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
There are Cardinal losses through the decades that have caused me to be as despondent as I was last night when scurrying, head down, out of the Yum!. None more so.
U.S. Reed. SMU in the ’67 Regional Semis. UVa last season.
And the MF of them all, as I, dazed and confused, trundled through the diesel fumes and idling buses outside the arena in San Diego, after a date with the Cats for the national crown was lost to UCLA.
So, I had no words. And so reported.
A fitful night of tossing and turning. Morning sunshine and a blessedly cloudless sky. A long workout to sweat out the toxins. My regular Wednesday lunch with a couple pals. Some laughs. And my tongue has unlocked. I need now to reflect on the wreckage.
* * * * *
What I must remember most is the reality of how flawed this team is. Continue reading Sifting through the Detritus after Duke
Because I love the Cardinals, as do the majority of my readers, these gamecaps rarely focus, except in rare exceptional instances, on what U of L’s opponent may or may not have done during a game.
Yes, I am pleased the Cards are now 5-1, having survived 24-14 over a well-coached and as eminently prepared team as you’re going to see.
Yes, I wonder what U of L’s flat, uninspiring performance on national TV Friday night will do to its Final Four chances? (At 9:17 my pal texted from where he was watching, down south in the heart of college football country. “This game has killed any chance of the Final Four.” I responded “Yes.” By dawn’s early light, I think he and I may have been somewhat premature. But the road certainly narrowed.)
Yes, I wonder where Lamar Jackson’s Heisman hopes stand? It’s a fickle crowd, those voters. It was about this time last year that frontrunning “lock” Leonard Fournette saw his fortunes fade. And Jabrill Peppers, wearing maize and blue, is the current Flav o’ Flav of the Month. It’s easier to prevail in NY as a Wolverine than a Cardinal. But LJ is far far from out of it, plenty of opportunities for moments for spectacularity remain.
So, I’ll get to the Cardinals performance, lackluster as it was, in a moment. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Duke
It is a dark and stormy day.
A real Edward Bulwer-Lytton kind of day.
E B-L’s the British novelist, who opened a novel with the now hackneyed sentence paraphrased above.
Sometimes, even the most overused descriptor is the most appropriate. Which, I suppose, is reason why such are so overused.
Before tipoff of the Badgers vs. Blue Devils title match, I got a text from SmartGuy. “It feels like closing night.”
And the end of this college hoops campaign is especially depressing, given that the victor is the most despised of all the programs in the land. When what could have been a season of historic resonance was thwarted in the semi-finals. When a feel good story out of Cheese Country coulda, woulda, shoulda, but wasn’t.
No Cinderella. Nothing to make us feel all goosey inside.
Just Duke. Again. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: 2015’s Last Morning After
Fact: Louisville’s task yesterday against the Blue Devils was going to be difficult under any circumstances.
U of L’s offensive inefficiency this season is well chronicled and statistically proven. Until Rick Pitino is able to nurture more points from Wayne Blackshear, Chinanu Onuaku, Shaqquan Aaron, David Levitch, Anton Gill or some combination thereof, the Cards are going to struggle against other top shelf teams.
Effective defense alone can only carry a club so far.
For the doomsayers, remember this. U of L is a perennial Top 25 school. Some years, that translates to a #1 or #2 seed. Other campaigns, like this one more than likely, it means a #4, #5 or #6. Deal with it. It happens. The folks who are faithful to the Gators, Sparty and the ‘Cuse are also wearing furrowed brows today.
The good news is that it’s still mid-January. There’s a full week before Louisville’s next encounter, a visit to Pitt. And, for all the nit picking with The Rick’s ways, he’s a competitor, and gives 100+% effort during the season to improve his teams. Continue reading Louisville Card File: Duke
It is the time of the season.
When scenarios morph curioser and curioser in the Big Tent that is College Hoops.
Messrs. K and H assure the public/ Their production will be second to none/ And of course Henry The Horse dances the waltz!
Not the least stunning of which developments is viewing the sport’s preeminent color announcer, the usually straight forward Jay Bilas, showing up to do the Arizona/ Colorado game, wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt. Sitting alongside smirking Garciaphile Bill Walton, who, deadpan, pretending to be the voice of reason, intones, “Enough foolishness. There’s a game going on here. Let’s get to the action.”
This morning’s USA Today had a catch up article on this year’s doings. Two months into the season, the paper obviously felt compelled to catch us up on what’s been happening. The undercurrent, one supposes, being they thought we couldn’t possibly have been paying attention until the CFP was over and done.
Really? Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Conference Craziness, Cardinals, Curiosness
You know it’s really a scrimmage disguised as a conference game when the Sosa play works to perfection.
The reference is obviously to Edgar Sosa, the less than beloved former point guard, who had the annoying propensity to fritter away scoring opportunities, when handed the rock in end of half situations. Dribble in this direction, dribble the other way, to little effect most of the time. Often, the ball would be stolen for negative last first half points.
Though I have no firm stats, anecdotal remembrance tells me the affinity of The Rick to give the ball to his PG with the clock winding down at the end of first halves — be it Sosa, for whom the phenomenon is named, or Siva, or Smith, or McGee, or Jenkins or Northern — works neither as well as the coach would like. Nor as fans, who dissect every Cardinal twist and turn, wish.
It’s supposed to be, I surmise, dribble, drive, draw defenders and dish. Or deliver.
Way more often than not, it’s not delivery, its’ DiGiorno, a cardboard made at home imitation of a pizza. No score. As opposed to a sublime slice of Impellizzeri’s pie, the equivalent of a trey. Continue reading Louisville Card File: Virginia Tech