Louisville Card File: West Virginia

Revised 1/30 5:47 pm

The 2009-10 Louisville Cardinals are toast.

The loss to West Virginia is simply the latest in a season of meltdowns.

The Cards try. They’re good kids. They are not awful.

They simply don’t have the wherewithal to close, to stay focused and execute when it matters, to grab the W and hold on to it.

And Rick Pitino is not doing a very good coaching job this season either. Except his reluctance to play Samuels and Jennings together is not irrational. TJ was beaten badly on West Virginia’s first two hoops of the game, both threes. He’s slow afoot and slow thinking from a basketball sense.

The Cards were up 11 with 6:37 on the clock. “Louisville is going to get a big road win,” or so went a premature ejaculation from the hyperventalive announcer Mike Patrick. Uh, not so fast, dude.

Bobby Huggs, who can coach as well as he can bellow, switched to a 1-3-1. The Rick had no adjustments. U of L fumbled, stumbled and bumbled away the lead. Once again, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

No go to guy. No savvy. Just a run o’ the mill bunch of guys, a cut or two below championship level.

Yes, there were two unacceptable officiating calls at game’s end. The ball bouncing off a Mountaineer’s face right in front of the ref should have been Louisville’s. And Delk was assaulted on his late three. No call. Which is not to mention that it’s against the rules for zebras to use replay on an out of bounds call. Which they did to West Virginia’s advantage when they looked on one play and when they didn’t look on another.

But here’s the Truth: Those calls should never have mattered. Louisville simply gagged away a big lead it should have held onto. It’s not the first time. They threw it away. Missed a couple of big front ends of 1 and 1s. Gave away too many second chance opportunities. Simply blew an eminently winnable tilt.

The Cards will not play in the 2010 NCAA tournament.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. Abram
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant conclusions. Must have been made two minutes after the game. Fortunately there are 10 more games, in which your conclusions can again be made in the emotional fervor of the moment. You readers are watching, though, and we DO remember what you have written in the past. Just keep that in mind.

    How in the world do you get press passes for the games anyway?

  2. Seedy K
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Actually I had made those conclusions prior to the West Virginia game, which confirmed, for me anyway, my beliefs. As an inveterate U of L fan since 1952, it is my hope that I’m wrong. But I obviously have this dire feeling that this particular group, this season, will not make it to the NCAA. I would love to eat crow on that, believe me.

    I get U of L and NCAA press credentials because I regularly cover the Cardinals and the NCAA tournament, and have been doing so for LEO for 15 years or so. I am also a member in good standing of the United States Basketball Writers Association.

  3. Mark Stanton
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    You may be right that they miss the NCAA’s, if they wind up with 8,9 or 10 league wins, the key to a bid will be 1 or 2 wins in the BE tourney. I suspect there will be a lot of closely bunched BE teams in the middle, whoever wins in the tourney will get the bids.

    This Cards team is not last year’s, and is not a sweet 16 team; but there is still enough talent that they should be a definite NCAA tourney team. And if they fail to make it you have to look at the coaching performance.

    Sure they had their chances in this one, and there were some bad calls. But what are Buckles and Marra doing on the floor in end game situations?

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