Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

Updated 11/08 6:25 am

About midpoint of the second half, right around the time that Bellarmine coach Scotty Davenport put on display his oft appearing sideline immaturity by getting a T called after berating a ref, when Deng Adel clanked two of four free throw opportunities just seconds after making a stirring reverse slam on a drive from the right corner (one of the few times he drove the ball without losing his dribble), right about then, when U of L’s mediocrity had been on display as if in tape loop for 30 minutes of action, I jotted this down in my game notes:


(Yes I printed it, not cursive, all caps, exclamation point.)

It wasn’t just that Adel proved for all his incredible athletic prowess that he still can’t be trusted dribbling the rock. He committed high 5 turnovers. Or that VJ King’s decision making is still suspect. He also committed 5 turnovers. Or that their team high 21 and 14 points respectively seemed, I dunno, less that satisfying.

It wasn’t simply that U of L gave it away 20 times, and, not working the ball crisply on offense like the Wesleyan tilt, only had 11 assists. Or that the Cards only had three blocks and three steals against its smaller, lesser crosstown DII foe. Or that the slower but more savvy Knights had at least ten wide open layups on the night.

Or that Ray Spalding, after a more fiery effort last week, resorted to last season’s passivity.

Or that, so underwhelming was Louisville, David Padgett still had starters in until the end.

Or that the question Cardinal fans shall be asking themselves and each other all season popped into my head and likely yours several times during the grind, and in my case, again in the car on the way home: What would this team be like if Rick Pitino were still around?

So, yes, it’s early. The regular season doesn’t even open until Sunday afternoon. David Padgett is still getting his sea legs. And my faltering memory tells me that complaining about Louisville’s unsatisfactory performances in these exhis is an annual ritual.

Still there’s a nagging feeling that something’s out of kilter.

Maybe it’s that there’s no Hall of Famer on the sideline, for the first time at U of L since 1971. Though that could certainly change. Neither Denny or The Rick were HoF when they first took the reigns here. But both had been head coaches before.

Yeah, I know I’m wandering around in the wilderness aimlessly. I’m just as curious about my destination with this as you are.

It’s simply that, I suppose, after the Bellarmine game,  I’m more worried the Cardinals’ prospects than I was a week ago.

The visions of all those wide open lay ups by the Panthers and the Knights haunt me. If the Cards don’t tighten up, Grayson Allen might set a Blue Devil scoring record when the Cards visit Cameron Indoor in February.

 * * * * *

I liked Jordan Nwora’s 8 point, 8 rebound, no turnover first half. And Q’s 3/1 assist/turnover ratio. And Anas Mahmoud’s 11 boards.

I acknowledge I’m always the pessimist.

I pray that these early missteps are but growing pains for a team still turned sidewise by events beyond their control, adapting to a new coach, who is on a steep learning curve himself.

We’ll find out soon enough.

We start keeping score on Sunday afternoon when George Mason comes a callin’.

— Seedy K

3 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

  1. Cards’ angles on their passing game contributed to turnovers; they weren’t too sharp. Knights denial of paint hurt, but the ability to adjust to such pressure will be a litmus test for this “turned sideways” squad. I am not entirely optimistic about this year’s model. (Like you, Seedy, I am a perpetual hardwood pessimist.

  2. Two score and eighteen years ago I start watching Louisville Basketball. In November and part of December the play has always been like the Bellarmine Game.I believe we lost 2 out of 3 in ’85/86?

  3. A bit late, but I would like to offer a few observations: One, there WAS something missing: Donovan Mitchell. Two, when the coach tells you the opponent is really good, you need to listen to him. According to what I read, the pre-season NABC poll puts Bellarmine at …third in the nation. Wesleyan was 25th. Bellarmine is a good team. If they were D1 , they would certainly be 35-40. Last, I don’t give much thought to WWRD. But if I had to, I would venture that Bellarmine might have won. Rick would have been so incensed over a bad pass here, an incorrect screen there, that he would have pulled his experienced players in the second half and we would end up with Sutton, Perry, Nwora, Spaulding and Snider on the floor with Bellarnine cutting and laying it in at will. If you couldn;t play defense, you sat on Rick’s bench but this year we seem to FINALLY have a team that’s capable of out-scoring the opponent. Let the games begin.

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