Louisville Card File: UNLV

If you looked at just the numbers for the first half, you could say the Cards weren’t in such bad shape.

U of L hit on only 32% of its FG attempts, as opposed to the Runnin’ Rebs’ 50%. Vegas hit 58% of its 3s in the first half versus 29%. Vegas had one more board. Louisville missed 9 of its first ten shots. (Mike Marra continued to misfire the whole game. He was 0fer the afternoon.)

Yet the visitors lead by only 5 at the break.

If you forgot the numbers, and just went by what you saw on the court, the situation didn’t appear so rosy. Lon Kruger’s team had won the last two. They were running that motion weaving offense that put a ball handling small guy against a Cardinal big, for easy drives to the lane. It was way too familiar, a scenario we see every time we play UNLV. The visitors appeared easily the better team.

The visitors made a little run at the beginning of the second stanza, and were up 9 when The Rick was forced to call a timeout.

Then U of L manned up. A lonely UNLV layup was smothered by a Kuric steal, Kuric trey, Knowles J, Siva layup, TJ steal, two Knowles FTs, a Chris Smith steal and two Kuric FTs.

At the end of that 3 minute span, the Cards had tied the game.

From then on, Louisville never relinquished the lead.

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Interesting lineup that won this game. Siva/ Justice at point. Kuric, C. Smith, TJ and Preston Knowles.

Rick Pitino coached one of his better games. He matched up his guys to thwart the Rebels’ talents.

Marra and Buckles weren’t getting it done, so they sat. They could be the spark next time out. It’s that kind of team.

Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric each tallied 17 off the bench. George Goode gave the Cards nine solid minutes in the post. It’s that kind of team.

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Gogui Dieng didn’t leave the pine. Several folks have asked if he was hurt?

I don’t know. I don’t think so.

I suspect Pitino thought the game too intense, too technical for the neophyte pivot. Besides Jennings 6 points, 7 board, 2 assists and a steal game was perhaps his most solid effort. Loved his give and go with Chris Smith to tie the score at 17.

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In my last report, I asked if Chris Smith was better and/or more valuable and/or steadier than Preston Knowles? His play against UNLV underscored the legitimacy of the query. Knowles showed yet again what a catalyst he can be when he plays within himself and the offense. Bottom line: Having them both on your squad is a good thing.

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Some environmental observations:

When did Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” become a fan favorite at arena’s around the land?

I hate all those t-shirt tosses, but have to admit that seeing them parachute from the rafters during one commercial break was kind of nifty.

Saturday’s noon crowd displayed exceptional musical taste by heartily booing all three songs they didn’t want to hear from some boy bands that don’t even deserve to be listed.

There continue to be lots of fans who choose to watch the games on TVs in the lounge areas. How positively Yummy!

I tend to think the U of L player introductions are a bit too much razzmatazz. Too loud. Too glitzy. Too long. That said, I looooooooooooved The Rick talking about U of L tradition.

* * * * *

Next up the object of perhaps the greatest quote in Louisville b-ball history. Drexel, whom Milt Wagner once famously referred to as “one of them academic schools.” Late 9:00 o’clock tip off on Tuesday.

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Loyal reader cbcard sent me this link to a most interesting article on former Cardinal TWill.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. Wilcat
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink


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