Tag Archives: College Hoops

Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest

Rare are the times when one sequence of back and forth, offensive and defensive possessions bring certitude to a particular encounter, as well as provide insight into each program’s status and potential for the entire season.

It happened though in last evening’s 77-65 Cardinal W, one guy’s opinion, in the interlude coming out of a timeout with 2:04 to play, at which instant the game was almost, but not quite secured.

To get that juncture was a thirty eight minute Son of Beast roller coaster ride at King’s Island.

U of L opened the tilt with focus at both ends, but fell behind early, taking the lead, 10-9, on a Sam Williamson trey. That began a 16-0 surge, which included fulsome five for five accuracy from long range. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest

What a Super Duper Sports Weekend!!!

At a time when — and I am far from alone — we need an escape from the bracing turmoil of real life, it was Wild Card Weekend, and enough hoops to sate.

Frankly the only thing that could have made it better would have been a W by the Cardinal men over Gonzaga in a put-together-at-the-last- minute game.

And, oh, maybe, the NCAA announcing it was dropping its charges against U of L hoops.

But, other than that . . .

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The Cardinal Women’s Team blew out another foe.

This time, Clemson, 70-45. Continue reading What a Super Duper Sports Weekend!!!

Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

Trusting you will understand and accept, this will not be the same kind of Louisville Cardinal GameCap I normally endeavor to post.

Sports are one of life’s great diversions. Developing loyalty. Donning your team’s colors. Cheering them on. Joyously cherishing their victories. Worrying over their defeats, but accepting them.

Sports are one of the ways we escape, if only momentarily, the vicissitudes of life. Especially when a pandemic still rages.

So it has been for me with the University of Louisville Cardinals since I was 7 years old. On the hardwood. On the gridiron. On the diamond.

But yesterday’s bracing events in D.C. wouldn’t allow me to fully engage. Even for U of L’s first real conference test against Virginia Tech.

It has always been my belief and goal to keep politics and world events out of this venture. So it shall be today. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech

Louisville CardFile: Boston College

There are times in life when I revert to the smart aleck Sports Editor of the Atherton Aerial in a staff meeting decades ago. And the school paper’s advisor, bow-tied Mr. Bishop, after one of my snarky pubescent remarks, would admonish me to “get my head above my belt buckle.”

Those moments come often when the Cards are allowing a lesser, under-talented foe to stay close on their home court in a league game.

Like Saturday in Chestnut Hill, during U of L’s eventual W by a dozen over Boston College.

Quinn Slazinski had hit a monster trey, coming out of a Cardinal timeout with 10:31 til buzzer, after the Eagles had cut their deficit to 42-49.

But the homies stayed close, and Q again took charge after the 7:57 stoppage. A great board out of the timeout. Then a beautiful dish to Jae’Lyn Withers for a layup.

At that moment, I was back in HS on Morton Avenue.

“Grab this one by the short and curlies,” I yelled into the void between me and the telly. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Boston College

Hoopaholics Gazette: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Oh my, 2021 is so close now, I can almost smell the fresh air.

Of course, the new year won’t really begin until the morning of January 20, but just the psychological relief of the calendar flipping at midnight tonight is welcome.

As Seger said, turn the page.

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We’ve all got our own this-couldn’t-have-happened-in-any-other annum moment. Here’s mine when it comes to hoops.

I’ve mentioned that Wildcat Willie is the only ardent Big Blue supporter among my coterie of close hoops crazed pals. We all need at least one, right? He’s the fellow I’ve referenced regarding the Rex Chapman game. How, flush with victory, he turned into and a bulging eyeball, projectile spitting, venom spewing Ralph Steadman caricature.

Such a gracious winner!!!

He was among us in our email thread, after the Cards escape over Arch Rival last Saturday.

During which exchange, he revealed that he found himself rooting for the team in white. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Louisville Card File: Kentucky

Louisville 62, Kentucky 59.

Despite the braying of the nation’s college hoops cognoscenti, this game meant as much to the U of L Cardinals as it did to the reeling 1-6 Kentucky Wildcats. True.

I mean, you know, if not this year, when?

Louisville 62, Kentucky 59.

This one will surely gain some sense of beauty in the years to come, as memories fade. It was, let us be frank, not a very well played game. It shall not be used as an example for basketball aesthetics.

But was it tense?

Duh. Of course. It’s the Cats vs. the Cards. You’ve heard it, “Throw the records out the window.”

Hoops of the highest level? Uh, no. Not close.

Except in the eyes of the winning beholder.

Louisville on offense was . . . Continue reading Louisville Card File: Kentucky

Remembrances of The Rivalry

The thrill of victory.

Knoxville. Forever and always Knoxville.

Three national titles notwithstanding, the most endearing five minutes in the history of Louisville Cardinal hoops were the OT beatdown in Stokely.

My favorite memory of that moment — other than the victory decades in the coming — is ever stoic Rodney McCray, victory secured, standing on a chair, facing U of L fans, leading the C A R D S cheer.

Listening on the floor model radio with my dad in ’59, as ten-loss U of L shredded #2 UK by 15 in the regional semi, then coming back the next night and dispatching #8 Sparty.

Watching with Doc as Denny Crum’s worst team (12-20) pulled it out against #4 Kentucky in Rupp. Continue reading Remembrances of The Rivalry

Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

One factor about Tuesday evening’s ACC opener was paramount for Louisville, way more than any other.

Given their dismal performance on Saturday, considering the upcoming foe on Boxing Day, it was imperative that the Cardinals beat the Panthers.

Win the game. Whatever the exigencies of the situation.

So, you know how coaches will spin a major injury on an opponent’s squad?

“We’re really sorry three time All-American, conference Player of the Year Tyrone Shoelaces went down. We always want to play the other team’s best. We wish we could be competing against him and wish him well.”

Cue the Wayne and Garth (hands covering mouths as if sneezing): “Buussshhhhiiii”

I do not wish Justin Champagnie (17.8 ppg/ 12.3 rpg) and Au’Diese Toney (16.2 ppg) ill. I hope they heal soon. Actually, there’s something kind of old school that their non-participation was not COVID related, but injuries suffered in practice. (Something U of L is all too familiar with.) Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

Louisville CardFile: Wisconsin

Of the many new protocols, a word I’ll be more than glad to put to rest the sooner the better, in this most unsettling of seasons in this very disconcerting year, there’s one game day report that too often delivers a haymaker before the game starts.

Today’s U of L Cardinal Unavailability Report arrived at 11:29, thirty one minutes before tip. Upon arrival, it became manifest what a long shot a Cardinal victory was.

Topping the list: Carlik Jones.

Who, as I have written in every gamecap so far this season is indispensable.

The Cardinals chances were slim, even if the grad transfer PG could play. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wisconsin

Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky

“Ball-You-Man”

At least that’s how I remember the defensive coda, preached by my HS club coach. We listened. After all, the Scherm had been the manager for Peck Hickman’s Cards, and is credited for the rousing halftime speech that spurred U of L to victory over Kentucky in the ’59 NCAAs.

There are endless variations of effective D that have been crafted through the decades. Wooden’s full court press. Boeheim’s lauded zone. Bennett’s pack line.

Chris Mack’s predecessor fashioned some hybrid conglomeration which switched principles mid -possession, and, frankly, I never have been able to figure out. But, when it worked, it worked really well.

One thing it did include was jumping passing lanes. Which resulted in lots of steals when effective. And lots of bunnies by the opponent, when it didn’t, and the weakside guys didn’t rotate to cover.

Mack is not a jumping the lane advocate. Which may be why during his first two seasons, his version of the pack line never clicked quite as effectively as it had at Xavier. When he was still mentoring guys whose tendencies were informed by the former coach.

Which brings me to this year’s still woefully shorthanded, young if not babyfaced band that has been able to take to the hardwood for the season thus far. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky