My take on U of L’s 102-59 scrimmage walkover of Bryant is being posted later than usual, is shorter than usual, and, given all the circumstances, less incisive than usual.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, hold your guffaws on that last revelation.)
There’s a legitimate reason.
I was not in attendance last evening. A good pal hosts an annual holiday dinner for a bunch of his buddies. And, after due consideration of the bad karma that might be invoked if I passed on the Cards home game, I went for the bon homie and taped the game.
Other factors included in my decision were that Bryant, a school and squad I frankly had never heard of, is a horrid team, now 1-10; and that, thanks to my pal’s generous hospitality, the holiday dinner was at le MOO.
Dry-aged bone in highest quality prime red meat, or a sure Cardinal rout?
I went with the former, and watched a tape of the game the morning after. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Bryant
An aspect worth remembering of the Cardinals’ performance in the first inter-squad scrimmage back in October was the evolved play of Ryan McMahon.
Before he was felled with fractured ribs that kept him out of action until Saturday afternoon, the sharpshooting Floridian displayed his intent to be more than just a Dickie V-approved long range marksman.
He hunkered down on defense, exhibiting more passion and, just as important, better footwork and shading technique. Because of the split squads, he was called upon to run the point. Which he did deftly and with maturity. He got the ball to the guys with open shots. His passing was crisp.
To the betterment of the improving Cardinals, all that came with him against the Hoosiers upon his return to the hardwood. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Indiana
If this edition of the Louisville Cardinals is to have any significant success this season, it should have learned the modus operandi that will get it there last night.
It won’t be through fancy maneuvering. NBA rookie phenom Donovan Mitchell shan’t be taking the court, and it’s apparent nobody on this squad, for all the talent there is, has DM’s panache. It won’t be through banging the boards, for these guys, notwithstanding all their length, are lithe up front.
It won’t be through long ball marksmanship. OK, that’s not really true, maybe it will. This team has some shooters. And they’re guys who aren’t afraid to fire it. So, yeah, there shall be games when treys will reign.
But that’s not the key factor here.
What is is H.U.S.T.L.E.. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Siena
In a second biting, coulda-woulda-shoulda defeat in a row, this time a waning seconds 77-79 frustration to Kevin Willard’s Pirates, there were moments of recognition, instances that may prove defining if this ’17-’18 edition of the Louisville Cardinals reaches some semblance of its reasonable potential.
Besides the several on the court twinklings when lights started to flicker, the most significant was on display in the aftermath.
David Padgett was pissed.
After taking the rostrum at his post game presser, he took a long swig from a bottle of water. As much to calm himself as to hydrate.
His comments were curt, if not as defiant and dismissive as those of his predecessor after similar losses. Padgett’s responses were quick, short and followed by a stare into the middle distance as if his mind was already contemplating solutions to the issues presented.
Snippets of his responses are telling. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Seton Hall
That deafening silence you hear is the lack of braying by my all of a sudden nowhere to be heard nettlesome naysayers.
Imagine my surprise.
The kid’s on a roll. The second 4-1 week of the last three. 11-4 since the aberration of Week X. 41-29 on the season.
Last weekend’s boffo predictionation included the Stanford and Auburn upsets, along with the Buckeyes, who smote their arch rival to the north, and the University of Louisville Cardinals who emptied Grocery Store Field faster than if there had been hurricane warnings, and turned the remaining members of the BBN into a bulging eyeballed, frothing mouthed Ralph Steadman caricature.
Only Boise State let me down, but more about that in a second.
I have read that this Saturday will be the first time ever with five battles on the same day featuring two Top 25 teams. And there’s a sixth in the PAC12 on Friday night between Stanford and Southern Cal.
Stock up on supplies, ye pigskin perennials, you don’t want to need to be running off to the corner market while the ball is in play. And that’s gonna be all day and all night.
In championship form myself, here are five sure winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Championship Week
Sometimes, often perhaps, my eyes are deceived.
Here’s what I intended to use for my opening:
“Where have you gone Matz Stockman, the Cardinal Nation turns its lonely eyes to you? Oh yeah, The Rick, unable to go Professor Henry Higgins on you, turning you into his next Nazr Mohammed, sent you packing off to play for his son. Well, Matz, had you not shipped away, you might have turned the tide last night against the big Boilermakers.”
Then I awoke this morning after, and went to the tape. Figuratively, not literally. That game, even had the outcome been different was U.G.L.Y., a home movie of the world’s homeliest canine frolicking in the yard that only a parent would love.
What I did was study the stat sheet. Then compare it to the box score from last year’s encounter, a 7 point Cardinal win.
Matz’s presence would have had peripheral effect if any.
Because as much as it seemed like Isaac Haas was dominating the game from inside, the numbers say otherwise. Surely his presence was a factor, especially after the horrid interlude, the results of which caused Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud to sit with four fouls each. But Haas wasn’t the difference in the game. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Purdue
In retrospect, there was a single play that indicated how inevitable U of L’s payback victory over its hated arch rival really was.
The outcome of the smackdown was already a given when the Cardinals, up 37-10, started a drive at their own one yard line with 12:58 to play.
Lamar Jackson, who has blamed himself for last season’s loss because of his game-denying giveaway late in that battle, fumbled on first down. In the end zone. But, as cool as he was all day — and make no mistake, LJ has never been as collected and in charge as he was Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium — Jackson picked up the ball, intuited where there might be a crack through which to escape, found it, foraged for yardage and Heismaned his way for a 15 yard pickup.
This one was never in doubt. That play was typical of how U of L rose to the occasion every moment.
Two and half minutes later, U of L finished the 99 yard journey when Jackson lofted a TD pass to Jaylen Smith.
For all the incredible feats of legerdemain that Jackson has performed while at the helm of the Cards, his demeanor and flawless performance against the Wildcats Saturday stands at the top of the list for me. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky
When with 4:51 to play Andre Wolford rose beyond the arc for yet another trey attempt, U of L was holding on to the most beleaguered of ten point advantages.
The visitors were a hellhound on the Cardinals trail, and the prospect of escaping the Yum! with the most improbable of upsets was very real. You could say the potential of heading to East Lafayette for Tuesday’s showdown with Purdue off a loss was flashing before the Cards’ eyes.
At that point the Red Flash had been raining — more accurately reigning — threeballs on the Cards. They’d netted three of their last four, ten of 19 (53%) overall.
Fortunately the shot misfired, as did Keith Braxton’s next one.
Meanwhile Deng Adel, whose outside shooting has been woeful (3/15 including last night’s 2/6), drained a long ball with 1:58 for a game-securing 13 point advantage. Jordan Nwora, like he was working with Snoop as one of Marlo Stanfield’s lieutenants, power-nailed the door shut with another for a sixteen point lead with less than a minute to play.
Louisville escaped by a dozen, 84-72.
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It’s not like the Cardinals played a horrible game, though once again they were severely tested by a lesser foe competing without its best baller. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: St. Francis
Who should know better about taking advantage of wayfaring strangers traveling across country than the descendants of Joseph Smith at Brigham Young University? That’s right, nobody.
Nonetheless, the nomadic Minutemen of UMass prevailed in Provo. I never saw it coming. Neither apparently did the Cougars.
Texas also seems to be improving under the tight rein of Tom Herman. Something else I didn’t figure on. Picking West Virginia was not smart.
But the Hilltoppers, UGa Bulldogs and surging Cardinals won.
3-2 for the weekend leaves me 37-28 for the campaign
And down the stretch they come. Welcome to Playoff Elimination time.
The Fighin’ Irish, Buckeyes and Tigers — Auburn and Clemson — sit in a precarious position. Ls shall seal their fate on the outside looking in.
And the winners, at least some of them, are: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week XIII
Even though Eric McGill, frustrated and argumentative as his team was being run out of the gym was assessed a T, I’m sure he and his Southern Illinois teammates are nice kids, whose parents and coaches love them.
In view of the reality that the coalescing Cardinals doubled them up 84-42, and in memory of an old compadré Brad Evans, I can’t help myself and feel compelled to utter:
“The Salukis are dogs.”
At least U of L sure made ’em play like that in easily the Cards signature performance of the young campaign. (More later about Evans and why I think of him and his iconic bellowing and U of L’s foe in tandem.)
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But first let’s chat about the second half, and more specifically the contributions of those Cardinal newcomers, shall we?
Up 11 at the break, the Cards outscored the visitors from Carbondale 55-24 in the 2d. Thanks to 59% shooting, aided by 13 assists on 20 made buckets against only 4 turnovers. While holding the Salukis to 30% accuracy after intermission, and 27% for the whole affair.
But how about what those new kids, the ones whose names we’re still learning, did in the second stanza? Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Southern Illinois