Category Archives: Basketball

U of L CardFile: Clemson

This is being written very late for me after the 9:00 o’clock game. If there are typos, be gentle, I’ll correct in the morning. First correction 1/31 6:54 am. Second edit 1/31 7:50 am.

“Certain to happen.”

That’s the first listed definition of the adjective inevitable.

The question I asked myself at the moment was whether something could become more inevitable?

I like words, but can’t claim to be a semantician.

So, I’ll say yes. At least here.

The Kenny Payne era will end after this campaign. (Yes, I’ve felt that for awhile, but this seemed an exclamation point.)

The moment came at the 17:31 mark of the 2d. The Cards were down 23-39. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Clemson

U of L CardFile: Virginia

No, David Lee Roth, I am not hot for teacher.

At least not this one.

But, the word I’ve used to describe Louisville basketball against Tony Bennett basketball since the Cards joined the ACC is “schooled.”

Even a former Card mentor now in the Big East had little success. That Mango W was luck.

So, yeah, even from a historical perspective, U of L has just not been very good against the Cavaliers. (Ever. Even before Bennett actually. In the glory days of the early 80s, Louisville was ofer, and can thank its ’82 Final Four appearance to UAB upending the Cavs in the regional semi.)

The lack of success against Thomas Jefferson’s school is historical.

It was hysterical what transpired during the opening stanza Saturday noon in UVa’s eventual   69-52 victory.

The Cards first score came at the 14:15 mark on a couple Mike James freebies.

At 11-0, the victors had 8 points in the paint and a triple. U of L had four turnovers. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Virginia

U of L CardFile: Duke

Tis a fascinating statistic, if, frankly, signifying nothing relevant in a fairly uninteresting ACC encounter that played out pretty much as one might have realistically expected beforehand.

The Duke Blue Devils bested Louisville’s Cardinals 83-69 at the Yum! Tuesday night.

A basketball game between a couple of the foremost college basketball programs since the mid 20th Century featured nary a single fastbreak basket.

None by the victors.

None by the vanquished.

I just find that interesting. A curiosity.

Other than that, what is there to say?

This is not Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils.

This is not Denny Crum’s or Rick Pitino’s or Peck Hickman’s or even John Dromo’s Cardinals.

This was not Dallas in ’86.

This was not Indy in ’13.

This was, at least for this guy, meh. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Duke

U of L CardFile: Wake Forest

Though he’s far from the only hoops fan who has uttered it more than once, The Professor would offer it up through the decades until it became cliché.

“You look good when you make your shots.”

How’s that other cliché go, “There’s an exception to every rule.” Something to that effect.

So, let’s pick a random moment from yet another “battle” when Louisville fell behind early, and never caught up. This time out, never making a run.

How about at the 7:26 stoppage before the final buzzer. At which point, the Cards had drained 50% of their shots.

And were down a mere 25 points at 55-80.

Which was the margin at 00:00: Wake Forest 90, Louisville 65.

It was never a ball game. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Wake Forest

U of L CardFile: North Carolina

Should I start out with some chitter chatter about Jordan Nwora?

Sure. Why not? You want me to talk about the game?

The former Cardinal sharpshooter is a Toronto Raptor agains as of Wednesday when he was again one of the peripheral pieces of a trade.

The former Milwaukee Buck was traded to the Indiana Pacers. Then he was traded to Toronto. Then back to Indy. Now back north of the border.

(Edit 1/18 7:24 am. That may be wrong. Is probably wrong. Wrote this after game, and must have misread his page at nba.com. Another source, Mr. Wiki, at the suggestion of my guy Errata Man, tells me JN’s arc was simply Bucks > Pacers > Raptors, with a couple of stops in G League. My sincerest apologies.)

All of which I mention because: He has a year of eligibility left, right? Maybe more. Does a few years in the pros still violate NIL regs? Might he come back for some more Yum!?

Asking for some Cardinal fan somewhere in a bar, looking to talk about anything but the tilt he’s finally able to watch from Chapel Hill. Continue reading U of L CardFile: North Carolina

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Eye Test

Note: I know the cover photo is not the most professional. Duh, obviously. Work with me here. Short staffed. Entire photography department, such as it might be, called in to take the day off. Too cold. Car trouble. Yada, yada, yada. Thus I’m left to my own devices. I’m offering no apologies, merely an explanation. My iPhone camera skills are limited.

The reason for the weird soon-to-be explained photo are: 1) Today’s topic is the House of Cards, and 2) Coach Kenny Payne’s statement preseason about his second team passing the eye test.

(What’s on the t-shirt eye chart is more than likely indiscernible to most. But your scribing hoopaholic loves it, because his favorite city other than hometown is New Orleans, which he visits yearly for JazzFest. The chart is a mash up of your basic weird Crescent City street names.

From top to bottom: Tchoupitoulis (chop-uh-too- lus), Calliope (in New Orleans, cal-ee-ope), Burgundy (down there, burr-GUN-dee), Terpisichore (never figured that one out), Dorgenois (no clue), Carondolet (which becomes Bourbon on the Quarter side of Canal), Melpomene, Leonidas, etc, etc.)

Which quagmire is about as dense and confusing as what college basketball coach will be sitting first chair next year for the Louisville Cardinals?

Given the entirety of circumstances — the basketball being played and results, the ability to recruit, season ticket sales, fan disenchantment — it appears, even to those of us who believed KP deserved a second year, incomprehensible that there won’t be a change after the season.

Sigh. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Eye Test

Louisville CardFile: NC State

Not much of an expert about excavation.

Have used a shovel as little as possible through the decades.

Yet I can conceptualize what has become a maxim of sorts.

The deeper the hole, the harder it is to dig out of.

It took U of L 4:19 of play before it could put the ball through the net, when sub Ty-Laur Johnson hit a running J.

Which cut visiting North Carolina State’s lead to 2-12.

No tally for your first six possessions. 0 to a dozen Deep hole.

Despite continuing forays, the Cards never fully recovered.

Losing their offensive discipline, the Cards were still down 9 at the half. But opened the 2d with passion and focus. After the eventual victors scored first, U of L went on an 9-0 run to cut the deficit to a deuce.

So it was to be the rest of the afternoon. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: NC State

Louisville CardFile: Miami

Sitting here at my desk, I’m staring at a blank Word Press page, trying to figure out what to write about what I just witnessed.

Plus, it’s hard to type because my fingers are shaking. Literally.

Kenny Payne as Cardinal HC was Ofer the Road.

The Cards had lost 22 consecutive true away games.

Top 30ish Miami was 25-1 in their last twenty six home games.

Shorthanded U of L started walk on Hercy Miller instead of recent sparkplug Ty-Laur Johnson, who ended up playing just 14 minutes.

And for all that and all the negatitivitude surrounding the program, this happened.

The team that didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to know how to win was the more confidant squad the entire night.

And closed the deal.

I. Am. Gobsmacked. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Miami

U of L CardFile: Pittsburgh

Saturday noon at the Yum!, Louisville turned it over after gathering the opening tip.

Pitt scored on a third chance follow.

Louisville turned it over on it second possession.

Pitt scored on a fast break slam.

Kenny Payne called his timeout 1:03 into the game.

After two Danilo Jovanovich FTs, and a Ty-Laur Johnson jumper, the Cards pulled within a deuce at 4-6.

The visiting victors quickly pushed their advantage to 9.

The Cards fashioned a couple of mini-runs, but never pulled closer than three before intermission. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Pittsburgh

U of L CardFile: Virginia

Maybe if I had Mike Ross on speed dial to tell me the answer from his photographic memory, I could say for sure that U of L was coming off its longest in-season hiatus in . . . ever, when it ventured to John Paul Jones Arena Wednesday night.

But I don’t. But from my ever dimming memory I believe it to be so.

There were those times when Carl Casper’s car shows and Wm H. King’s boat shows kept the Cards out of the Hall for extended periods every February. But two weeks with no game??? Nah.

The time away was of no matter.

Other than Tre White and Manny Okorafor joined JJ Traynor and Dennis Evans on the Injured Reserve list.

Not that they would have made a difference. Continue reading U of L CardFile: Virginia