Before we proceed, a moment of silence for the departed televangelist Oral Roberts, who once implored his minions to cough up $8 mill to save the university’s med school. And his breath. If the Benjamins didn’t come, he was going to meet his maker there and then.
Thanks to the generosity of the flock, Mr. Roberts bought himself an extra decade and a half. Nice work, dude. Rest in peace.
I need to reference my youth before touching on any specifics of last night’s blowout.
When we played ball back then, the neighborhood kids called ourselves the Bonnycastle Bearcats. Alliterative. What adolescents do. It was a running joke that none of us actually lived on Bonnycastle, but we went with it nonetheless.
We had one perpetual opponent. Whether in football. Or baseball. Whatever the sport.
Jimmy Bevars’s Gang. We always won. There were, I don’t know, 6, 7, 8 of us in the Bearcats. JB’s gang consisted of JB and one other friend. Period. Being that team unity was paramount, we never lent any players to JB’s Gang. It’s what adolescents do. I think we still hold the Highlands record for most imaginary men put out in a season.
I was reminded of those lopsided wins last night as the Cards were drawing and quartering an egregiously undermanned Oral Roberts squad. Samardo and four members of the dance champions of the universe Ladybirds would have won the game.
Having said that — thank you Jerry Seinfeld — it was still an encouraging effort by U of L.
Starting with The Rick’s pre-game pep talk, piped into the Hall. Say what you will about the guy — damn his personal choices or recruiting strategy or rotation decisions — the guy can give a pep talk.
Succinct. Energizing. Effective.
Plus he can coach ‘em up. By dumbing down the D. And preaching patience instead of panic.
I still say Edgar Sosa is a 2. Then again, I have no national title trophies sitting in my office. (I do have a Red Auerbach autographed b-ball though, so I got that going for me.) Sosa played his best game since Texas A & M. He made good decisions. His only turnover wasn’t his fault. And his shooting touch has been there most of the season.
Jerry Smith, always seemingly a half step slow, was still all over the court on defense. Great effort.
Here’s what else I liked:
1 – Terrence Jennings. I still say, give the guy more PT. I don’t care how bad he is in practice. He forced a 5 second call at the top of the key. But I also loved the 1st half sequence when Energizer Bunny Peyton Siva ripped an offensive rebound from TJ’s hands.
2 – How Louisville trapped at every opportunity.
3 – The tweaked offensive play that’s a double guard back cut for the oop.
4 – Rakeem Buckles/ Jerry Smith shared dunk on a fast break feed from Sosa. Never seen that before. Give ‘em each a point.
5 – Kyle Kuric’s steady presence on the floor. His speed to the hoop for a slam at 11:40 of the 2d half.
6 – Mike Marra hitting 40% of this threes.
I’m still not so encouraged by:
1 — Samardo Samuels jumping ability. Actually, the lack thereof. Truly, the guy has no hops. And he needs to follow the lead of Kuric and take it hard to the hole. He tends to flip it up. At one point, a fan yelled, “You gotta give Samuels credit, at least he tried to dunk it.”
2 – The fan response — severe lack of enthusiasm — when the cheerleaders and Ladybirds actually tried to initiate a cheer. GO/ CARDS.
3 – That everybody’s fave, The Boogie Man, wasn’t in the house.
4 – The rampant commercialism. During a break, security guard Kevin Churchill and Louisville Metro police officer Jeff Lauder who saved Churchill’s life after he was shot during a robbery, were introduced. How were they honored? By getting to toss Dean’s Milk t-shirts to the crowd. True.
And so it goes.
Cards vs. Toppers on Saturday. Don’t bother knockin’, the Hall will be rockin’.
– Seedy K