Louisville Card File: Central Florida

dunikcardLest you are deluded that a W on the road against a not-ready-for-prime-time league foe, let alone one by 25 points, is no big deal, find a UConn Huskie to chat up.

One of the Cards significant rivals for the AAC crown, Shabazz Napier et al fell at 9-5 Houston in a tilt contested in an eerily empty arena, but for a few family members and close personal friends.

Conference wins on the road are always big. Even against the over-matched Central Florida Brandon Benders.

The beleaguered Cardinals came up huge on New Year’s Eve, 90-65.

* * * * *

Despite all the hand-wringing in the wake of the L in Rupp, despite the despondency at the banishment of Chane Behanan and probability of Kevin Ware being a no-show for the rest of the year, this Cardinal squad, if nowhere near as potent as last year’s champs, is not without talent.

Witness Chris Jones 75′ assist on a Montrezl Harrell dunk yesterday at the 16:25 mark of the opening stanza, during that boffo 23-4 Cardinal salvo.1

Which is but one example of why the Cards can still be a factor nationally, despite some apparent flaws.

* * * * *

There are a trio of areas that need to be addressed, if Louisville is going to have a successful campaign.

U of L will need to improve its rebounding fundamentals.

The Cards were outboarded yesterday, 34-39, giving up 18 offensive caroms. It’s the second game in a row in which Louisville has been battered on the boards.

Louisville hit only 8 of its 13 FT attempts. 61.5% is not title quality. The Knights made 7 more than Louisville attempted.

Which brings up the third area of concern for Louisville. Fouls. As in, committing too many.

Blackshear and Hancock are both prone. Since they man the 3 spot, it has to be of concern.

* * * * *

But now’s the time to celebrate Louisville’s conference opening W. On the road.

There was that 23-4 start.

There was the 14/27 shooting from beyond the arc. Magnificent.

There was Russ Smith’s 24 points, 9 assists and 4 steals.

There was Chris Jones’ totally under control, very mature performance. 5 points, 7 assists, nothing forced.

There was clean-shaven Luke Hancock’s 4/9 shooting from long range. Plus his 3 steals.

There was Silent L’s 15 points and 8 rebounds.2

There was SVT, who played a solid 19 minutes. Four blocks to go along with 6 boards and 6 tallies.

And, to be sure, there was my main man, Terry Rozier, who contributed 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

There was that steady and victory-assuring 22-6 start to the second half.

There were those 28 assists on 34 made baskets.

There were those 12 steals and 9 blocked shots against only 11 turnovers.

* * * * *

For the first time this season, neither Luke nor Rozier wore t-shirts under their uni jersey.

* * * * *

A word — actually several sentences — about Chane Behanan.

Neither you nor I have a clue what the true story of his dismissal is.

Yesterday at the grocery, I ran into a member of the Athletic Department Board, who told me a story he’d heard from a “fellow who should know.” Yesterday, I received an email from somebody not prone to gossip without basis. He told me a completely different story he’d heard from a guy, whose credibility, he says, is certain.

So, choose whatever story you want to believe. It could be true, but it probably isn’t.

* * * * *

Remember when I joked about Teddy B, after his magnificent bowl performance the other night, that he was going to Disney World?

Well, with the hoopsters it’s not a joke.

After the game, Russ Smith said, “Tomorrow we’re going to Disney World.”

— Seedy K


6 thoughts on “Louisville Card File: Central Florida

  1. The enigma to me is Blackshear. I dunno where to start. When he’s not in the game I don’t even think about him. He should be an absolute star instead of someone who plays in bits and spurts.

  2. Luke commits a lot of his fouls due to a lack of quickness needed to stay in front of the opponent. Wayne just commits stupid reach in fouls. If I were Rick I would have Wayne run suicides every time he does that in practice. Of course then he would be useless as a 138 pound player.

  3. @cbcard. I’m tired of all the rumors, and don’t intend to perpetuate anything I can’t substantiate.

  4. To CBCard–CB–Mr. Kaplan has obviously forgotten the sentence in the Talmud which very clearly says “If thou starteth gossip thou shalt finish it.” Back to Hebrew school with him.

Comments are closed.