Louisville Card File: South Florida

dunikcardBefore we go a paragraph further, let’s pose the most important question about this Cardinal team?

Did David Levitch get the memo about letting his beard grow?

Or, is that cherub-faced, crowd-favorite walk on still in his pre-Gillette period?

A beffudled Cardinal Nation needs to know?

* * * * *

Okay, now, let the real games begin.

The exhis are over. (Except for that home tussle with Temple.)

All the folderol about U of L’s stupendous, nation-leading scoring margin aside, all the wondering how Ken Pomeroy’s computers have the Cards ranked #6, despite the reality of only one Quality Win — @ UConn — and notwithstanding all of Silent L’s poster dunks and Russ Smith’s Cardinal milestones, etc, etc, we now get to find out how good, or not, this ’13-’14 Louisville Cardinal team is?

As steady as she goes as Cincinnati has been all year, the Bearcats are an eminently beatable ball club. Even at home, in front of what is sure to be a white out or black out or red out, most rabid crowd in years.

It is time for the University of Louisville Cardinals to git ‘er done.

* * * * *

Which lead is to underscore that I, for one, don’t put much store, good or bad, in last night’s evisceration of South Florida.

Were it not a throw away game, I would probably carp about the Bulls’ shooting percentage. And the less than stellar red & black D that fostered it.

When U of L led 34-25 early, the visitors had made 10 of the 14 FGs they attempted. Uh, 71%, that’s not good. Despite a fall off, they were still way above 50% at halftime. And finished the game at 22/45 (49%).

Many of those were uncontested jumpers, when the Cards’ zone or man to man wasn’t working.

Louisville did tighten up at the end of the opening period. Two stiffling defensive possessions with great rotations. And were more consistent in the sloppy second stanza, but still allowed USF to shoot 42% after the break, which is about ten percentage points better than they would have if the Cards were totally on their game.

South Florida had an embarrassing number of fast break slams. Embarrassing for the Cards, that is.

* * * * *

Let’s chat up Mango Mathiang for a moment.

I remain of the opinion that he’s nowhere near as good a freshman, nor displaying as much potential, as Gorgui Dieng.1 Dieng was more experienced coming in. More salient, his basketball instincts were astounding, even early on when he didn’t know how to execute them.

That said, I now believe Mango can be a force eventually. He’s got some nifty moves, and his b-ball IQ is on the rise. But it’s a big incline.

He needs to get stronger. He needs to learn to keep the ball above his shoulders.

He needs to get a lot stronger.2

He made several nifty offensive moves last night, a couple halfway through the opening period. He took two charges, which is nice.

* * * * *

Let’s call the play of the game what it was.

Terry Rozier’s dazzling, jockstrap-disrobing, one-handed fake behind the back pass and layup at the 4:42 mark to put the Cards up 73-47 was one of the most spectacular one on one moves by a Cardinal . . . ever.

I suppose there’s been a player who’s done something similar in the past. Right? I don’t recall it though.

Second place, of course, goes to Luke Hancock’s driving dunk. While nifty and crowd-pleasing, it must be noted that the green-clad visitors parted like the throng providing a path for the Angels to get their two cases of beer and provide security at Altamount.

Which is to say, there wasn’t a Bull inclined or close enough to contest Hancock’s shot with a broom in their hand.

* * * * *

There is one bit of Cardinal history that provides me with some solace, when considering Wayne Blackshear’s ongoing propensity to commit stupid fouls.

Remember how Peyton Siva spent a lot of time on the pine, for his proclivity to reach in and hack?

Well, remember, last year’s NCAA, when Siva never did it once that I can recall?

Let’s hope Blackshear’s time, sitting near to Vinnie Tatum on the bench, will chasten him to change.

* * * * *

Other than that, and, I suppose this shall be reiteration, there’s not much else noteworthy about last night’s affair.

Okay, U of L got 11 points and 14 rebounds out of SVT & Mango. But, they did play together a bunch. Okay, Russ and Rozier had 5 boards apiece.

Okay, The Rick has his usual gray February pallor. With that scraggly beard, he’d appear especially ominous, but for his perfect hair and impeccable tailoring.

— Seedy K


5 thoughts on “Louisville Card File: South Florida

  1. Now this article is one that I can appreciate; not a single word groveling toward the team in your adopted hometown.

    Glad you realize that Mango is getting strong, like bull.

    It’s true that Luke’s facial of Capt Perry was accomplished like most of these types of dunks—it was based mostly upon the complimentary largess of a defensively challenged or uninterested defender. Last nights dunk could have been the product of either– or both. “The” poster-ized dunks are those very few that occur when the throw down occurs despite the best efforts of a worthy defender. Those monsters are few and far between. So, sorry Luke—but great hops that do show that you are decidedly more athletic than you are given credit for by popular opinion.

    Still, I suspect that Luke’s uncanny ability in driving past defenders to the hoop is caused more by his ability to use the principles and science of the hologram, (eg a 3-D picture formed by light reflected from his body viewed by light passing through it), than by his athletic prowess. Or, maybe his defenders are merely fooled into thinking Luke is employing a stutter-stepping, hesitation move while he is really just blasting full speed ahead?

    As for Turry’s lay-up–how dare you forget LaBradford’s patented move cut from the same ilk???? Perhaps you have watched too many re-runs of Richie and the boys down thru the years and forgot this particular lore of Cardinal history, maybe? Just sayin’…..

    1. Luke looks slow on his drives for the same reason he is effective. The length of his stride is incredible. His three steps cover more distance than a defender’s four steps. DVR a game and watch in slo-mo.

  2. Frankly I’m a little disappointed, Mr. Mayor, that it took so long for someone to mention the heralded former Seneca Redskin, Mr. Redd. I was expecting something within minutes of my post.

  3. I gasped when I saw Rozier do it. It was the most stunning example of misdirection I have seen since the ’63-’64 UofL/Kentucky Wesleyan game at Freedom Hall. A blast from the past.

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