Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

joaniecardMy guess is most of you who read this blog are like me.

You grew up with hoops. Maybe started going to games with your folks before you even understood what was happening. Played biddy ball, and in high school for a club or church team. Intramural perhaps.

Got a sense of the game, even if you had no hops, a sketchy jumper and were inconsistent at the line.

But the love was there, ran deep, became inextricably entwined in the helix of your DNA. You watched and savored all the basketball you could fit in, most especially the team you fell in love with way back. Missing a game of your faves has never computed.

You fell in love with being in the gym, the smell of stale popcorn, savoring the kinetic excitement.

With the team you love, you watch every moment, perhaps twice or thrice, dissect every play, observe every combination on the floor, every move by your coach. When things are going right, you just smile. When they’re not, you’ve got theories. If he just played X with Y and sat Z down, and ran this or that, all would be well.

Thus you savor those moments when you have observed what you consider an imperative, and which observations are confirmed because coach agrees.

So it happened for me Sunday, after U of L measured Bellarmine in the first exhibition of the season, 71-55.

Rick Pitino ended his post-game radio comments with a statement that brought me comfort.

“We always open it up a bit when Q’s at the point.”


Trey Lewis adds maturity, leads in that regard, and hopefully will have some scoring sprees.

But he’s not this team’s point guard.1

Quentin Snider is the primary point guard for the ’15-’16 Louisville Cardinals.

His game high 8 assists were only part of the story. The offense kicked in gear quicker, and stayed in sync longer when Q was running the show. it’s only going to get better, when RP makes the moves that let the kid knows he’s the engineer.

 * * * * *

This team runs the motion offense better than any unit in recent memory. Including the ’13 title winner which was mostly all pick & roll.

U of L had 17 assists on 23 made baskets.

 * * * * *

How about those bench points?

The Cards’ subs tallied 34.

Last year that might have been a five game total, ten perhaps. There were any number of tilts when Louisville got nothing from the pine timers. Literally.

Of course, there were guys who didn’t start Sunday afternoon, who likely will as the season evolves. But, it’s a great sign.

 * * * * *

If you’ve read me any at all before, you know how important I think free throw shooting is.

Louisville was 18/25 at the line, including a stellar 10/12 before halftime.

The newcomers hit their FTs. Chinanu Onuaku still does not.2

 * * * * *

He may be a nice kid, a great teammate, a good student even. But, Matz Stockman’s a plug.

I stand by my previous proclamation that he’ll never be a factor at U of L.

And, if The Rick is right — He said Matz would play in the league some day — I’ll gleefully acknowledge my errant opinion.

 * * * * *

I loved that it was an essentially woof free afternoon.

Only after one Jaylen Johnson jam was there a hint of woofing. A mini woof. It was like JJ touched his inner Montrezl, for a fleeting moment, then realized that was so last year, this season’s different.

And, everybody who had Johnson on Fan King Draft Duel card as their leading scorer and leading rebounder, raise your hand. That’s what I thought.

The kid laid a 14 and 10 double double on the Knights. 3

 * * * * *

U of L got 30 points from the bigs underneath.

The Cards moved the ball into the post out of the motion offense. Don’t recall that happening a lot last year.

One guy’s opinion — Hear me now and believe me later: As the season progresses, Johnson, Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spalding will be on the court more than Chinanu Onuaku and Mathiang.

 * * * * *

I understand that Bellarmine is Division II. But shooting is shooting, and the Knights can shoot. And get open shots out of their smooth offense.

U of L held them to 16/50 from the field. 32%.

And held the Knights to 5/22 from beyond the arc. 22%.

Not bad D for November 1.

 * * * * *

Rick Pitino’s got some coaching ahead of him, some decisions to make.

U of L is legitimately 11 deep.

Figuring out who gets the most PT, and in what combinations, is not going to be easy. He acknowledged that conundrum in his post game comments.

He’s getting $5 million/ season to figure out such mix and match matters.

Only Mangok and David Levitch have more than a year of experience at U of L. Only 17% of last year’s scoring has returned, the lowest for the Cards in 43 years.

All in all, it was an encouraging effort. There’s a really feisty U of L team there. It’s going to be fascinating to see if it emerges.

 * * * * *

Peripheral Stuff:

The crowd gave RP a genuine but not overwhelming ovation, when he walked on the court unannounced before the game.

My sense of the feelings of the U of L fan base regarding the scandal is best described by these pre-game words from another lifer: “We’ve been through this before. We’ll survive.”

The ever-present Yellow Shirts, the Kroger Krewe, have a new designation. Yesterday, they were introduced as the Marketing Activation Team.

So it goes.

Basketball is back. It’s a good thing.

— Seedy K

7 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

  1. Trey will have to understand that with the shorter shot clock, the wasted seconds that ran off the clock while he decided to let it just roll over the baseline limit the opportunity to run offense. I thought though that the ref should have had the ball in-bounded where it had last been touched, and not where it crossed the out of bounds. Hadn’t that been the rule in the past ? Early season error for refs or for me ?
    Liked how they played as a team and without selfishness; not always the greatest passes, but “the thought was there”

  2. I think the rule’s always been that it’s inbounded where it went out. Except in situations, when there’s an attempt to inbound the ball, but it ends up out of bounds untouched. Then it goes back to the point where the inbounding play was initiated. Or, so I think.

  3. Anas Mahmoud would score a lot of points, get a lot of assists and get a lot of rebounds—if Pitino would ever play him. He has an instinct for the game. If I can see that why can’t Ricky?

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