly after the break, 8/13. That works out to a boffo 10/21 (48%), the kind of number that has schools experiencing the second weekend of the March Dance in their dorm rooms, watching on the telly.
When Ray Spalding missed all three of his FTs in the opening half, I wondered if maybe his running mate Chinanu should teach him that underhanded Charlie Tyra method that always gets the crowd abuzz? It could become one of the signatures of this team.
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So, it is at this juncture, you inquire for the fourth Seedy K CardFile report this season, is there anything we can discern about the Cardinals yet?
This team is a lot more fun than last year’s dysfunctional ensemble, and plays at a significantly quicker pace. The Rick’s hyperbole about team togetherness1 appears to be the truth.
This gang hustles, doesn’t sulk. Early in the second half, Q missed a driving layup. Onuaku snared one of his 12 boards, whipped it to Lewis, who found Q in the corner, from where he drained a trey, doubling up the Terriers, 48-24.
The trio of key freshman — Spalding, Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel — have so much legit upside, I’ve fallen over backwards a couple of times, looking up, attempting to see the where it ends.
Damion Lewis is a jump shooting, slashing to the hoop, scoring-focused wing, the likes of which the Cards haven’t had since Francisco Garcia.
With Trey Lewis’s increasing comfort starting the O, and Q’s steadiness, Louisville is solid and mature at PG.
Anas Mahmoud finally showed some flashes of fire last night. His sweeping hook across the lane to push the score to 26-10 was sweeeeeeeeeet.
Jaylen Johnson continues to improve, without trying to do more than he’s capable of. Mangok Mathiang is the big who will get less an less time on the court as the season and team progress.
U of L can score underneath. Though last night’s inordinate 56-12 points in the paint disparity was an anomaly. A throwaway stat. I’m advised St. Francis of Assisi’s 6th grade squad is taller up front than St. Francis (Brooklyn).
So, yeah, the Cards appear to be rounding into a surprisingly effective outfit, despite the seasonal condition I have dubbed NAO. No Appreciable Opposition.
That changes for a week as U of L hits the road for a neutral site matchup with St. Louis’s Billikens, then the real test, in East Lansing against Sparty.
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For the second time in a week, Rick Pitino sent out an assistant to address the press post-game.2
I have no idea what’s behind his hiding out after some games.
What I do know is he gets paid an obscene amount of money, which salary comes from the pockets of fans. Those fans deserve to hear from the head coach after a game. It’s part of his contract.
— Seedy K
12 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: St. Francis (Brooklyn)”
I actually don’t mind hearing from Willard from time to time. You’re more likely to glean some interesting information about the team, particularly after games like these early ones.
Fewer and fewer when quantifying (minutes) less and less (time). Either way Small Hands Mathiang is spelled without any “O”.
Good point, Phil. Buuuuuuuut . . . The Rick’s getting paid $5 mill/year, and thus, should meet all his obligations as a coach. That’s what I was saying.
Ah, now we’re finding our rhythm. The Grammar Gestapo has arrived. Corrections have been made.
I will sleep so much better now. Thank you (Does that count as the start of my giving thanks leading up to the Feast of Gratitude ?). Have a good one
You’re far from the only one in the Correction Cavalry. I wish you all Happy Turkey.
I get your point, Seedy. After a 44-point thumping of poor St. Francis, however, I’m fine with Ralph. I do, however, expect to hear from Pitino after the big wins and after every Card loss. I think he’s been pretty good about this in the past. One other thing: I always chuckle (as I did last night) when I see his personal priest sitting on the bench with Pitino. Although Pitino’s hypocrisy is maddening, the irony is still delightful.
I believe said Padre is stationed in Owensboro, or at least used to be unless he’s now on the Athletic Dept. payroll, and travels up for all games, home and away.
Let us praise the positives. Raymond Spalding—The Rick glowed when speaking about him earlier this year, and it is evident why. I like him coming off the bench to spell JJ. He is an absolute delight to watch. Relentless. Great hands and footwork. Fast.
Damion Lee—Plays as advertised, and shows improvement with his shooting, and leadership. Reminds me of Lawrence Moten (Syracuse, in years past. Silky smooth player.)
Quentin Snider—Our offensive maestro. His poise and maturity is growing each game. And his shot is falling.
Chinanu Onuaku—I thought the “smartest player on the team” statement was the usual CRP hyperbole. It’s not. He has a tremendous upside to his game.
I’m thankful for the players mentioned above, and the overall camaraderie that exists on this year’s team. “I Got Your Back” is the perfect slogan for a team that grows with each game.
Ah, the priest from Owensboro. Obviously, he must be the source of the escort-gate funding…now, you are onto something…
As for the rest of your post….
Upon what do you blame our less than stellar attendance to date? The scandal? The schedule? The ever continued increase in the cost of fandom? Lack of a transcendent star? Saturation of sports in general, including football/basketball overlap? 6 newbies? All, or combination(s) of the above?
As for the team….nobody I have seen has looked better, even considering the tomato cans we have been playing. The ball movement has been superb compared to last years dribble-thon; the team is long and constantly efforting; the shooting is prolific compared to the post Luke Cards.
Lots to like so far….I got there back…do you?
Yes, JGJ, I got their back. This is a genuinely likable bunch. This could be a really good team by season’s end, not to mention a fan favorite. I think attendance is down for all of the reasons you mention. Early starts, which make it hard for working folk. Schlepper foes. Scandal fatigue. Pitino’s standoffishness. Sports saturation. Part of it is the cost, but all those empty lower arena seats, and many on the sides in the upper deck, have been sold. Plus, I don’t think the Yum! has ever had the comfortable, family feel, and obviously not the tradition, of Freedom Hall.
Seedy and Counselor: are folks in the bourbon bunkers? Yes, this squad is very special. I think it’s fast becoming my fave in the Pitino Era.
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