Louisville CardFile: Southern

Before we get to a discussion of the Cards improved performance in a 50 point rout of #343 Southern, I feel compelled to comment on the three fellows who turned this into the most boring couple of hours — or me anyway — since I attempted to watch on Netflix the new Orson Welles release, “The Other Side of the Wind.”

It is the zebras to whom I refer. A.J. Desai. Tony Chiazza. Jeffrey Anderson.

As they blew whistle after whistle after whistle after whistle, throwing in a replay review now and again and again to ensure there was no flow to the game, I wondered if they hadn’t been watching “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” before the game.

“Just whistle while you work/ And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place.”

I mean, come on, guys. 65 fouls. A third of them on the offensive end. (Which, in context, was arguably a blessing. Otherwise, we’re talking 80-90 FTs, instead of a mere 64.) I know, the opener against Nicholls State was bad, but this seemed even more laborious.

Fortunately, this is so far U of L’s best performing gang at the charity stripe in years. The Cardinals were 31/39 against the Jags, which is but a smidge under 80%.

Those three Least Valuable Players in the stripped shirts turned the game into a wearisome slog. Shame on ’em.

(For contrast, take the threesome who worked the harum scarum up and down back and forth frolic that was Georgetown’s entertaining 88-80 W at Illinois. Pat Driscoll, Paul Szelc and John Gaffney were judicious with their foul calls, never impeding the play unnecessarily. What a pleasure that was to watch after the Cards took care of their biz.)

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Let’s hear it for the Cardinals’ Animal Ball mentality.

That’s what Chris Mack advised he was trying to instill in the run up to this tilt.

He called the defensive effort “a huge step forward.”

On offense, he was happy his charges kept moving the ball. They adhered to his admonition “Don’t stop the music.”

All the Cards were significantly more aggressive with the ball. Save one exception. But I’m not going to name names, hoping this key cog in U of L’s plan for the season comes around. Hopefully soon.

Mack specifically mentioned the efforts of Akoy Agau (7 rebounds) and Ryan McMahon, the latter for his defensive effort. RM also dished out 6 assists to lead the team.

Of Jordan Nwora, who could very well turn out to be a serious weapon as an energizing 6th Man, Mack praised his O, but underscored that the forward “needs to play better defense.” He was beaten baseline at least a couple of times.

When this kid, who has a proverbial “nose for the ball,” learns to go full bore at both ends all the time, watch out. In addition to his team high 20 points, he had 7 rebounds, three offensive, two steals and a block.

 * * * * *

Malik Williams continues to show grit and improvement.

He stole the ball on his first defensive possession, then tallied underneath on his first touch off the bench on the offensive end. At the 13:00 minute mark of the 1st, he lost the ball, but immediately went to the floor to retrieve it, getting fouled in the process of the hustle.

The Gruesome Threesome also hung a Flagrant 1 on Williams after a lengthy review for a “Hook and Hold,” which is apparently some new point of emphasis this season. Looked like classic old school jostling for position to me.

Williams numbers were nice. 17 points in 18 minutes. 5/7 from the field. 7/11 at the line 5 boards. More impressive his exertion, and steady ascendency to becoming a major force off the pine.

We often invoke the cliché about ballers “letting the game come to them.” That it’s a good thing.

So, let us now praise Darius Perry. For most of the tilt, he played his usual in your face D, and didn’t force anything when Louisville had the ball. Then came that flurry late, when he hit a couple of triples and a deuce with his foot on the arc.

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Bottom line: U of L improved significantly both from and energy and execution standpoint from the opener. The Cards did what they were supposed to do against one of the worst teams in the land. Though they are far from where they need to be.

Especially as the schedule becomes significantly more difficult, starting Friday against always tough Vermont.

It is what is known as a gauntlet. After the Catamounts, come #5 Tennessee, #2 Kansas or #24 Marquette, #11 Michigan State and a visit to Seton Hall. Coming thereafter before the year turns, mingled with a few “breathers,” are #10 UK and #27 IU in Bloomington.

It has been literally decades — in the Denny Crum years — since Louisville faced such a daunting early, non-conference slate.

 * * * * *

I hate not being in the gym for these games.

Given my post op knee rehab schedule, it will probably be at least a month before I’m able to get back to the Yum!.

It’s even worse when I’m forced to watch the games on computer. The feed is jerky, whether on my hardwired iMac or wireless MacBook Air. Because it is uncomfortable to sit in any one place for long, I need to switch back and forth.

(I know, all God’s children got problems. Bear with me while I vent a bit. Please.)

It’s not that I don’t love Kent Taylor and Jody Demling, both good guys, but there’s nothing like being in the House.

One thing I did notice last night, while switching back and forth between screens is how the timing of the feed shifted. Sometime the laptop was a few seconds ahead, then it would switch. Thought that back and forth kind of odd.

The other weirdness of the feed (ACCN on ESPN3 or ESPN+ ????), is that, during timeouts, there would be different commercials on each of my devices.

None of which effluvia has anything whatsoever to do with the game. But it was so tedious, I was looking for anything to keep my attention.

Friday: Vermont.

— Seedy K


5 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Southern

  1. Jordan, may end up being my target of criticism this season, as Very Generous King I have just accepted as being a turnover prone leading man in need of a stunt man to provide the action rather than the pose. Nwora’s defensive footwork is miserable, and all the preening to the crowd after made baskets and then trying to catch up to the guy he is supposed to be defending is rough on a kid without fleet feet at the start.
    I am pleased with Malik and Steve trying big man moves, and I am coaching will teach them to “sit down” and make a very hard and short dribble with the drop step as the go across the lane or take baseline, rather than an upright waist high one hand dribble. The might try to find film/tape of Rod or Scooter putting down a forceful dribble (thrown with two hands) about a foot off the floor while stretching the lead leg across with defender on their back or hip.

  2. For some reason (perhaps because I failed to discern any $2,000-$3,000 hand shakes at the opener) I raced to the Yum last night from the airport to see the Cards play this miserable collection of miscreants posing as college basketball players.

    I arrived at halftime as dozens, if not hundreds, of fans were pouring into the streets to avoid watching the foul fest that was taking place inside. Once the second half started, I could only think back to a fight call from the late Howard Cosell during which he continually screamed, “Stop the fight” as I believe a later-day Joe Frazier was taking it much too often on the chin.

    Or, maybe I decided to attend because of the “generous” offer to reduce season ticket prices next year for all of those willing to waste time on a regular basis to watch debacles such as last nights and relish the opportunity to pay $13.50 for a sandwich and $9.00 for a beer to wash it down.

    Or, perhaps I rushed downtown to celebrate/mourn the passing of our late, great football coach and his family as we strive to hire another celebrated Cardinal football luminare who will also probably employ every other similarly named person as a coach in some capacity if he accepts millions of dollars to lead our charges next year.

    What I got out of last nights effort was that D.Perry may be pretty darn good, but the rest of the team better not rely upon their good looks if we play any team with a pulse. Of course, I didn’t get to see JN’s first half explosion of 13(?) points. But the rest of the team seems to consist of a bunch of plumbers that can hopefully excel if our new coach can pull lots of rabbits out of his hat.

    Maybe I am just down and out concerning the state of college/UofL sports right now, but the treat of going to the games has escaped me. And, apparently has been lost on many others if the empty seats are any indication.

    Oh, I long for the days of the “…thrills and pageantry of college basketball…” to reemerge in my synapse(s). I just hope I don’t have to blow out a limb like you did to really miss it.

  3. “…the harum scarum up and down back and forth frolic that was Georgetown’s entertaining 88-80 W at Illinois.” Thanks, Seedy! It was a fun game; glad you caught some of it. Jesse… cat’s got potential. One of the first fun games I’ve seen the Hoyas play in a while.

    I dislike the ACCN-whatever feed. But enjoyed watching Sutton and Cunningham, too. Patient is required with this year’s model, as you astutely state often, and it will be fun to watch the squad develop. Coach Mack has my attention and respect.

    Poor guy.

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