Okay, pretend for a moment you know nothing about basketball, you know nothing about U of L hoops, or rivalries, or even are aware it is the season’s glorious capstone weekend.
You’re walking through a mall, say, Oxmoor, on your way to ask some Apple t-shirted acolyte how to delete a spam message on the new iPhone your daughter gave you for your birthday.
You’re walking by, oh, H & M, and see a couple college aged girls, laughing at something, punching each other in the upper arm as buddies do when they are giving each other congenial shit.
The shorter one, though still kind of tall, has a rounded face, blonde hair braided and a birth mark on her cheek.
The other, a few inches taller, has a face that looks to you, an elder, like she could be 14 or so, but you know that’s not true just by the way she’s acting.
Then you notice a basketball court tatted on the calf of the taller one.
Hmm, that’s odd, you think, wonder if she/they play basketball at some school around here? Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Final Four Final Four Weekend
Ebullient, with a palpable joyous relief, Louisville coach Jeff Walz answered the usual pro forma queries in the thrall of victory to the usual pro forma questions.
Happy for the team, went through hardship, never gave up, great group, etc, etc, etc.
Along the way he expressed his gratitude to Tom Jurich for the former AD’s faith when hiring the Maryland assistant coach, an intuitive and adroit move that now sees the former run of the mill program heading to it fourth Final Four, all during JW’s reign.
Wedged between the questioner and the coach was Hailey Van Lith. Displaying but a hint of exhaustion, she kept nodding as if it were still crunch time with minutes to play, the Cards down, and she being advised she needed to make a play.
HVL’s eyes burn fierce.
HVL is a perpetual motion machine. She was still redlining minutes after the buzzer, victory secured.
I’m not sure I can recall a U of L baller of either gender with more motor. Recency bias reminds me of Peyton Siva in the ’13 title game, but I’m sure there are others. Van Lith is certainly in the conversation, arguably at the top of the list. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Michigan
Doc checked in Sunday morning.
Seems his son, a similarly addicted chip off the block, has been checking out message boards around the land. Where, it seems, Louisville is getting a measure of grief for hiring a fellow who has never been a head coach before.
Doc referenced Michigan’s JuWan Howard and Memphis State’s Penny Hardaway, alums at their schools who seem to be doing fairly well.
To which I responded with one thing that duo has in common staff-wise.
An experienced old head in the next chair. Phil Martelli for the Wolverines. Larry Brown for the Tigers.
In addition, IU grad Mike Woodson has Thad Matta in the program, as director of basketball ops or something.
Which is to reiterate, one fan’s hope is that when Kenny Payne is assembling his staff he does the same. An available guy, like Bruce Weber or someone of that ilk. A seasoned veteran. Continue reading Hoopaholic Musings: More on U of L’s CKP
Driving to the press conference to introduce Kenny Payne as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Louisville — Let us let that resonate for a sec, U of L Coach Kenny Payne — there was this on a vintage Jeep in front of me at a light.
The tire cover on the back was festooned with images of flowers.
It read “Good Vibes.”
Which is as good a place to start here as any.
Today is not about assistant coaching hires.
Not about looming NCAA sanctions.
Not about recruiting Milt Wagner’s grandson.
Not about Nike.
Not about offensive schemes or defensive philosophy or the transfer portal or which of the current squad Coach Kenny Payne hopes to keep for next season.
Today is about the symmetry that is the hiring of a former Cardinal Kenny Payne to lead the program.
Today is about the attendant JOY, plain and simple. Continue reading It is Just Right: Coach Kenny Payne
Days before the rest of America springs forward, time for the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball team lurched ahead prematurely.
At 11:47 PM Wednesday evening in Brooklyn, the clock struck Midnight.
13 minutes. Poetic.
No glass slipper to be found, the interlopers were escorted from the ball.
Louisville 50, Virginia 51.
It was closer than that. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia
I am normally a man of strong opinion, certain of my strongly held beliefs, inclined to share them, whether solicited to do so or not.
Plus my default tendency is to scribe too many words, signifying little of significant value.
So, here I sit, needing to describe a University of Louisville victory, its first in seemingly forever.
Cardinals 84. Aptly monikered Ramblin’ Wreck 74.
But, honest to Dave Gavitt, I’m not sure how I feel about the opening round victory in the ACC tourney.
Outside of the innate pleasure that always comes from a Cardinal W.
But, c’mon, how is one to make any sense of that? Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Georgia Tech
My take on Saturday’s encounter with UVa is that peripherals were more important than action on the court. There was zero indication Louisville had a chance to prevail.
But, this is a game story.
So, meeting my obligations, there are a few matters of note to be discussed.
The Cards started solid, running out to a 7-0 advantage.
The Cavaliers caught U of L at 12, then again at 14 after Star of Game Sydney Curry pushed the homies ahead by a deuce.
Out of the 7:45 media timeout, the Wahoos scored. U of L turned it over. U Va forged ahead 18-14 on the ensuing possession.
In my notes, I asked a question. Was it rhetorical?
So that disadvantage came to be. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia
Here’s another something that’s never happened before.
For the first time ever, I am sitting at my computer, beginning my game story.
During the media timeout with 11:09 left in the opening half.
I have the Cardinal game on the 32″ Samsung on a table next to my desk. On the silenced big LG in my TV room, which I can clearly see, I’ve clicked over to Purdue/ Wisconsin.
I’m a stranger in a strange land.
Actually I was tempted to sit down and start this at the 16:52 stoppage, when Louisville was down 2-9, having already committed three giveaways, surrendering Hokie triples on three consecutive possessions.
The Cards turned it over out of the break.
I tuned in, as I have for seven decades now, believing that whatever has happened before, the Cards have a chance. Then announcer Debbie Antonelli in the open says of Tech, “to get in the NCAA, they need to take care of business against Louisville.”
Pull the dagger from my heart.
Then the announcers shared that Malik Williams didn’t even make the trip. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia Tech
Correction: The technical foul referred to below was whistled against those on the Louisville bench, for jumping out of their seats and complaining about a late call. Coach Mike Pegues implied it included him.
Other than my fascination with Naismithius, the Greek God of Hoops, my knowledge of that strain of mythology is limited.
But there was a moment of wonder about it during U of L’s latest inevitable setback, this time by a wasn’t nearly as close as the final deficit of 22, 77-99 at Wake Forest.
U of L fell behind 2-17.
Was -20 after a mere 9:50 of action, 14-34. And, despite starting to hit some shots gained but minor traction, yet somehow gutting its way within 8 at the break, 36-44.*
*A deuce by Jae’Lyn Withers and a lone freebie by Dre Davis were the only points scored in the 1st by the five Cardinal starters. That’s got to be a record, right?
After intermission, El Ellis two FTs cut the margin to six. Wake got one back, then Dre Davis was at the line with a chance to somehow how-did-we-get-here pull within five.
Then Mike Pegues said something he should not have. Technical. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Wake Forest
The bar is so so very very low.
Such that simply being competitive is a reason to feel, well, not that bad.
At least for some Cardinal fans.
You know, like it’s just a cold with a little fever, runny nose, bad cough. Because a drive through test comes back negative for you know what. So, you quaff some chicken broth, knock down some Tylenol, chug a few slugs of Delsym Day or Night 12 Hour Cough Relief.
You pull the covers over your head and hope you can sleep.
And, pray the Russkie army hasn’t gathered at the Oldham, Bullitt, Shelby and Spencer county lines, looking for an excuse to annex Nulu.
* * * * *
The Professor was a little less sanguine.
“Just terrible shot selection at the end. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: North Carolina