Category Archives: Basketball

Louisville CardFile: Omaha

So wonderstruck was I with the defense perpetrated by the U of L women’s team in their smashing beatdown of Michigan, I have been extolling the team’s virtues to any and all I’ve encountered who might care a whit about college basketball.

A couple of fans who have been following the distaff Cardinals through the years more intensely than I have admonished me to curb my enthusiasm somewhat. “It’s still early,” they caution, “let’s see what happens against Oregon and later in the year when Duke and Notre Dame come to town.”

Suggestion taken to heart.

With that in mind, I have taken to warn myself not to run and pull every alarm I see, not to call the Haz Mat squad, after watching the most disappointing performance by the U of L men in memory.

The descriptor starting with a “d” that’s probably more apt is “disgusting.”

From the Summit League, far from one that immediately comes to mind when considering college hoops, the conference bottom-dwelling Mavericks were 0-3 coming into the Yum!. They’d lost by 9, by 19 and by 32. For an average margin of defeat of 20 ppg. They had given up 89,108 and 103. That’s 100 ppg.

They were averaging 19.3 turnovers, ranking them 330th in the country.

Which, though they played last night like Peyton Manning was audibling their name toward victory, is to provide empirical statistical data that Omaha is, let us be kind how we say it, not a very good basketball team.

Neither are the University of Louisville Cardinals. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Omaha

Distaff CardFile: U of L Bashes Michigan

I am not an expert on women’s hoops.

Which doesn’t mean I’m shy about weighing in on Louisville’s dominating takedown of Michigan in the WNIT semi-finals.

74-49 was the final.

It wasn’t that close.

Even though the Cards were down 32-37 at halftime.

Then the Cards went all Charles Dickens on their prey. You know, a tale of two halves, the worst of times, the best of times.

Continue reading Distaff CardFile: U of L Bashes Michigan

Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

There’s a singular question/ complaint I’ve heard way more than any other this week.

And I suppose, bless her heart, it’s all Asia Durr’s fault. Interest in the women’s team has rocketed skyward, after her school record scoring blast last Sunday.

“How come there’s no story in The Courier-Journal about the U of L women’s game?” (I’m hangin’ on the “The” and hyphen, though I don’t know why.)

“The paper didn’t even run the box score of Louisville’s win at Ohio State.”

Etc, etc, etc.

While the once great newspaper has some reporters that are good, are professional and care about getting the stories and reporting them, both in the sports department and on the news side, the C J sucks.

It is full of typos. What news there is, for the most part, is sparse. It is as if Gannett doesn’t want you to buy and read the paper edition. I haven’t subscribed for years. It is seriously sad.

It’s become bird cage liner.

The paper covers the men and football and UK pretty well, Louisville FC, but that’s about it for sports. The web site administrators seem hell bent on cornering the market on pop up ads.

As for women’s sports, others too, if you’re a Cardinal fan, head to, the school’s site. There will always be some stories, and the box scores. And, I’ll always be around here at for pithy commentary, and at Mike Rutherford’s, which covers the U of L scene with a gangsta lean.

 * * * * *

Interesting doings down Arkansas way that could possibly affect U of L. Continue reading Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

Louisville CardFile: (George) Mason

Oh how very appropriate was U of L’s fitful, opening game triumph over (George) Mason, 72-61.

The situation was dire most of the afternoon, and still in doubt with a minute and a half until the buzzer. Given all that’s going on, all the questions about the program and this season’s prospects, it was just fitting that the Cards needed to dig deep, show some grit and gut out the W against the feisty visitors.

Of the many questions that need to be answered, some were and some weren’t. Such as it always is after opening tipoff.

 * * * * *

Favorite Moment #1:

Mason (And I purposely leave off the George, because their SID provided game notes left off the George. I guess it’s a rebranding thing.) was forced to call a halt to play with 8:53 left. At the moment they were down 46-49, after playing ahead most of the game.

Not so many ticks before, at the 12:01 mark to be exact, the Patriots forged ahead 46-40 on their ninth layup of the tilt.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: (George) Mason

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. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Bellarmine

Louisville CardFile: Kentucky Wesleyan

Finally, thankfully, the Cards hit the hardwood against guys other than themselves.

The scoreboard indicated a 37 point decimation of DII Wesleyan, a result of minor consequence.

The optics revealed more.

Despite disturbing defensive lapses against the overmatched Panthers, there was an encouraging fluidity at the offensive end.

Plus a sense of legitimate cohesion, which bodes well for this stressed-out squad’s chances of success.

The stalwart stewardship of the team’s trio of leaders is evident. But should not be surprising all matters considered. Anas Mahmoud. Deng Adel. And the homie Quentin Snider. Their histories have provided a bracing maturity, perspective and a solid foundation for this team’s direction.

Mahmoud, from Egypt, an experienced traveler, understands political turmoil far more encompassing and life threatening than an athletic department in disarray. Adel, who with his family, escaping the chaos of homeland Sudan through Uganda, eventually to the relative calm of Australia then to the States, understands there are more important matters in life than improving his ball handling. Q, bearing the weight of his town, longed to be a Cardinal, felt rejected, looked elsewhere, then persevered.

So, beyond the Xs and 0s and whether this group is quick enough of foot to play man to man, last night’s first foray provided more than mere hints, but actual empirical evidence that this team will give its all amid the adversity surrounding the program.

That’s what I was looking for last night. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kentucky Wesleyan

Bright Lights Beckon: David Padgett, Come on Down

he University of Louisville has an interim basketball coach.

One has to wonder, is David Padgett ready in his first gig as a head coach to step into the kleig lights that shine upon he who is roaming the sideline of a national contender.

Lou Gehrig, now there’s a guy ready to carpe diem, and carpe diem, and carpe diem. On June 1, 1925, baseball’s greatest trivia answer Wally Pipp wasn’t fit to take the field. Gehrig played first for that and the next 2,130 Yankee games.

On August 13, 1919, Upset was ready. On the Saratoga race course, the thoroughbred handed heralded Man o’ War the only defeat of his career, thereby cementing the victor’s name forever in the sports lexicon.

And Cardinal fans are certainly sure that Luke Hancock was prepared for center stage on April 8, 2013. U of L was down double digits to Michigan in the national title game. Luke knocked down a trey. Then another. Then another. Then another. After an exclamation point go ahead breakaway slam, “Just like that, in the blink of an eye, Louisville comes from 12 back and takes the lead.”

Yet rising to the occasion is never a given. Continue reading Bright Lights Beckon: David Padgett, Come on Down

Cardnal Hoops: I’m Ready for the Holiest of Seasons to Begin

Boil boil toil and trouble notwithstanding, this moment of this year, as it has done for decades of years, has turned me into a seven year old.

Morphed back into the kid who went to his first U of L game at the Armory with his parents, and had to ask his dad why every once in awhile the action stopped and one of the players got to shoot at the basket while the others just watched. The kid whose mom would get so stressed when the games were tight, she’d get up and walk the halls of Freedom Hall until the Cards pulled it out. Or not.

This is the time of year, the beginning of Cardinal basketball, the season’s opening tipoff, that is sacrament.

Now more than ever, it’s time for the faithful to gather, to worry about Anas’s jump hook not how he and his teammates are dealing with peripheral turmoil and seismic change.

It’s a new dawn. Turn the page.

The first exhi is Monday against Kentucky Wesleyan.

Not a moment too soon for all who care.  Continue reading Cardnal Hoops: I’m Ready for the Holiest of Seasons to Begin

Seedy K’s Scrimmage Scribbles

The times they are changin’.

I didn’t take long Friday evening for yet another confirmation that it’s a new dawn for Cardinal hoops.

The first vision when walking into the Media Room before the game was U of L Basketball Heritage on display. A trio of guys from the glory days chatting each other up.

Roger Burkman. The vision of that game winning jumper against #11 Florida State in the ’77 Metro Tourney title game always brings a smile.

Jerry Jones. The loyal, solid second banana during the halcyon days of U of L hoops.

And Hall of Fame, two-time NCAA champion mentor, cool-handed Denny Crum.

His name’s on the court, his visage is in the rafters, he is beloved by the faithful and has been close to the university, but, to the best of my memory, I’ve never seen Denny in the Media Room since his retirement.

Let’s just say his relationship with Tom Jurich and his successor has been . . . uneasy . . . and I’ll leave it at that.  Continue reading Seedy K’s Scrimmage Scribbles

Trent Johnson Named Cardinal Hoops Assistant

During the few moments when I’m able to move on from depression over the state of U of L Men’s Basketball, I can summon the perspective that the situation is as fascinating as it is sad.

Off the court, there’s the NC2A sanctions surely over the horizon, recruiting woes and the curiosity what Rick Pitino will say when he finally talks, because I’ve been around him enough to know he’s dying to be heard. And will break his silence, no matter what legal advice he’s getting.

On the court, there’s wondering about how David Padgett’s going to be as the new Coach P, whether the players will respect and respond to him as they have for his predecessor?

There’s also been conjecture about when and how many new assistants there will be on staff? And who they’ll be?

Padgett: “There’s no shortage of interest.”

That conjecture itself has been intriguing to consider and talk about. I’ve had any number of conversations in the last week about the situation. A constant thread has been the suggestion that former Cardinals will be tapped to fill the spot(s).

Here’s a partial list of names that have been posited to me during verbal back and forths with fellow Cardinal fans. Denny Crum, an octogenarian for heavens’ sake, who just had a stroke. Butch Beard. Jerry Eaves. Kyle Kuric. Rodney McCray. Peyton Siva. To name a few.

To all of which suggestions, I’ve offered a counterpoint. Those are fans’ thoughts. Padgett’s going to choose folks he’s comfortable with, not some members of the Cardinal family for families sake.  Continue reading Trent Johnson Named Cardinal Hoops Assistant