Here’s one for which there is unequivocally no retort.
Louisville’s 2009-10 basketball season is OVER!
And as sad as I am to say, it: It’s a good thing. The thought of certain evisceration tomorrow before a big national audience to Duke would be too much to take. If there is a silver lining to Louisville’s numbing, uninspired performance against California, it is that it came at a late hour. Very late. Only the most addicted of hoopaholics and the fans of both teams could possibly stay tuned to the end.
Even the Film Babe and I took our leave with a couple of minutes to play from the HummelDome where we watched with friends. “I’m ready to go,” she stated. Not waiting for a response, she headed for the door. I dutifully followed.
“If we go now too, honey, we can beat the traffic,” joked my pal David to Phyllis, his better half.
That U of L would counteract the glory that was the Freedom Hall finale with two clunkers in a row is a most appropriate finish to this 13 loss season.
* * * * *
The postmortem is complete. The autopsy results are in.
They are certainly subject to second guessing. Feel free to contact the coroner’s office yourself if my interpretations don’t suit you.
* * * * *
For me, the blame starts at the top.
Whatever this team’s faults, individually or collectively, Rick Pitino never was able to find the tourniquet that would stop as much bleeding as possible.
Ofttimes his substitution patterns were incomprehensible. He’s always had a quick hook. On a team where the youngsters might have benefited from leniency to play through mistakes, The Rick didn’t move beyond his default quick hook.
Speaking of youth, I, for one, don’t buy this excuse, trotted out again after the L to the Golden Bears. “This is a young basketball team.”
Pardon my French. Bullshit.
Louisville started three seniors, including both guards and a forward with a redshirt year. The sixth man was a junior with lots of prior PT. The sophomore center was a veteran of a full season of starts as a freshman.
“California had too much experience for us.”
Well then, whose fault is that?
Peyton Siva looked a little quesy last night. But he did light a little fire despite his three turnovers. Why on earth, given Edgar Sosa’s inherent and indomitable lack of judgment, didn’t Siva get more of a chance to run the team during the season? Thirty three games in, with Sosa in foul trouble, the Golden Arches All American sat on the bench while 2 guard Jerry Smith and 2 guard Preston Knowles ran the offense. Riddle me that.
Rakeem Buckles displayed a penchant for rebounding and mixing it up under the hoop in every one of his very very limited appearances this season. Why didn’t he get more PT? Ditto Kyle Kuric.
I have no intention of dissecting the plusses and minuses of each Cardinal. But I will ask this. Whose fault is it if your senior point guard with more than a hundred games under his belt, doesn’t know to flay to a side lane on a 2-on-1 break instead of forcing it up the middle into defense?
I am not sophisticated enough to totally comprehend how different offensive schemes work. What I do observe however is that Louisville’s hardly worked at all this season. Open shots were at a premium. I’ve watched most all of the tournament games so far. No other school has looked as disheveled offensively as U of L.
* * * * *
Enough. There’s no need to go on.
I’ve already received a number of emails from fans. Are Siva and Jennings transferring? Is Samuels going pro? Is Pitino taking the St. John’s job?
I don’t know. But I don’t think so.
If I were coach, and, let’s make it clear, I certainly am not. I’d call Peyton Siva in my office today. I’d symbolically hand him a basketball. Then I’d tell him, “It’s your team next season. Here’s what I want you to do and work on over the summer . . . “
Several times in the last 10 days, Rick Pitino has opined that the team will be better next year. Each time he’s mentioned returnees who he expects to improve. Swopshire. Buckles. Kuric. Never once has he mentioned Peyton Siva. But he rarely fails to reiterate yet again what a great season Edgar Sosa had.
– Seedy K