The Cards are an unblemished 2-0 since the biggest moment of the season. Which was last Monday’s absolutely, positively, no doubt about it, unequivocal, don’t even try last chance to give mo’ money mo’ money mo’ money to U of L’s Athletic Department, so you season ticketholders maybe, possibly, might, could conceivably increase your chances for better seats in the new as yet unnamed but soon to be world famous downtown arena.
I know I should be sleeping a lot easier, knowing that no more nouveau riche Cardinal fan of 35 days or less can slip in the back door of the ULA office with a bag o’ bills and jump me in line . . . or, at least, I hope not.
But I’m just wondering what would happen if Bob and Betty Billionsworth, who just moved to town and have never been to a Cardinal game, called up next week and said they had a juicy ol’ check in six figures and they sure would like some seats down low near mid court in the new gym?
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One more thing before I get to yesterday’s game.
I’m starting to get real emotional about the end of the U of L era in Freedom Hall. I’m working on a cover story that will appear in LEO’s print edition of 2/24, as well as online. There have been some incredible moments since that first tilt in ’56. I was there, and have been at most of the games since.
Yesterday they introduced the ’74-’75 Cardinals, a magnificent team that really knew how to play the game. They shoulda won that semi-final against UCLA in San Diego. I remember walking out of the arena into glorious Cali sunshine, as depressed as I’ve ever been in my life. Sigh.
I know this new gym is going to be big and bright and boffo and all. But Freedom Hall is just all right with me.
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Jerry Smith is back on his feed. But Preston Knowles is now slumping a bit. That’s the continuing yin and yang of this Cardinal edition.
This team still needs some fine tuning. One would hope a week into February there would be more consistency.
Odd situations keep occurring. Rakeem Buckles tallied 5 points and grabbed two boards in only two meaningful first half minutes. But his counterpart Jared Swopshire continues to get mo’ betta, playing his steadiest game as a Cardinal. So Buckles had to sit.
I’m not convinced a lineup with both Samuels and Jennings is U of L’s best. I understand the Cards are going to need the bulk and length against some schools. But TJ is just too passive on the court. Obviously The Rick thinks so too. Jennings played only 9 minutes with a goose egg in the rebound column.
The flip side is that he and Siva appear to have the best two-man on-court chemistry. Which offers hope for next season when it will be Peyton’s team.
Why on earth was Preston Knowles playing point guard for so long during Rutgers comeback at the end of the first half?
The Cardinals are still woeful attacking certain zone defenses. Imagine the scenario against Syracuse, a really good team with the best zone in the land.
The Rick called Louisville’s second to last timeout with 18:44 to play. Which could have really kicked the Cards in the butt, had the Scarlet Knights come all the way back.
It was good to see the Cards shooting well. Making baskets, as it has often been said, makes up for a lot of ills. Louisville was 12/17 (71%) in the tilt’s first 11:30.
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I’m on record as saying this looks like an NIT-bound team to me. I’m also on record as saying I really hope I’m wrong about that.
One of the factors worryworts such as myself annually fail to take into consideration is how many similarly situated teams there are in other leagues around the country. It’s the nature of the beast.
Fact: Louisville does not have a quality win — in conference or out. Until they beat somebody better than them, I’m a skeptic.
To go dancin’ in March, I think Louisville needs to beat St. John’s, Notre Dame, DePaul, Georgetown, either Marquette or UConn on the road and Syracuse in the Freedom Hall finale. If they don’t, and don’t pull off a Jerry McNamara BEast tournament miracle, Selection Sunday is going to be fraught with tight sphincters awaiting Louisville’s name on the bracket.
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Somewhere from the past in the deep recesses beyond the smoke rings of my mind I think I remember the term “bozo” being used to refer to a replacement player on a bowling team in a league.
Anyway, Cardinal fans’ favorite reporter whipping boy Pat Forde was called into duty as color guy on U of L’s game telecast yesterday because the regular got snowed in back east.
I kept calling Forde a bozo. Today I was looking for something on the www. to back up the use of that sobriquet. But, much to my chagrin, haven’t found any.
If any of you readers out there could help me, I’d be much obliged.
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Rick Pitino was on yesterday’s game ticket. When it was mentioned during a timeout yesterday, the applause was stunningly perfunctory and passionless.
Next Up: St. John’s in the Garden. Yet another “must win.”
– Seedy K