Tag Archives: College Hoops

Ty-Laur Johnson is eligible

It was announced to the joy of his mates that the Frosh PG from the Bronx has been declared eligible.

Which seriously bolsters U of L’s backcourt for the upcoming rebound season.

I mean, you know, a NY PG.

An AAU tourney MVP. New Jersey PoY as a junior when he played at St. Benedict’s.

For more bio info, click here.

I’ve not seen him play yet. But am advised by those who have observed him in practice that he’s the real deal.

— c d kaplan

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Manny’s Game, Women Win, Gym Tidbits ++

OK, truth is I didn’t see Cardinal Manny Okorafor’s breakout performance against Arch Rival up in Land o’ the Big Smoke.

Why not?

Since you asked, I was on a one day rock n roll road trip to Indy to hear Tedeschi Trucks Band, my faves these days, at that great amphitheater in White River State Park. Ziggy Marley opened. I’ll be weighing in on the incredible show in other venues soon. I’ll try to remember to put a link here somehow.

As for Manny?

Well, it turns out he was 6/6 from the field, 4/6 from the stripe, grabbed a half dozen or so boards, blocked a couple shots.

More than a workmanlike effort it would appear. Given he’s still not fully recovered from his foot/ ankle issues, and that due to visa problems he never practiced with his fellow Team Africa mates before the little tourney began.

Most heartening indeed.

 * * * * *

Speaking of Cardinals participating in that event.

Jeff Walz’s team won the women’s side, with a two point get back W over Canada. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Manny’s Game, Women Win, Gym Tidbits ++

The Denny Celebration

Disinclined to attend such affairs — they often become tedious — I went anyway.

So glad I did.

Out of respect for my favorite coach ever.

Out of thanks to the human being who was the catalyst for more joy in my life than any other than my bride.

Denny Crum.

The evening was sweet.

The evening was touching.

Beyond reiteration that he stands among the best college basketball coaches ever, it cannot be shared enough what a decent, giving, important man he was. To the players he coached. To the fans he touched. To the community of Louisville. To the world of college basketball. Continue reading The Denny Celebration

Recruiting Stuff: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

Self inflicted as it may have been, it was somewhat of a comeuppance anyway.

From a mainstream movie anyway. I’m talking about “Air” and how it felt to get the lesson yet again that, as much as I do know or think I know about hoops, there are always nuances that only the true experts (not me) catch.*

*Don’t worry, I’ll get to the recruiting stuff in a minute, and this anecdote is actually germane to the topic.

In the movie which lays out how Nike snared Michael Jordan after the ’84 draft away from adidas and Converse, there’s a fascinating scene with Phil Knight’s (Ben Affleck) recruiter in chief, Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon).

He’s trying to figure out whom to try to get as a client by watching videos of the highest draft picks that year. And he’s put a tape of Jordan highlights, and watches the final sequence of the ’82 title game. You know the one, when Dean Smith goes to MJ, who drills the game winner.

I was at the game. Have watched the clip tens of times. Never caught what Vaccaro saw and Smith knew when tapping the freshman to take the shot instead of James Worthy.

Which is Jordan’s incredible confidence in the moment. Worthy’s a decoy, pulling a defender toward the lane. As MJ without a hint of nervousness or stress or panic awaits the pass, and without hesitation at the biggest moment of his hoops career until then fires it deftly through the net.

We all saw the shot. Vaccaro and Smith and the Bulls saw the transcendence. Continue reading Recruiting Stuff: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

Seedy K’s Takeaways: Iowa

Louisville 83, Iowa 97.

There are times when there is simply nothing you can do.

When a team runs into a foe led by a transcendent star who is executing a not-to-be-denied dominant performance.

Ask peacock Kim Mulkey and Britney Griner about Shoni.

We’ve heard oh so much about Caitlin Clark.

Too much? Actually, frankly, no not really.

She was described before the game as a cross between Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.

Who am I to disagree?

On the season, she’s hitting 58% from 25 feet and beyond from the hoop.

That’s absurd.

Sunday night, Clark historically went for 41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists.

She was not going to lose this game. Continue reading Seedy K’s Takeaways: Iowa

Seedy K’s GameCap: Ole Miss

“Hotty Totty! Gosh A Mighty! Who in the hell are we? Rim! Ram! Flim! Flam! Ole Miss, by Damn!”

Well, as you Rebs head back to Oxford Town, Hotty Totty This . . .

. . . Louisville 72, Mississippi 62.

Thus, with this disparate crew that took time to jell, Jeff Walz in his 16th season has the Louisville Cardinals headed to the Elite Eight for the fifth straight time and eighth time in school history.

Hawkeyes ahead. By damn.

 * * * * *

Hailey Van Lith got the full World Wide Leader superstar treatment on the TV pregame.

Then she scored the Cardinals’ first five points, and led the squad with 21. Also 5 boards, 4 assists.

And, when Ole Miss cut the lead to five in the 4th at 58-53, Van Lith shut the door, when she tallied in the paint for a 7 point advantage.

But, let’s be clear, there is only one choice for Player of Game. In this corner anyway.

Mykasa Robinson, come on down. Continue reading Seedy K’s GameCap: Ole Miss

First Weekend Musings: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

Now there are three.

Clear contenders, that is, for the biggest college hoops upset ever.

Some remain in the Chaminade over UVa corner. 1982. it was so long ago.

When reporting the score on ESPN, after confirming it was not a mistake, Chris Berman said, “We can’t tell you what happened, but the No. 1 team in college basketball has lost to—we don’t even know who they are.”

Others, more inclined toward recency bias: UMBC, a 16 seed over top line Virginia. Oh that school again. By 20 no less as a twenty point dog.

The new entry in the hopper? Fairleigh Dickinson over Purdue.

While huge, this opinionated dude is going to discount that first one by the Silver Swords. Not that it wasn’t monumental, it was. Ralph Sampson was a Wahoo. But it was in Hawai’i, after a long trip. On Chaminade’s court. And in the middle of the night back here on the mainland.

Not on TV. Nor are there videos that I’m aware of. So, did it really happen?

Yes, but you catch my drift.

The Retrievers from the Land o’ The Wire essentially broke UVa, thereby perpetuating the dialog at the time that Tony Bennett’s deliberate style of play could never prevail in the Dance. Which debunked train of thinking again sprang forth after the Cavaliers lost to Furman this weekend.

So UMBC’s W has to be hugely considered.

But, Fairleigh Dickinson over Purdue, pour moi, is clearly the most surprising, improbable and dumbfounding. Continue reading First Weekend Musings: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

Hoopaholics Gazette: The First Window

They sentenced me to eight decades of hoopdom . . .

Respects to Leonard Cohen.

Unlike many fans whose team like mine has an empty dance card, I’m a hoopaholic.

I’m locked in.

Though, in a sign of maturity, or so I would crow, I missed the opening half of Huggy Bear vs. Terrapins, while keeping a lunch engagement made a month ago.

I did not linger.

This is one of my favorite days of the year, every year.

Some random musings follow. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: The First Window

Time Machine: Cards on 3/11

     Your everlasting summer and you can see it fading fast/ So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last/ Well, you wouldn’t even know a diamond if you held it in your hand/ The things you think are precious I can’t understand/ Are you reelin’ in the years?/ Stowin’ away the time

So we have arrived at Championship Week 2023, Championship Day, Part Uno.

New batteries in the remote.

Plenty of Vernor’s on ice.

21 games of interest, more or less, for those of us hoopaholics.

Before getting started, I thought it would be interesting to check how my Louisville Cardinals have fared on this date, starting with the beginning of the Denny Crum Era.

5-2, thank you very much. Including two memorable tilts, one a Top 5 of All Time, the other, one of the, uh, most disheartening.

Oh what a night it was such a night at Vandy’s Memorial Gymnasium on 3/11/72. Continue reading Time Machine: Cards on 3/11

Louisville CardFile: Virginia

As woefully different as this sad season has been than any other in the storied history of Louisville basketball, there’s one thing that just is the same as it ever was.

Tony Bennett turns whoever is sitting first chair on the Cardinal bench into a pupil.

Whether it’s Mike Pegues, or Chris Mack, or David Padgett. Even the HoFer Rick Pitino.

School was in session Saturday in Charlottesville.

The victorious Cavaliers had 25 assists on 29 made FGs.

Obviously, some of these resulted from matadorian lack of D by the hapless Cards, but Bennett’s teams have done this year in and year out to even the more stalwart of U of L outfits.

Sixteen year senior Kihei Clark netted a trey nineteen seconds into the tilt on the Wahoo’s opening possession.

The Cardinals were never close the rest of the way. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Virginia