Louisville Card File: Clemson

joaniecardWednesday morning, during my weekly piano lesson, my teacher Chris Bizianes, also a prof at Bellarmine, and I discussed some musical theory.

Specifically, the Circle of Fifths.

While not getting too deep or specific — as if I could if I tried — it is a construct that helps explain the mathematical and harmonic relationship between key signatures. The progression of sharps and flats. A path to chord progressions that will sound melodic. The relationship between the 1, 4 and 5, etc, etc.

At this juncture, I’ll stop, before I’m chewing on my size 12s, before a reader who really understands the concept jumps my game, and get to why I bring this up while reviewing last night’s slog of a W over the orange and purple clad visitors from Clemson.

Which is that  U of L’s offense, as it has disturbingly been more oft than not, was off key, way out of pitch and — here comes another musical metaphor — devoid of any appreciable rhythm.

That Louisville remains a legit Top 10 team, at least so far, with only the 66th most efficient O in the land, according to guru Ken Pomeroy, is a testament to grit, talent, intense defense and wise scheduling.

Get used to it, kids. Watching U of L with the ball this season is root canal territory. The Cards’ D is our only anesthetic.

* * * * *

Last night it was Boom! or Bust.

Having scored but 18 first half points, and down 4 at the break, here’s how the first 6:33 after intermission went down.

Wayne Blackshear trey. Assist to Terry Rozier. 21-22.

Rozier defensive rebound. Rozier layup. 23-22.

Montrezl Harrell offensive rebound. Harrell follow slam. 25-22.

Timeout Clemson.

Steal Chris Jones.

Steal Harrell. Layup Rozier. Assist Blackshear. 27-22.

Steal Rozier. Jones trey. 30-22.

Timeout Clemson.

Block Mangok Mathiang. Rebound Rozier. Layup Rozier. 32-22.

FT Harrell. 33-22.

Offensive rebound Mango. Second chance slam Harrell. 35-22.

The segment was a primer on what this edition of the University of Louisville Cardinals needs to do to be successful. Defense to Offense. During that interlude, it was Louisville 17, Clemson nil. Boom!

Meanwhile, during the other 33:27 of the tilt, the Tigers prevailed 52-41. Bust.

* * * * *

The Cards need to learn how to, using the skewed contemporary vernacular, “score the ball.”

Jones and Rozier can score the ball. They went for 22 and 15 respectively last night.

Silent L can score the ball . . . most effectively, when he allows the game to come to him.1 He only tallied six against Clemson. Partially due to sitting most of the opening half with foul trouble. Mainly because he was double and triple teamed every time he touched the ball, a tactic which he is destined to face the rest of his college career.

Blackshear can score the ball. Most of the time anyway. He was the third Cardinal last night in double figures.

Which leaves, which leaves, well, which leaves . . .

. . . Shaqquan Aaron, probably, maybe, perhaps, should his defense improve enough that The Rick won’t jerk him after two minutes, as he did last night. Anton Gill possibly, if he regains the confidence he had as a prepster when he was a prolific scorer.

Then there’s, hmmm, uh, that seems to be it.

* * * * *

The Cards do appear to have the ability and guile to brace themselves at crunch time. At least against the ACC’s lesser lights.

They did it Sunday night at Wake Forest.

And again last evening, when the Tigers cut the lead to 42-40, with 6:07 left. U of L immediately got some distance when Chinanu Onuaku got an offensive board, missed a tip, but grabbed that errant shot of his and scored a put back. Followed a few seconds later with a Jones steal and lay up, for a six point “cushion.”

The visitors never really threatened again, despite some monumentally stupid fouls, committed by the Cards, when trying to close it out down the stretch.

* * * * *

U of L’s assist/ turnover ratio continues to be woeful. Seven of the former last evening versus nine giveaways. The team’s .9 ratio on the year is, shall I say, not championship caliber.2

Only three players on the squad are hitting better than 50% from the field. Anas Mahmoud, who wasn’t even in the arena last night while suffering a migraine, Nanu, who only took two shots, both follows, and Silent L.

Louisville continues to improve its FT %, last night canning 16/22.

* * * * *

At some point during the game, it came to me, which former Cardinal Chris Jones’ presence reminds me of?

T-Will. Talented. Ability to take over. But a vexing court personality. Often an impediment, but a guy who has to be on the court with the game on the line. Of course, TR and MH also need to be there, but Jones, for better or worse, is this year’s catalyst.

* * * * *

I loved that they played Martha & the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave” during one timeout. Reminded me of a football weekend gig of theirs my freshman year at college. We wouldn’t let the Motown gals off the Red Square stage until they’d sung the song four or five times.

* * * * *

U of L’s next three games will provide clear harbingers of what’s to come.

Carolina in the Dean Dome. Ever feisty Buzz Williams’ Hokies next Tuesday in the Yum!. Then Coach K, likely going for his 1000th W, takes a visit with his precocious Blue Devils, Saturday a week.

Buckle up, Cardinal fans, rocky weather ahead.

— Seedy K

6 thoughts on “Louisville Card File: Clemson

  1. Circle of Fifths?
    My idea of that would be Angel’s Envy, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Blanton’s, Hirsch 25 Year Old, and Colonel E. H. Taylor be it single barrel or small batch all arranged in a nice, pretty circle.

  2. How do they get to this point? If you’re a star high school player, worthy of a look from the top tier Division 1 teams, isn’t it because you can, you know, SHOOT THE BALL. Aren’t most recruits at the 1, 2 or 3 generally scorers? Then why can’t a major college, scholarship player at the University of Louisville make a $#@*&!!*%$#@-ing jump shot more consistently than one out of four? And if you can and lose your man on a defensive switch, you’re coming out of the game. If you jack up five in a row that chip paint off the rim, you play on. Frustrating!!

    In 2012, we were in NYC for the Big East, After a particular low scoring slugfest, we followed up the next night by lighting up the scoreboard. The next day, I’m in the elevator headed to the lobby, when it stops and on walks Big Bill Raftery. He looks at my logo sweater and says, “Things are a lot better when the ball goes in the basket.” How true.

  3. Jurich should only charge 21.50 to put us through the brutality of watching Clemson play, and according to Pitino this is what we will get with them. This U of L team reminds me of some of the Rick’s ffirst few teams here when he was trying to clean up the mess left by Denny. We have some truly mediocre players and I just don’t understand why that is so. I guess it is the shoes.

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