Louisville Card File: Florida State

joaniecardThree things became immediately clear after U of L plundered the Seminoles Saturday noon.

1) Anton Gill’s application to Bellarmine is on hold. Sorry, Scotty.

2) Card fans could head out Saturday night and rock to Harry Connick Jr., the Kongos or Irma Thomas with smile on their faces. (Ms. Irma was sublime. Her encore of Dylan’s “Forever Young” transcendent.)

3) Joe Lunardi’s purchased at Discount World o’ Wigs toup can generate early onset projectile vomiting.

Bubble that, Joey Brackets. And, please, at least make sure that dead mop is sittin’ straight on your noggin.

* * * * *

Yes, there was oh so much to like about the Cardinals performance in a 22 point smackdown, its biggest W ever in the ACC.

Perspective, however, is in order.

Florida State’s seven league Ws have come against Virginia Tech twice, Clemson, Wake Forest, Miami, BC and Georgia Tech, who have a combined 27-68 record in the ACC. Leonard Hamilton hasn’t lost his recruiting touch yet, but once he gets ’em to Tallahassee, uh . . .

So, yeah, it’s nice. There was lots — lots and lots — to like. But, one guy’s admonition, don’t be checking Stub Hub for Final Four tickets just yet.

* * * * *

Cue Julie Andrews or Lady Gaga, or Coltrane if he’s your cup o’ tea, here are a few of my favorite things:

1) Anton Gill. 5/5 from the field. 4/4 from beyond the arc.

2) Which 14 points, when you add in Mango’s 6 and JJ’s deuce, brings the team total off the pine to 22. I don’t know the last time Louisville got that much relief help. Feel free to look it up and send me a nasty email about how lazy I am, and were I a real journalist, I’d do the research myself.

3) Q’s lengthy bazooka shot to Silent L, whose ensuing slam made the score, 8 nil.

4) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaayne Blackshear!!!!!

Here’s how Wayne’s day started. A missed trey on the Cards’ opening possession. A dropped pass for a turnover on U of L’s second possession. A traveling turnover, while driving to the bucket, on Louisville’s fourth possession. A missed second chance three, the 5th time the black-clad Cards had the ball.

Some time on the bench. Then a missed jumper. Followed a few moments later by a missed lay up.

But, but, but, but . . . he never quit on D, blocked a shot, grabbed a few boards and had a steal.

He finally got off the schneid with 4:09 to go before the break, scoring a layup for a 29-18 U of L advantage.

He finished the half with 6 points.

He finished the game with an assertive, team-leading, leadership-invoking  18 points. Along with four boards, 3 assists, two blocks and a steal.

So, what I’m saying is, early in this, the Cards’ second season, he stayed the course, despite early ineffectiveness.1

5) Twenty (20) assists on 31 made FGs.2

6) Five — Count ’em out with me, Sam the Sham Wooly Bully style: uno, dos, tres, cuatro (+1) — five Cardinals tallied double figures. Joining WB with 18 and AG with 14 were Trez with 16, Q with 11 and Terry “I Guess I Don’t Need To Score Big For The Cards To Win” Rozier with 10.

7) Rozier’s career-best nine assists.

8) Not So Silent L’s monster, no dribble, take off from the foul line, after a 3/4 court Tom Brady from TR, posterizing, I’ll scream to the cheap seats flush for a 43-32 lead.

9) Mango’s I’ll Do My Windex Imitation nine rebounds.

10) Louisville’s 18-1 second half run, ending with a Gill long ball at the 10:06, for a 64-38 lead. Bookended by Gill treys, it also featured an emphatic Blackshear dunk, a couple TR FTs, a Wayne three,3 another Wayne rifle shot after Mango padded his stat line with three offensive boards and a fourth board by Rozier, then a Terry swipe and another Blackshear flush. Which surrounded a single wafer thin FT by the befuddled Seminoles.

11) That the Cards kept pushing ahead Pitino the Viper style the rest of the way. Ball Game!

12) That the game tipped at noon.4

13) That The Rick went casual. No tie for the brunch time tip.

14) How the Cards, for the first time ran motion offense. Screens. Give and gos. Back cuts. Mooooooooooooooovement.

15) Thirty two points off turnovers.

16) Despite Louisville’s usual slow start, the Cards held the Seminoles scoreless on the latter’s first thirteen possessions.

17) A beautifully executed roundelay of offensive movement, ending with a clear out and MH layup +1 to push the lead back to 20, 71-51.

So, yeah, way more than whiskers on kittens, cream colored ponies and silver white winters, especially silver white winters, those are a few of my favorite things.

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Let’s admit it, Georgia Tech and Florida State were the perfect foes to open the Cards’ second season. Neither is very good.

That said, the Cardinals played this week with energy, focus and rejuvenated gumption. Yesterday they added passion and panache to the gutsy effort earlier in Atlanta.

Q was mucho assertive. As was, as mentioned above, Waaaaaaaaaaaaayne Blackshear!!!!

And Anton . . . uh . . . go figure. Wilkommen to U of L hoops, Mr. Gill.

* * * * *

So pleased are we all with the W, I won’t microscope but a duo of disturbing details.

But, being old and cranky, I feel compelled to mention the items.

Blackshear and Gill fouled out. Mango finished the game with four personals. Got to stay in the game, fellas.

Louisville was only 11/18 at the line.

* * * * *

One of the things I’ve always thought Rick Pitino does better than any other coach is take a single star player out of a game.

Yesterday, the focus was obviously on Xavier Rathan-Mayes. He’s the guy who went Pete Maravich earlier in the week against Miami, scoring 30 points in less than five minutes. Do not adjust your sets, that’s not a typo.5 The Cardinals forced him to miss his first six shots, and he ended up with only 12 points, none from beyond the arc, on 5/16 shooting, i.e. he was a non factor.

* * * * *

After this week’s stellar Ws, U of L has jumped up five spots in Ken Pomeroy’s heralded computer rankings to 15th. The Cards D efficiency ranking is steady, as 6th best in the land. And the offensive metrics indicate their offense is 86th best in the land, not exemplary, but a jump of 56 spots in a week.

Motion and movement beget tallies.

As we like to twit in today’s totally terrific world of social media, U of L is trending.

* * * * *

Wayne Blackshear wasn’t the only member of the Cardinal hoops family to be honored last week.

Asst. Athletic Director/ Basketball SID Kenny Klein was voted into the Sports Information Director’s Hall of Fame.

Well deserved. Klein is as consummate a professional as I have encountered in any field of endeavor. He’s a pro’s pro, which is why, in addition to his duties at U of L, he coordinates the media at the Final Four, when the Cards aren’t in it, of course.

What I dub Klein’s “cheat sheets,” his Game Notes, crammed with stats and facts, are several cuts way above those of anybody else in the biz. When we scribes come up with some arcane number or factoid, those things we write that make us appear way more wise than we are, more often than not, Kenny deserves the credit.

* * * * *

Things get serious for the Cards this week. The Fighting Irish come to The Yum! on Wednesday; #2 Virginia, for the regular season finale on Saturday.

— Seedy K

9 thoughts on “Louisville Card File: Florida State

  1. I have silver white whiskers and 2 kittens this winter , but I can’t really say those are two of my favorite things, Julie.

    On the other hand, 9 assists and 6 steals by a crooked shooting 00 and Wayne “Big Brain” Blackshear remaining aggressive after starting the game as if he just chugged a fifth of Ol’ Fo? Those two things will beat cream colored Ponies any day.

    Now, if we could only get Mango to work on those 3″ layups..?

  2. Now for my usual negativity. Wayne’s early “dropped Pass” turnover should have been credited to TR who threw the pass into the lane in which the defender had the opportunity to intervene, as did what ended up being a TO given to Q when TR threw him a pass low and outside that was not easily catchable. If Terry’s future is as a point guard the Association he will need to become a more accurate passer, 9 assists or not. Also, when a teammate picks up their dribble and is being double teamed by the opponent guarding them it would be helpful if the others made sure they created passing lanes rather than remaining in a “straight line position behind their opponent. We had two TO’s because of that.
    Eeyore

    I must say that none of my complaints took the grin off my mug after the game, not even Mathiang’s unintentional Moses Malone technique in increasing his offensive rebounding numbers.

  3. ball was good and encouraging but I must agree with Chuck that Irma’s rendition of “Forever Young” was truly magnificent. For me it brought tears and chills.

    1. David and Chuck, I’d never heard Irma Thomas sing “Forever Young”, just listened to a poor-quality video on youtube. I can imagine she must have been lovely to hear live this weekend. There’s a brilliant vocalist here in town, Tanita Gaines, who sings on Thursdays (and Fridays?) at Majid’s in Chenoweth Square. My wife and I and friends listened to her a couple of weeks ago on a Thursday evening, had the place pretty much all to ourselves for a few hours. She’s a local treasure with a gorgeous voice.

  4. BlindLuck, she said she’s only been singing it for a couple of years, then only rarely. In fact, she had her smartphone in her hand, so she’d get all the lyrics. I am well familiar with Tanita Gaines.

  5. It’s schools with Florida in their name. Not just the assist totals against FIU and FSU, there’s Oh No Mister Gill.

    In 23 games against other schools he is 3-30 on threes. Against these two he is 7-9. He has 71 total points this year and 29 (41%) have come against the two FLs.

    Go figure.

    1. Blindluck–I’ve heard Tanita Gaines as well. The last time at, of all places, John E’s! She is very good but not Irma. Most of what I know about music comes from Chuck and the first time I and my wife heard Irma was at Jazzfest about ten years ago. I had never heard of her (although I am(was) a close personal friend of Pinetop Perkins) but was absolutely blown away. I said to Chuck that she might not be Michael Jordan but she surely is Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, or Magic.

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