One of Rick Pitino’s most exemplary traits as a basketball mastermind was evident in Louisville’s convincing 78-56 win over long-time rival Western Kentucky Saturday noon.
Pitino has been a long time believer in specific game preparation, in cutting off the head of the foe. It is no accident that, when his teams play their best, the leaders of the opponent have an off game. Oh how many times, when he was coaching UK, were U of L’s leading scorers non-factors in the annual rivalry game?
Too damn many.
That was the story again yesterday, as Louisville, for the first time in over a half century, eked ahead of the Hilltoppers all-time in their series with 40 Ws to WKU’s 39.
Louisville had more than doubled up on the visitors, leading 34-16 at intermission. The Toppers leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore Justin Johnson, had more turnovers (1) than points, zero. As in, squadoosh. Scoreless. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Western Kentucky
“You always look good, when you make your shots.” — The Professor
U of L opened yesterday noon’s tilt as if the basket were the Grand Canyon, as well as the severely over-matched foe, a school so named.
A quick rundown of the Cardinals’ first fourteen FG attempts. Ray Spalding slam. Trey Lewis layup. Damion Lee missed jumper. (Dude, didn’t you get the memo?) Spalding follow tip. Lee trey. (That’s better.) Spalding layup. Lee deuce. Quentin Snider triple. Lee jumper. Snider layup. Snider jumper. Snider layup. (Q definitely got the memo. He had 8 assists on the day.) Donovan Mitchell three. Lee another from beyond the arc.
There were also several steals, abundant rebounds, a blocked Antelope shot or two, as well as enough deflections to actually make the coach clap his hands in appreciation.
After which interlude — which I called a “FLURRY!” in my notes, but may have more officially been what Coach K has designated a “BOOM!!” — Louisville led 38-15.
Matz Stockman was taking off his warmups. The visitors from the WAC, having proven themselves more jackalope than antelope, felt like they were combating Class VI rapids on the Colorado River. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Grand Canyon
There are any number of reasons why last night’s frustrating but far from devastating 67-71 loss at Michigan State should be gratifying for Louisville fans.
And a harbinger of better moments to come.
As U of L had its way with five featherweights to open the campaign, there were signs that this edition of the Cardinals would be significantly better than the pundits predicted pre-season. But, since those tilts were in essence scrimmages, it was hard to tell how this still being assembled contingent would fare when the lights were brighter, when the opponents were legit.
How good can this promising Cardinal team be?
We now know.
Trading punches while giving no quarter to an acknowledged national contender with the leading national POY candidate on its home court reveals a lot. Flaws. Gaffes. Systemic failures. Heart. Guile. Potential. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Michigan State
Corrected 11/25 10:12 am.
As has been the pattern this season, Card Nation attendees who actually showed up at the Yum! were late-ish arriving and small-ish numerically.
By the time many of them arrived at their seats, the rout of U of L’s latest plug du jour was a fait accompli.
Here’s how U of L opened against its fourth absurdly overmatched foe of the season:
Damion Lewis hit 1/2 FTs after being fouled while shooting. Full court press. Chinanu Onuaku missed a one-hand slam on an alley oop. Next trip down he canned a five foot J. Next trip he netted a follow. Full court press. Steal. Lewis tallied a fast break layup. Full court press. Quentin Snider banked in a sweet layin after a crossover dribble to lose his man. Full court press. Steal. Lewis scored on a follow shot. Full court press. Lewis tally +1.
15:37. First TV timeout. Cards 14 points, 4 steals, Terriers 4 points.
Boredom ensued. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: St. Francis (Brooklyn)
In the Jewish faith, into which I was born, reared and still reside, and thus with which I am most familiar, it is known as Bar Mitzvah.
Literally, it translates as “son of commandment.” In the tradition, it is the ritual when a boy. upon turning 13 years old, is deemed a man. Thereby, presumed capable of, and required to assume responsibilities of adulthood, both within the faith and daily life.
Obviously, it is an artificial demarcation. Given the exigencies of real experience, that moment of transition is not foretold, not pro forma ritual. It happens when a situation is presented, and he who was youth acts with a previously inarticulated maturity.
Boy to man.
Yesterday, in Seattle, during the University of Louisville Cardinals’ opening round tussle of the 2015 NCAA tournament, Cardinal fans were able to observe not one, but two such moments of passage. Continue reading Louisville Card File: UC Irvine