Louisville CardFile: Eastern Michigan

joaniecardYou can hope to slow him, but you can’t stop him.

Matz Stockman, of course.

I remain of the opinion that the Norwegian, whom I’m advised was admonished by his coach during his last court time to communicate with his teammates “in English not Norwegian,” will never be a significant factor for the Cards.

But, he’s a fan favorite. A likeable kid, who is showing a modicum of improvement, “by far, the most improved player on the team” according to The Rick. So, when, in only five minutes of action, he’s 2/2 from the field, 2/2 from the line with 2 boards, one off each glass, notice must be taken.

If Stockman . . . if . . . actually develops into a contributor this season, the sky’s the limit for this team, which will then have a six man frontcourt rotation. Five will do.

Ah, isn’t December great? Munching on one Christmas cupcake after another, visions of sugar plum fairies, dancing across the hardwood. Remember, those cupcakes make you fat.

  * * * * *

The game was, as expected, a farce.

U of L Cardinals 86, Eastern Michigan Eagles 53.

It wasn’t that close.

But there were several legitimate developments of some worth.

Louisville posted a season high 20 assists on 31 made field goals.1 Louisville also had 7 blocks and 11 steals.

Besides hitting 54% from the field, 36% from beyond the arc, the Cards were also stellar at the charity stripe. 16/21, 76%.

The Cardinals had five double figure scorers. Always a good thing. Especially when juxtaposed with last season, when there were any number of games when U of L had only that many, or often less, who scored at all. Thirty four bench points is another indicator of this team’s depth.

Beyond the numbers and the first signs Matz is emerging from his cocoon, the two rookies who took the floor, each made a serious impact.

Donovan Mitchell only scored 5 points in his extensive 28 minute stint. But he was credited with more than a third of the team’s assists, 7; grabbed 6 boards and a couple of steals. More salient, he played like a vet, seeing the court, not pressing the situation when he had the ball. Plus his Griffithian hops were on display more than ever before.

The Cards were fumblin’ and stumblin’ early, up only 9-8. Even though they were really talking on the defensive end.

Immediately upon sure handed Ray Spalding’s entrance at that score, they started to pull away. An RS dunk, an RS rebound, an RS steal, a couple of RS missed FTs and some strong D, and Louisville pulled away 21-13. When he then swished a ten foot J, I declared “I Love Ray Spalding,” jotting it down in my notes.

So I missed his steal on the ensuing Eagle inbound, but looked up in time to watch the resulting RS slam for a dozen point advantage.

I’m a strong believer in the +/- stat. Spalding was +41 on the day. Given that U of L won by 33, the team was outscored by 8 when the Trinity grad wasn’t on the court. He tallied 11, on 4/4 shooting from the field, snared 7 rebounds, blocked 3 shots, had two assists and a couple of steals.


Quentin Snider was sweet. Damion Lewis went ofer the opening half, but still lead Cardinal scorers with 16. Truth be told, all white hats played well, with the exception of Anas Mahmoud.2

* * * * *

Which gives me pause to pose this question: If Deng Adel is all that as much as his teammates and coach say he is, where does he . . . uh . . . fit in?

Alright, just being cute. You can’t have too many good players.3

What is becoming clearer with each of these blowouts (and the Michigan State L) is that this is as deep a Louisville team as, well, arguably ever.

So I ponder yet again, how illuminating it would be, if U of L actually played another team or three with even a modicum of quality before UK and the ACC? Then we’d have a better idea if the burgeoning hope that is rising in the L1C4 Nation is well founded?

So, until the 26th and beyond, what we have is faith only. Faith that this neophyte of a team, made up of a bunch of nice kids who obviously get along, will continue the climb to the top of their upside, and be molded by their HOF coach into the legit national contender it appears anecdotally they are capable of being.

Next up: The 3-8 Kennesaw State Owls, who lost 77-65 to Samford, a school the Cards nudged by 45.

— Seedy K

14 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Eastern Michigan

  1. I am glad to see you acknowledge the contributions of My Man Matz..M3. Perfect from the field, perfect from the line, His production per minute…six point and two boards in just five minutes eclipsed all Cards . Obviously, this kid just needs more playing time. Pitino, in his post game remarks, labeled him Most Improved Player. His value to the team cannot be overstated. So I remind you of our conversation a few weeks past when I predicted this rise to stardom, a prediction you quickly dismissed. The road to the Final Four now goes through Norway.

  2. Big scoop before Entertainment Tonite; Spalding replaces Romano on Everybody Loves……
    See Matz, think Mark Eaton at next level in 4 years

  3. Doc, a cautionary tale regarding your ongoing, some would say relentless, attempt to somehow identify Ray Spalding with Everybody Loves Raymond. When Adam Dunn was patrolling the outfield for the Bats, very slowly, and knocking lots of homers, I nicknamed him
    Big Lumber. Double entendre. Very slow, lumbering. Big bat. I personally thought it the great nickname since Vinegar Bend Mizell. To no avail.

  4. Gentleman, as for Matz, allow me to repeat. He’ll never be a factor of consequence for the Louisville Cardinals. Feel free to mark down the date and time of this declaration, under the delusion that you shall be able to prove me wrong someday.

    1. No dispute. Eaton was not of much value as a Bruin but was more suited to NBA not unlike the slow and slow to develop Felton Spencer

  5. Good work, Marko. You win the award for the first ever reference in these Comments to a Warren Zevon tune.

  6. The Apple Sauce man will make you eat your words. I just hope Nanu comes back next year so he can learn to play without fouling. If he does, I would red shirt the big lefty in 2016-17. By year 5, he may be unstoppable and become the greatest Norwegian hoopster in history.

    Other than your inexplicable inability to see burgeoning Norwegian greatness before your very eyes, you made a number of salient points that I consider to be stellar. Making stellar, salient points should be the goal of each and everyone of your stellar, salient blog entries. Salient, stellar verbiage is hard to come by these days, so keep digging in the thesaurus for a veritable plethora of words with alliterative qualities while you seek to ignore a prodigy developing before your very eyes.

    Go Motts!

  7. FYI:

    salient |ˈsālyənt, -lēənt|
    1 most noticeable or important: it succinctly covered all the salient points of the case.
    • prominent; conspicuous: it was always the salient object in my view.

    stellar |ˈstelər|
    of or relating to a star or stars: stellar structure and evolution.
    • informal featuring or having the quality of a star performer or performers: a stellar cast had been assembled.
    • informal exceptionally good; outstanding: his restaurant has received stellar ratings in the guides.

  8. By, the by, counselor. Your post was neither. Salient nor stellar. And you gave me no credit for the snide aside about that school up the road.

  9. But, was it salacious? Along with salient and stellar, one of the 3 big “S” words in every aspiring sports journalist’s quiver….

    As for your “snide” aside concerning your Kentucky Wildcats, it must have been erased from my tablet. As usual, nothing mal-blue in your articles is ever detectable from my red tinted view. To this point, Skinny Skal (more “S” words?) appears to be the biggest bust in the Cal hyped era, yet on the day after his coming out party, you delve critically at Motts? I feel your comment about the big guy was snarky, at best. (another fine “S” word!)

    What say you about the possibility that the wood choppers’ son displaces Slim Shady in the middle for your Cats? Now that is something an (a)spiring blogger could sink his teeth into…

  10. Counselor, doesn’t your tablet register my always presciant, and far from perfunctory, sidenotes? To this sentence, “Alright, just being cute. You can’t have too many good players.3” there was this sidenote, “3 Unless you’re for the moment undefeated in the national semi final, and your coach doesn’t realize which are really the best of the best, and plays the wrong ones at crunch time.”

    I assume your last question refers to the incoming Kiwi. I haven’t the slightest idea.

    I’d say I’m more an aspirating blogger, than an aspiring one.

  11. You are correct sir…my pod does not show your footnotes. I must check a real computer to glean any criticism of your beloveds.

    As for aspiration, one can only hope Cal and his boys need one on the 26th…Hey, does anybody know what Tony Green is doing that day? Not sure Cal has ever lost at Rupp when Tony is whistling fouls..

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