Louisville Card File: Georgetown

It is now clear beyond peradventure that Louisville’s double OT barnburning W over a decimated Notre Dame squad and its narrow escape from Chitown with W over a lesser DePaul team were false positives.

Tonight U of L’s true colors reared their muted head once again. This is middle of the road band of Cardinals not ready for Dancin’ With The Stars.

Which, as I’ve said before, they will not do this season.

Truth: Louisville has a better chance of losing their last three than they do of winning two of them. Makes me weep, but I gotta call ‘em as I see ‘em. It’s been obvious for weeks that this team has little chance of jelling into a contender. They proved it again tonight.

* * * * *

Watching Austin Freeman light up the Cards in the second half reminded me of a story from my high school years at J.M. Atherton H.S. The Rebels were plundered one night by Male High. The Bulldog’s Monroe Phelps outscored the whole Atherton team.

The next morning before History class, wise guy Joel Needle wrote “Beat Phelps” on the blackboard. The History teacher was Freddie Allen. Who also happened to be basketball coach. Adios, Joel.

The Cards nudged Freeman in the 2d half, 25-24.

It wasn’t enough. The Hoyas were down six at the half. Freeman scored the first 8 by either team in the 2d. Check. The visitors went on to outscore the hapless Cardinals 24-3 for a fifteen point advantage with a quarter of the game left to play. Checkmate.

* * * * *

Samardo Samuels high school rival Greg Monroe chewed up and spit out the U of L pivot. Sixteen points and 14 boards dominated the outmanned SS, who tallied 11 and 6.

* * * * *

It was a game that highlighted all that we’ve come to expect of Edgar Sosa. Extreme highs, always tempered by bad judgment. Sosa’s first half was his best of the season. Then he felt he could and he should try to do everything. Except that is, play defense and see the open men on the court before driving helter skelter to the hoop. And playing with the maturity that one expects from a highly touted senior point guard.

At one point deep into the game, the L assured, Samuels yelled at Sosa to get him the ball. Of course, SS didn’t do much with it when he did get it. But one of the things he surely did do was his best Clifford Rozier impression. Samuels gets the ball to open men less often than Sosa. It’s a black hole in there. Not a good thing.

* * * * *

One thing that impresses me about this Georgetown team, like their Final Four team of a few years back, is the eerie presence with which they play. Very little emotion. Almost a matter of fact stick to the game plan way of doing things.

So steady is their demeanor that I asked myself during the first half if the Hoyas were capable of a big run to take charge of the game? Guess they answered that.

Greg Monroe still has a way to go, but this kid has NBA written all over him.

* * * * *

Why wasn’t this game against a big conference rival, the second to last Cardinal battle scheduled to be played in hallowed Freedom Hall, a sell out?

Makes no sense to me.

Which brings up this important issue for a nostalgic fellow like myself. When Louisville fails to make the NCAA, which is all but a foregone conclusion at this juncture, will the school agree to play NIT games at Freedom Hall in front of a lot of empty seats?

One can only hope the school’s administration is smart enough to eschew such a this-is-the-way-the-world-ends-not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper finale after the scheduled curtain closer against Syracuse.

– Seedy K

14 Comments

  1. Big Smooth
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Lot of emotion flowin’ there, Seedy. And rightly so.

    Fred Allen was a class guy……….and a great golfer.

  2. Todd
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve been wondering what has happened to Preston Knowles. He’s been slowing disappearing over the past several weeks and then capped it off with a 0-3, 3 turnover game last night.

  3. Justin
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the Cards go winless in their last three. I think they win one in the Beast tourney, which will be enough to slip into the dance.

  4. Crgabe
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Full agreement Seedy. Flashes of brilliance will not do it in the BEast.

    Disappointing yes but that’s what the BEast will do to us. It’s a far sight better than the Metro and C-USA games where 90% of the time we knew who was going to win before we walked in the Hall.

    Should the great Unknown make a final appearance at the Cuse game? Got a ducat. Just need a sack.

  5. Mark
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Knowles’ disappearance is related to his injured wrist—all season long. The once steady shooting guard is now is reduced to a mere husk of himself; his follow-through looks pained. I believe it affects every facet of his game, too. Cards have maybe one-and-a-half guards this season, not four. Smith is a gutty player, Siva is, well, a freshman who has not matured this season, Knowles is injured, and Sosa is, for the most part, awful.

    Freeman showed what a great guard does in big games. Like he has since his days at DeMatha High.

    U of L is dead in the water, like many of us have sensed all year. The three game win streak was Fool’s Gold.

  6. Todd
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    PK had injured his thumb, and by all accounts has healed.

    That still doesn’t account for the inexplicable rise in turnovers that we’ve seen. His inconsistent play has resulted in a marked decrease in playing time.

    All in all, too many fatal flaws in this team. They’re always a step slow in defense, and can’t shoot a lick. Wide open shots off the side of the backboard are baffling.

    Until we get better talent, we’re going to find ourselves in the middle of the pack. Next year will be more of the same. Much like the football team, we no longer have the talent to compete in the upper levels of the BE.

    The fact that the top 25 is populated by teams such as Temple, Baylor, Richmond, and Northern Iowa and not UL is inexcusable.

  7. Jason Puckett
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Oa side note, liked you were rocking the Barca shirt last night!

  8. fred
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    According to the box score I read, Edgar had 24 points, 8 rebounds and turned the ball over once in 33 minutes. I would hardly find reason in those numbers to pan his performance. Did he try to do too much or try to do SOMETHING when no one else was getting anything done? Fact is, we got NOTHING from our front line. Mardo was outplayed and hung his head in the second half. I wouldn’t throw him the ball either.The Rozier comparison is apt. Jennings looked locked and loaded to play but didn’t contribute much after the first five minutes because he was back on the bench where it is apparent the Rick wants him. Look, this is the Big East and on any given night, strange things will happen. How many of your guys saw a W @ ‘Cuse in our future? There is just as much probability of us winning ALL of our last three games as there is to losing them. We’ve already beaten UConn and Syracuse this season and Marquette, well who knows? That’s why we play ‘em. But IF we don’t get a bid and IF Louisville decides to take the money and play in the NIT, count me out of the ticket line. I want my lasting memory of the Hall to be the rockin’ crowd that will be there for the real finale.

  9. Tim
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Seedy, the official attendance was listed as 19,917. That’s more than a sellout. You just trying to stir up trouble or something? It’s better when you stick to the facts and your opinions than lies.

  10. Seedy K
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Tim:

    No, not just trying to stir things up. When no tickets are available on game night, there are always signs at parking entrance gates advising of “Sell Out.” Also, if you were at the game, you would or could have noticed several rows of empty seats in the upper corners, which are the last seats sold. Or not sold. Either they were not sold, or it was a stunning coincidence that so many who would sit in those seats chose not to attend. 

    My mention of it was meant as a lament. I love the Cardinals as much as anyone, and have since my first game in 1952 at the Armory. I was frankly stunned at the empty seats at Louisville’s second to last game in Freedom Hall. 

    Be careful whom you call a liar. 

  11. Seedy K
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Fred:

    Allow me to parse. I agree about Sosa’s line in the box score. I wouldn’t find anything in those raw numbers to question his game. But I was in attendance, as you were, and was able to see the rest of the story. From my perspective along the end line, I observed any number of times when players were open for shots, but Sosa chose to either continue dribbling about, or drive to the bucket. The turnover stat does not include judgments of error, of which he made a bunch.

    I did not say it was “probable” that the Cards would lose the last three, but offered my opinion that there is a better chance they would lose them all than win two. I’ll stand by that.

    I hope I’m wrong but my belief is that the W at Syracuse was an aberration. The UConn team we will play is NOT the UConn team we beat here. Marquette is tough, especially in Milwaukee. Can we win them? Of course. Will we? Hope so, but I doubt it.

  12. Charlie
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that it was a sellout since people couldn’t get tickets from Ticketmaster or at the gate.

  13. Patrick Whelan
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Once the NCAA expands the tournament to 96 teams none of this will be important.

  14. Crgabe
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Alas I lost my ducat for the Freedom Swan Song. No Unknown Appearance Saturday unless my friend’s wife changes her mind.

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