Category Archives: Basketball

Games That Never Came: U of L vs UK 3/13/82

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This is the fourth installment  of a here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration featuring what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

The Dream Game was truly epic.

Despite three national crowns, it remains their favorite basketball game ever, in the minds of many long time fans.

At least that’s how it’s fondly remembered and rehashed by Louisville Cardinal faithful.

Winner to the Final Four.

Close proximity of Knoxville.

A stand alone NCAA game with no fans of other teams in the building.

Denny vs. The Beasmon back and forth.

Decades of pent-up longing.

And the delayed reality that it was finally coming about. After the Wildcats beat IU. And the Cards survived Arkansas.

And after two previous near misses in the Dance. Continue reading Games That Never Came: U of L vs UK 3/13/82

Monday Musings: Satt & Speed, Harrell & Helmets +

When Scott Satterfield was handed the reins to U of L football, I went and perused videos of App State games, when he was coaching there. Including the famous W in the Big House over mighty Michigan.

(Which, trivia note, happened to be the first game ever televised on the Big Ten Network.)

What struck me about those Mountaineer squads was how many really fast footballers played for them.

Which is why I knew immediately and intuitively that Tutu Atwell was going to be the focus of the offense. Every once in awhile, I get it right.

And is why I took notice of this recent proclamation by the Cardinal coach: “Tyler Harrell is the fastest player I’ve ever timed in my career.”

Which is why one must assume we’ll see the redshirt soph from Miami targeted early and often this season, starting in the Chicken Sandwich with a Pickle Kickoff opener, against the Johnny Rebs.

 * * * * *

Speaking of football, which by the by is only a bit more than a month away, here’s some minutiae. Which I can pass along, thanks to the obsessiveness of a college football fanatic named Blaise D’Sylva. Continue reading Monday Musings: Satt & Speed, Harrell & Helmets +

Hump Day Hustle: Nwora, Davis, Vax & Layla

How about my main man?

My most favoritist Louisville Cardinal hoopster . . . ever? Well, almost.

Anyway, add this to Jordan Nwora’s resumé: NBA Champion.

Good for him.

Go Dude!

 * * * * *

Speaking of former U of L Cards who hit the jackpot.

How about Henry Davis?

The #1 pick in the MLB Draft signed on to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a cool $6.5 million.

Brother, can you loan me a dime? Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: Nwora, Davis, Vax & Layla

Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This is the third installment  of a here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration featuring what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

Most always lost in the lament over the extremely disappointing final weeks and eventual meltdown of the ’78-’79 men’s hoops season is the intriguing encounter ahead, had the Cards not lost to Arkansas to end their season.

The Louisville Legend vs. Larry Legend.

Dr. Dunkenstein and mates against The Hick from French Lick and his fella Hoosiers.

The Cardinals would have battled Larry Bird and the undefeated Sycamores of Indiana State, in that school’s first Dance ever, for the opportunity to compete in their fourth Final Four, third of the Denny Crum Era.

But, history books chronicle how that campaign ended with the proverbial whimper, not a bang.

On the morning of February 9, Louisville stood 21-3 after besting Tulane in New Orleans for a 16th W in a row. The Cardinals were ranked #5 in the country by Associated Press. Continue reading Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Hump Day Hustle: The A B C Ds of U of Ldom

Yeah it’s Thursday, not Hump Day as we have  traditionally come to know it.

Hey, I just got my full rant on. So, deal with it. Blame it on the NIL if you like. Borrow somebody’s new iPhone and call someone who cares.

Now, getting to it.

 * * * * *

A is for Aspect.

As in mine. My point of view. My perspective.

Specifically to give context to my opinonating about the Butch Beard stuff. Which, obviously, comes next, under, you guessed it, the B section.

As with all matters that deal with racial issues — which this does, Beard’s denials to Bob Valvano notwithstanding — I need to explain my viewpoint.

I am an elderly Caucasian, with enough sense to understand, I cannot for a nanosecond pretend to know what it’s like to grow up with black skin. Or, know how that would affect my world view. Such is obviously alien to my life experience.

I can listen. I can attempt to understand, but I cannot truly empathize.

So, that’s where my soapbox is situated.

 * * * * *

B is for Butch Beard. Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: The A B C Ds of U of Ldom

Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration features what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

If you have any suggestions, put them in the Comments section below.

First up, the national championship tilt, Jeff Walz’s women’s basketball squad never played against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2018.

March 30, 2018. Columbus, Ohio.

The U of L Cards suffered a serious setback, down 2, with 2:42 to play in the national semi-final against Mississippi State.

Eye of the Tiger pivot Sam Fuerhing didn’t like a call. She slapped the floor in disgust and frustration. The T was her 5th. DQ.

The Bulldogs converted both charity tosses, for a four point advantage. Continue reading Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Going full PTI on you, let’s play, “What’s the Word?”

The first category from our producer?

“Fans of University of Louisville Men’s Athletics are _______?”

OK, then let’s not beat around the bush, and get immediately to the toughie.

“Unsettled?”

“Perturbed?”

“Frustrated?”

“Gnarly?” (OK, that was just one surfer wannabe I saw wandering through the park with a U of L shirt on.)

“Pissed?”

Let’s just settle on this. Anecdotally from conversations with many longtime faithful I’ve chatted up in the last little while, the word that comes to mind, in addition to all the above, is “Unhappy!”

 * * * * *

I’ve had a couple of very recent conversations in which I’ve heard not very flattering reflections about U of L’s sports administration. Continue reading Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Sports, TV & the Obsessive Guy

The deities sent a message.

I’m talking the triumvirate of Naismithius, Greek God of Hoops, Bronconagurskius, Greek God of Pigskin, and Ilovelucyia, the Greek Goddess of TV.

The message, as passively aggressively as it was presented:

You are watching too much sports on television. It’s time to get out of the house.

How do I know that’s what they are telling me?

Because . . . there’s an annoying glitch in the signal of the four ESPN stations on my telly. It does not exist on any other channel. An annoyance really.

But one that Ms. Roboanswer couldn’t fix with a reset ting-a-ling, or a power down power up.

Nor could Service Guy #1 remedy the situation on Visit #1. So the unresolved issue has been “escalated.” Or, maybe, it’s “elevated.” Whatever, Service Guy #2 on Visit #2 arrives tomorrow morning. Continue reading Sports, TV & the Obsessive Guy

Hump Day Hustle: Ch . . . Ch . . . Ch . . . Changes!

Now, as we bid a sad adieu to long time Cardinal fan favorite QB Luke McCaffery, let’s take a deep dive into his highlights in the red and black:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean really, the memories, so many memories, they boggle the mind. What a career here.

It was, allow me to be brutally honest, really difficult to pick and choose.

I’m sure that CardChronicle.com pigskin guru Keith Wynne will weigh in soon. He’ll have a more astute analysis.

The whole transfer portal thing is wacky enough. And, truly hard for us old school guys to take a liking to.

But this, this is the reality of the current state of affairs in its most severe form.

Mobility reigns.

The kid couldn’t win the job at Nebraska. Transferred to U of L under the delusion he’d immediately become the top dog signal caller. Then, before ever taking to the practice field, realized that wasn’t the case. Nor, obviously it appears, does he have the gumption to try and work for the job.

Luke, got a suggestion for you: Missouri State.

Oh yeah, sayonara. So long, it’s been swell to know ya.

 * * * * *

So, I gots to ask this about Donovan Mitchell.

How come at U of L we never saw this transcendent player he’s become — one of, oh, the ten best in the NBA?

He averaged 7.4 and just under a couple of assists per game as a freshman, on the team that purposely sat out the tourney, per the school prexy. As a soph, he was leading scorer at 15.6, on a 25-9 team that captured U of L’s last NCAA W, a first rounder over Jacksonville State.

But he wasn’t, you know, the Donovan Mitchell who’s taken the NBA by storm, averaging 20.5 ppg and 3.7 apg and 3.7 rpg as a rookie. Increasing those numbers every single season.

Three 45 point playoff performances. Putting him in rare territory.

So, yeah, I wanna know?

Is he simply a late developer? A kid who didn’t discover his mojo until he donned a Jazz jersey?

Or, was he handcuffed as a collegian, by his coach, who advised him he wasn’t ready to play for pay?

Asking for a friend?

 * * * * *

Read a great article today about all the changes in college hoops, and how schools are having to change and add to their staffs.

Analytical experts.

Marketing savants.

Specialized recruiting authorities. For prepsters and portal dwellers.

It’s a whole new game. As if you haven’t noticed.

Which is one of the reasons, I’ve become totally comfortable with Chris Mack’s staff changes.

The idea of Ross McMains is growing on me.

Seems like a bold move.

If it doesn’t work out, we’ll just push him in the portal.

— c d kaplan

U of L Cards have Owned Coach K

The abrupt missive got right to the point.

No words were minced.

It came from the umbrella hoops writer’s association, to which I hope to keep my membership. BABBLE (Basketball America Back Benchers for Literary Excellence).

It was personally signed by organization prexy, Naismith Chamberlain, the only man known to be descended from both the inventor of the game and Wilt the Stilt.

Serious credentials, those. Not to mention, his mentor was Dick “Hoops” Weiss.

Dear Mr. Kaplan:

It comes to our attention that it has been 127 hours since the first reports that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire after the 21-22 season.

You have yet to write an article about the situation. This is a serious breach of organizational protocol.

Should you fail to do so before the end of the next business day, your membership in BABBLE shall be suspended, pending permanent dismissal.

(S) Naismith Chamberlain

Well then, I’d best get to it. Continue reading U of L Cards have Owned Coach K