Tag Archives: Louisville Cardinals

Louisville CardFile: Miami O.

Miami O. is a Quadrant 5-quality squad, which had dropped 4 of 5 coming in against U of L.

But, in holiday mode too early, Louisville which played the whole opening half fully somnambulant, really sleepwalked into  halftime with four turnovers in the last five minutes, shooting ofer 4 during a 3:22 drought before the buzzer.

At the break, I got a text from an out of town buddy, an astute observer of the game, but he hasn’t seen all the Cardinals’ games. It read, “I don’t get this Louisville team. What’s their strength?”

Given my belief that the team’s true identity/ legitimate potential are still to be revealed, I typed off an evasively apologetic reply, masking my own worries.

After all, the Cards were only up 28-20, against the visitors who missed 18 of 20 treys and were shooting only 25% overall. U of L had surrendered six offensive rebounds, and missed 3 of 5 FTs.

Following cocktail time came another patent pending uninspired open to the 2d. U of L allowed the short, mediocre Redhawks to quickly pull within four at 31-27.

The bad shot selection, porous D and turnovers continued. Emboldened and playing with more energy, Miami hung around, again pulling within four at 44-40 on a Josh Brewer three at 9:02.

Ninteen seconds later, Cardinal Catalyst Dwayne Sutton found Ryan McMahon open behind the arc. And, yeah, I’m goin’ Joe Dean, such a quick important answer it was.

String music, Louisville, Kentucky!

Boom! The Cards awakened. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Miami O.

Louisville CardFile: Eastern Kentucky

The University of Louisville has been competing on the hardwood against Eastern Kentucky since 1919, when Saturday’s visitors were a Teacher’s College. (Or, so I recall.)

The Cardinals and Colonels — Didn’t they used to also be called the Maroons too? — have now battled 72 times on the hardwood.

At one time,  it was a competitive instate rivalry. But obviously has not been so since the last EKU win in 1963. The series now stands 50-22 favor of U of L.

Saturday afternoon’s tilt played out as the last 15 have: Cards  99, Colonels 67.

Which is not to say that, for many reasons, it wasn’t a reasonable test for Louisville, after last Tuesday’s debacle in Madison Square Garden. It was.

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Given the Cards less than satisfactory point guard play, Chris Mack indicated in advance he intended to give freshman David Johnson more PT at the point. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Eastern Kentucky

Louisville CardFile: Texas Tech

Well, I stand up next to a mountain/
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand

OK, so much for that top of the rankings thing.

Other than a quick fix of fleeting prestige, there’s not a lot of good that really comes from being #1 in early December.

Obviously it would have been preferable for the Louisville Cardinals and their fans that the fall off the top of the mountain had been softer and less precipitous than a 57-70 beatdown to Texas Tech.

To a Red Raider team that arrived at Madison Square Garden for the Jimmy V Classic, carrying the baggage of a three game losing skein. Playing without their injured, best player, their leading scorer.

But, one guy’s opinion, it’s a good thing the Cards don’t have to worry about sitting at that top spot for now.

Hopefully, U of L will learn from this most instructive loss.

Chris Mack certainly hopes so: “Hopefully, our guys take this as a lesson learned.” Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Texas Tech

Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

A Happy Valentine’s Day came early for the Louisville Cardinals.

I know, I know, I know, a cheap joke, a pun of sorts.

I could claim innocence, being possessed, say the devil made me do it. But nah. I had to go there. If you’re a hoopaholic, it was a sweet moment.

With about 9:00 or so to play, Louisville’s 14 point halftime lead had been whittled to 47-42. Pitt was trying to get in touch with its inner Stephen F. Austin. It was hoping to draw Purple Aces. And doing a dang fine job.

Louisville’s game had turned grayer than its first time unis.

Pitt’s Au’Diese Toney was whistled for fouling Jordan Nwora near the midcourt stripe. The caller of the transgression was one Ted Valentine, who, frankly, hadn’t felt the need to be front and center of the action to that point in the tussle, which is his usual M O.

The Pitt bench went ballistic. Screaming, hissing, waving their arms and generally spewing Steel City bile.

Most Especially Director of Basketball Operations Brian Regan, who verbalized thusly to Valentine. (Dirty Word Advisory. Please send all those under 18 and over 80 to the other room.) Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Pittsburgh

Louisville CardFile: Michigan

With stultifying defense, and led by the all factors of the game, All-American, 22 point/ 12 rebound dominance of Jordan Nwora, the now legitimately ranked #1 Louisville Cardinals dispatched the nation’s best-resuméd Michigan Wolverines Tuesday night.

Chris Mack instructed his Cardinals to build a wall.

And build a wall they did.

Playing the paradigm of tenacious D, the best the Cards have been at that end of the court since they vanquished the Wolverines for the ’13 NCAA title, U of L never trailed for a nanosecond and prevailed by the UVa-ish score of 58-43.

Pack Line that, Sweet Virginia.

 * * * * *

More on that D in a bit.

Since he played The Game of His Career, praise for Jordan Nwora’s performance must come now, right behind the lede. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Michigan

Hoopaholics Gazette: Feast Week Leftovers, #1 vs Best, and More

Cruising the social mediums over the weekend, I came across an entry from a pal, former C-J columnist extraordinaire, green thumbium maximus Bob Hill. He was lamenting that he’d “been watching too much basketball.”

To which, I, ever the hoopaholic, responded, “I can’t conceptualize that. It doesn’t compute.”

At any rate, I recall a situation that happened at a Hoopaholics Anonymous meeting years ago. A newcomer, when introducing himself, verbalized that common plaint, “I watch too much basketball.”

To which an old timer shared his experience, strength and hope in this manner, “You need to lean into it.”

I need to share that with Bob.

 * * * * *

I watched a lot of b-ball last week. Doah. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: Feast Week Leftovers, #1 vs Best, and More

Louisville CardFile: Kentucky

Saturday evening, with the sting of the Cardinals’ loss still in need of some prescriptive to lessen the pain, with the cloud of the defeat at the hands and feet and speed and strength and dominance of Arch Rival still hovering, I got a message from the person I’ve known longer than anybody else in my life.

RVY and I met when when we were 6 or 7 years old, and our older brothers were playing football at Atherton HS. We’d pitch and catch the pigskin and play along the edges of practice, when our dad’s took us. Which was often.

He went to Belknap. I went to Longfellow. But our paths crossed again at Highland Jr. High, and we schooled together through our own years at Atherton, then again when we were law school classmates.

Through the years, we hooped in alleyways, and, as adults, played racquet ball.

As his older brothers were, so was RVY a football player. His father always reminded me of Bear Bryant, his carriage, his demeanor. A man’s man. A football guy.

RVY moved to SEC Country a few years back. Which makes sense.

He always loved the Cats. As I have always loved the Cards. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky

Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky

Former mediocre head coach, once a reasonably astute color announcer, now calling games on Facebook, Bob Wentzel made some truly absurd and contradictory observations about the University of Louisville Cardinal basketball team during the Cards 71-54 measure of WKU.

But he got one thing correct.

He called Dwayne Sutton “essential.”

There is now ample early evidence meaning that descriptor might also apply to Malik Williams, who was a significant factor in the U of L win. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky

Louisville CardFile: Akron

Though there was slippage in the performance of the Louisville Cardinals during the second half, or because of it, the 82-76 win over a solid Akron Zip contingent is the most important game they’ve played so far against the best team they’ve played so far.

If U of L is to meet expectations, this is where the team learns what it needs to work on. Watch this film. See what worked. See what didn’t. Improve.

The second half engagement with John Groce’s team was worth more than all the previous runaways against schlepper schools combined.

Groce can coach. You might remember in ’12, he took the underdog Ohio Bobcats to the Sweet 16, then fashioned a winning record at Illinois, but couldn’t recruit at the Big 10 level, and now is coaching them up in Rubber City.

His Zips were quick, especially Loren Cristian Jackson, who got to the hoop at will late.

His Zips played tough D, forcing 14 Cardinal turnovers.

His Zips were more proficient at the FT line. 13/15 vs. 21/30.

Louisville blinked. But, flaws exposed, survived. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Akron

Louisville CardFile: Syracuse

Let’s set aside for a moment all the disaffection, defections, lack of depth, imperfections and other impediments that faced this 2019 edition of the Louisville Football Cardinals coming into the season. Those issues that were discussed and rehashed ad nauseam, those opinions and realities that informed the abundance of dire projections for any success.

They are but distant memories, given the reality that the consistently resilient Cardinals have won 7 games of the 11 they have contested, have finished in 2d place in the Atlantic Division of the ACC behind only mighty Clemson, and are but one potential victory over Arch Rival to match the winning total in the last year when that squad was led by the most transcendent player in all of contemporary football, Lamar Jackson.

Let’s simply consider what the Cards overcame Saturday in the type of grisly, misty, chilling weather, when one might have been caused to muse, Did the ACC at the last minute move the battle against Syracuse to London, when U of L conquered the visiting Orange, 56-34. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Syracuse