Louisville CardFile: Notre Dame

At some point not long into the 2d half of another loss, when U of L was displaying some sense of soul, that it wouldn’t just literally lay down, I was grasping at a descriptor for what was happening.

I guess the push sort of started when resurgent Jae’Lyn Withers netted to cut the Irish lead to single digits. Then a stop. Then a triple by, oh my . . . it really was JJ Traynor. He, the long lost guy I didn’t immediately recognize who grabbed an offensive rebound a few possessions earlier when back for PT in the first time since the 12th of Never.

“Fight” seemed a little too generous at that juncture.

After all, Notre Dame, ACC leader such as the Irish may be, is not a juggernaut by any means. Especially without one of their main guys, sitting injured on the bench.

“Spirited” is the word I jotted down, while wondering as I had throughout why I was still taking relatively copious game notes? When the plotline for this season is more obvious than the end for Dr. No or Ernest Blofeld against Bond, James Bond.

But Louisville continued to come. In spite of itself, I feel compelled to add.

A few steals. A couple of offensive boards. Some follow scores. A sighting of grit. All of which resulted in a 12-2 run.

A friend texted, “WTF just happened?”

With 6:14 left, the University of Louisville Cardinals had 55 points, the Irish, a penny less.

 * * * * *

Before a quick exposition of what happened next, let me relate the gist of my halftime conversation with Smart Guy.

As I started the call, I had to ask, “You watching the game?”

Of course, he was. Like me, he’s a lifer. Like me, he can’t not watch.

He was my sports editor decades ago at the Cardinal.

“I need some help here, Mr. Former Editor. How do I write about this? Can you help me with a hook?”

After our back and forth lamentations about our beloved Cardinals, which took up the entirety of intermission, as we were hanging up, he suggested, “Here’s what you can write:

“Just say you realized when trying to write your game story that you had something in common with the Cards.

“That neither of you has a clue.”

 * * * * *

Which is what I came back to after that wafer thin, almost to be illusory U of L advantage evaporated rapidly.

Louisville thwarted the Irish immediately after the timeout, on a Dre Davis block and tough D preventing a score after.

The Cards misfired twice on the ensuing possession, missing an opportunity for some distance.

After Withers fourth foul, the Irish knotted it at 55.

Then the cluelessness that seems to overwhelm any other character trait of this edition of the Cards prevailed.

On the next possession, with a couple of Cards  on the court who are hitting just about 40% on threes, it was another who fired away from beyond the arc with enough time on the shot clock. to keep moving the ball.

No string music, just discord.

Then it all fell apart. As any reasonable observer of this disheveled, under-coached Louisville team would know would happen.

Bad sets. Bad decisions. Turnovers. Jacked up shots.

ND ran off eight straight.

Ball game.

Louisville is traveling in alien territory that no Cardinal contingent has hasn’t visited in decades.

The good news . . . I suppose . . . is the Cards don’t play again for a week.

Not that it matters.

— c d kaplan


5 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Notre Dame

  1. Five guys in a canoe. Two paddling backwards, one paddling forward, one didn’t paddle much at all and the guy in front wants to jack up a three.
    Rotate crew.

  2. Unwatchable. That McMains Offense is something, isn’t it? Plus, players fall out of favor in seemingly random fashion. Who transfers out?

  3. I cannot tell you how frustrated I was watching our “offense” with 4 non-making 3 point “shooters” (not “makers”) languishing still as the night outside the 3-point line, watching the other 1/5th of our “offense” jack up a three or tom-tom the ball into oblivion. No movement. At all.

    Still ND, our new league leader, was so ineffectual (or maybe, disengaged because of our innate inadequacies) that the Irish permitted us to get back into the game and take the lead. Of course, this was followed by a six-minute period of classic offensive and defensive incompetence that was a true reflection of this squads stupefying ineptitude.

    The only way we were going to win this one was to lull the Irish to sleep and catch them at the wire. I knew when we went up by one with 6+ to go that we had used up any chance we had to win as we played our “hand” too soon in the middle of that stretch and let Bray’s troops resettle and pull away for the win.

    And the offense, as usual, was only 1/2 the problem. The lack of effort displayed by our captain on defense was alarming. It seemed as if nursing home residents on walkers could blow by our “best” player. Get into a defensive stance at least. Geeze.

    His alter ego must have picked up some tips from him because Curry’s post defense was laughable in the 3-4 minutes he earned last night. I guess he was mad that Cappy W. was reinstated and wanted to show that he could be just as uninterested in winning as is number 5.

    Last, our one offensive “spark”, the one I call Five Guys because of his desire to drive head-long into traffic, or shoot unbalanced 27 foot 3 pointers, decided that he also could join the legion of non-defenders. How someone with the athletic gifts of LLS can get beat so often and so easily on defense is mind blowing.

    Thanks for letting me have an outlet for my frustration.

  4. My fellow commenters as well.as Seedy seem simply overwhelmed by this continuing and raging ineptitude and mental malaise exhibited by this group.
    Never have so many felt so bad about so few. Who ever the new coach may be, I don’t envy him.

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