Louisville Card File: Pittsburgh

That one, boys and girls, was tough.

Fred emailed me right after the come from ahead loss, curtly opining, “I’m disgusted.”

David called between the end of regulation and OT, and said, “This is the worst ever.” I hung up without replying. (Truth is it was not literally the worst ever. That honor came on January 30, 1995: Louisville 69, Towson State 81.)

To wind down from the disappointment, the Film Babe and I took a walk in the park. A friend rode by on his bike, slowed, and vented his anger at the loss. And rode on, without waiting for a reply.

Disgusting. Disappointing. Disconcerting is the word I used hours later when I finally called David back.

* * * * *

Look at it this way, if the Cards keep blowing ‘em, like they did against ‘Nova and Pitt, we’ll get a few extra games in Freedom Hall. U of L will be in the NIT, and maybe the final game in that hallowed venue will be a quarter final match against Florida, or some similar also ran who didn’t get tapped for the Dance.

Okay, had to go with the gallows humor.

* * * * *

There’s plenty of blame to go around.

U of L was outrebounded by 14.

Senior guard Jerry Smith scored 0 points and had 0 boards in 22 minutes.

Edgar Sosa and Jared Swopshire hit but one of 6 potential FTs that would have sealed the game in the last 1:37.

Swop lost his man on an out of bounds play with :16 to play, allowing a 3, which cut the Cards lead to a single point.

Everybody on the court was guilty of not feeding Samardo at crunch time.

Rick Pitino erred by calling a TO with 3.7 seconds to play. Pitt had the ball out of bounds at their end of the court, had no timeouts and was scrambling for cohesion. Smith, inserted in the lineup during the TO, fouled Brad Wanamaker, allowing Pitt to tie the game at the charity line.

The Evil Edgar, which sadly still appears to be the Default Edgar, showed up in OT, losing the ball twice on senseless drives into traffic around the hoop.

* * * * *

Were there any signs of hope?

Yes.

Until the distressing meltdown at the end, U of L played it’s steadiest, most mature game of the season. Until then, they never wavered, even when Pitt would grab a little lead, the Cards would seize it back.

Samardo Samuels improvement continues. He dominated offensively in the middle. (Though he didn’t hit the boards that well.)

Preston Knowles is regaining his status as Louisville’s best and most intense player.

Mike Marra nailed his only trey.

* * * * *

It’s fish or cut bait time for the Cards. They are in the unenviable position of having to absolutely positively win at Seton Hall. Though I hope I’m wrong, I’ll be the doomsayer. An L there, and I don’t see how Louisville can pull out enough Ws to go dancing at season’s end.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. fred
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t accept that a D-1, scholarship basketball player, playing at a major program, at the one, two or three position, can’t make 75%-80% of his free throws. It’s an open, uncontested shot that involves concentration and mechanics. I don’t get it. Since I didn’t DVR the game, I’m a little fuzzy on the exact sequence, but right before Edgar missed his last batch of free throws , why did he try to draw a foul instead of just dribbling off some clock. And poor Jerry Smith. What are you doin’? “Our feet got a little tangled up”? It looked like a hip check to me. I think I’ll spend the afternoon watching the end of last year’s Kentucky game to console myself.

  2. Clint Vaught
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Sosa is only so so. Go with Preston instead….

  3. cbcard
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    If Knowles is to be inserted into the starting lineup it should not be for Edgar but for Jerry. I cannot understand how a senior can still commit so many ridiculous fouls. I give him credit for usually rebounding pretty well and generally having a decent assist to TO ratio. But between his inability to hit any kind of jump shot and the aforementioned tendency to commit insane fouls he should be the one to sit.

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