Tag Archives: College Hoops

Seedy K’s Scrimmage Scribbles

The times they are changin’.

I didn’t take long Friday evening for yet another confirmation that it’s a new dawn for Cardinal hoops.

The first vision when walking into the Media Room before the game was U of L Basketball Heritage on display. A trio of guys from the glory days chatting each other up.

Roger Burkman. The vision of that game winning jumper against #11 Florida State in the ’77 Metro Tourney title game always brings a smile.

Jerry Jones. The loyal, solid second banana during the halcyon days of U of L hoops.

And Hall of Fame, two-time NCAA champion mentor, cool-handed Denny Crum.

His name’s on the court, his visage is in the rafters, he is beloved by the faithful and has been close to the university, but, to the best of my memory, I’ve never seen Denny in the Media Room since his retirement.

Let’s just say his relationship with Tom Jurich and his successor has been . . . uneasy . . . and I’ll leave it at that.  Continue reading Seedy K’s Scrimmage Scribbles

Trent Johnson Named Cardinal Hoops Assistant

During the few moments when I’m able to move on from depression over the state of U of L Men’s Basketball, I can summon the perspective that the situation is as fascinating as it is sad.

Off the court, there’s the NC2A sanctions surely over the horizon, recruiting woes and the curiosity what Rick Pitino will say when he finally talks, because I’ve been around him enough to know he’s dying to be heard. And will break his silence, no matter what legal advice he’s getting.

On the court, there’s wondering about how David Padgett’s going to be as the new Coach P, whether the players will respect and respond to him as they have for his predecessor?

There’s also been conjecture about when and how many new assistants there will be on staff? And who they’ll be?

Padgett: “There’s no shortage of interest.”

That conjecture itself has been intriguing to consider and talk about. I’ve had any number of conversations in the last week about the situation. A constant thread has been the suggestion that former Cardinals will be tapped to fill the spot(s).

Here’s a partial list of names that have been posited to me during verbal back and forths with fellow Cardinal fans. Denny Crum, an octogenarian for heavens’ sake, who just had a stroke. Butch Beard. Jerry Eaves. Kyle Kuric. Rodney McCray. Peyton Siva. To name a few.

To all of which suggestions, I’ve offered a counterpoint. Those are fans’ thoughts. Padgett’s going to choose folks he’s comfortable with, not some members of the Cardinal family for families sake.  Continue reading Trent Johnson Named Cardinal Hoops Assistant

The New Coach P Meets the Press

Acting U of L hoops coach David Padgett held a quickie press conference this afternoon.

Acting U of L AD Vince Tyra stopped by also, providing a short update and a couple answers.

Then, for the first time in years, we media types were actually invited in for 15 minutes of practice. The Rick only let in his pals and national media types.

What, if anything, did we learn?  Continue reading The New Coach P Meets the Press

One Quick Look Back & A Peek Ahead

Despite the misguided musings of more than a few national pundits, the University of Louisville Cardinals — my favorite team — did not come within three time zones and the same number of victories of University of Phoenix Stadium, the behemoth football complex with its sliding turf on a tray that hosted the Final Four.

Thus we didn’t discover whether the same malaise that caused full bearded Polish mountain man Przemek Karnowski to short arm seven of his eight field goal attempts would have similarly adversely affected Anas Mahmoud, the Cardinals’ lanky Egyptian pivot man with his sometimes on sometimes off close to the hoop game?

Nor did we find out whether the lack of focus havoc engendered by Jim Nantz’s cloying play by play and Bill Raftery’s silliness would have crimped Donovan Mitchell’s long range bombing as it did Tar Heel Justin Jackson’s. (Though some credit is due Nigel Williams-Goss for his D that was more tenacious than Jack Black, and so energy-sapping it undermined NW-G’s O.)

One never knows how the glare that is ever present on the last Monday night of the season is going to crimp or not the plans and schemes of the last duo of contestants standing.

Or others involved, like the zebras, who didn’t seem to understand this time around that they didn’t need to blow their whistles every twenty seconds whether an infraction occurred or not. And, failed to comprehend that when a player at their feet is touching the ball while his hand is resting on the hardwood a foot out of bounds means the other team gets the ball.

(Though the striped shirts should be eternally grateful that the Gonzaga faithful appear a more circumspect lot than those of some other schools whose vociferous and feral fans feel they wuz robbed by the refs during the Dance.) Continue reading One Quick Look Back & A Peek Ahead

Louisville CardFile: Michigan

And, that’s that.

Louisville’s season ends a way more than respectable 25 up, 9 down, a victory short of the NCAA Round of 16, .

Losing to the hottest team in the land, a well coached, mature Michigan Wolverine outfit is disappointing — obviously — but not a surprise, truth be told.

73-69. But, the Cards never stopped pushing.

My personal take on my beloved favorite team has been that the Sweet 16 was the best it would be able to achieve. U of L didn’t make it quite that far. That said, I, for one, have no complaints.

At moments like this, when the sweaty unis are in a pile on the locker room floor to be cleaned and stored until the next campaign, there is but one consideration: Did the Cardinals give their all, even if it ended in defeat.

They did.

Frankly you can’t ask for more. Okay, maybe you can. I can’t.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Michigan

Louisville CardFile: Jacksonville State

Deng Adel played just about a perfect game on offense.

Mangok Mathiang continued his late season/ end of career spurt.

And Donovan Mitchell went ofer most of the game until a minute and a half personal coup d’etat gave the Cardinals game securing measure late . . .

. . . but first let’s begin with U of L’s wobbly start in its NCAA tourney opener.

As weirdly chalk as this tourney has been for the first day and a half — at least the games I watched before crashing mid Thursday night — there had been one thing missing. Which is a team or two that seems too nervous, too not ready for the moment. (Except, of course, that kid from Vandy who had a brain fart that cost the Commodores, and the New Orleans coach who let Mount St. Mary’s run out the clock as it wound down.)

OK, but other than those instances until, that is, the Cards took the floor in Indy against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State, a middle of the pack Ohio Valley Conference #15 seed, which surprisingly snuck into the Dance with a league tourney title.

The school that shouldn’tabeen nervous was. The 20 point underdog was beyond the top of its game at tipoff. The highly regarded favorite Cardinals’ knees were knockin’. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Jacksonville State

Bracing Start to Best Week of the Year

What a bracing hoopaholic morning I had here at the beginning of the most wonderful week of the year.

The best four days in sports are just days away. Hours away actually, if you include the hors d’oeuvres that are those first four play in games in Dayton. And I do include them, because the appetizers simply whet the appetite for the grande 84 hour, 48 tilt buffet to come, commencing Thursday noon.

(Let’s hope they’ve filmed enough commercials with Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee and Charles Barkley so we don’t get tired of them.)

So, with my coffee this A.M., as is my wont, I opened the laptop and went to the b-ball sites to dive into the ocean of info available, ostensibly to help one fill out his bracket. (Which I haven’t done actually in several years, but might this time around for some odd reason not having anything to do with any sense I might win one.) Or, make a wager or deux.

The first thing I came upon was a reality check reminder, yet another memorandum of the absolute certainty of my most fervent adage of the season . . .

. . . You only play whom you play.

One of the sites counted down the top 10 moments in NCAA tourney history. With video.

Right off the bat, #10 on the list was one of the most excruciating. I’ll just leave it at this: U.S. Reed. Continue reading Bracing Start to Best Week of the Year

Louisville CardFile: Duke

So, the University of Louisville Cardinals, coached by a guy who loves to win conference tourneys as meaningless as they generally are, remain ofer the ACC tourney.

U of L, the higher seeded slight favorite over everybody’s favorite villain, succumbed to the Duke Blue Devils in a loss, the only significance of which might technically be to drop the Cardinals a seed line or two.

In terms of closing the deal, playing smart, rising to the occasion, and displaying dig in and git ‘er done moxie in the post season, Cardinal fans can only hope the quarterfinal setback isn’t a harbinger. Otherwise the Cards are in a heap o’ heap.

U of L can play one more game.

U of L can play six more games.

I’d take the under.

 * * * * *

U of L netted three more FGs than its conquerors.

U of L grabbed three more rebounds than the victors.

U of L had six blocks, doubling that of Duke.

U of L had 15 assists, six more than the BDs.

U of L dominated in the paint, 46-28.

U of L committed only 8 turnovers.

U of L led by a dozen with 13:07 to play, and were storming.

U of L lost 81-77. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Duke

Louisville CardFile: Notre Dame

Where to start?

Well, we could begin with arguably the gutsiest set out of bounds play in the history of U of L hoops.

Or, a git ‘er done second half performance for the ages.

Or, how a mediocre at best, anemic at worst FT shooting squad shot bester than the best in the land at the charity stripe. (Which nominates me for the award for Best Use of A  Word and its Permutations in a Single Sentence.)

Or, how the Ladybirds overcame serious technical difficulties to prove yet again how their discipline is one of America’s Great Endeavors.

Or, how the Cards didn’t let a mediocre effort at the end of the first, and an even lamer beginning to the second get them down.

Or, how U of L wobbled near the conclusion, but remained steadfast and, following the sage words of Mr. Bunny, “did not relinquish the lead.”

Or, how the guys in the white unis played a single defense all night — man to man — and thwarted one of the best coached, best executing teams extant.

And, time permitting, I’ll get to all that.

 * * * * *

But, first, let’s chat about Mangok Mathiang. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Notre Dame

Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest

Two opportunities presented themselves Wednesday to express my trepidations in advance of last night’s road encounter with Wake Forest.

First came at my weekly lunch with a couple of pals, both Cardinal fans, one of whom played collegiately, albeit in the Ivy League. After we’d chatted about family, friends, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” the president’s speech, the cockamamie weather, when we’d finished our meal with napkins crumpled on the table, I interjected, “We haven’t talked about what’s really important.

“Tonight’s game is really big. A win against Wake who is anxious for a big win to get into the tourney will be a real positive.”

Later in the day, an old comrade who has moved away to Gonzaga Country wondered on Facebook why U of L was only a three point favorite?

I posted something about the Demon Deacons being hungry, perched precariously on the bubble, better than their record, that it was a conference game on the road which is always a tough task, ending with “A Cardinal win would be HUGE.”

Not that a loss would be fatal, post season seeding is about in position, give or take a seed line, but that with a W, U of L could prove that it’s truly beginning to jell and is a legitimate national title contender.

Sigh.

It was not to be. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest