Louisville Card File: Villanova

Louisville Cardinals meet your 2010-11 season.

All the issues with which this current squad is plagued were manifest last night in Philly.

* * * * *

So, it is not surprising that The Rick cleverly separated himself from the team in some of his post game comments.

“And it’s a great lesson on how you have to play 40 minutes on the road. So they learned a lot of lessons, which will prepare  them because they’re going to have to play 40 minutes against Marquette to have any chance of winning.”

Whatever happened to the concept of we, coach?

Too be fair, the coach did passively include himself in the situation. “They’re (Villanova) driving, we’re shooting jump shots. We don’t have the ability that they have off the bounce. That’s something we don’t have right now and something that down the road we’ve got to create.”

Well, I know my fellow Cardinal fans are relieved to know that this problem — as well as others, like rebounding, and solid basketball decision making — shall all be resolved with the recruits coming in next year. And, if not then, by the recruiting classes of the following year. Or, for sure, the recruits the year after that.

* * * * *

Numbers sometimes lie. Not last night.

When I printed out the stats at half time, it was obvious U of L was in trouble.

The Cards were out rebounded by 11 in the opening period. Mouphtaou Yarou had 7, which was as many as the entire Cardinal team.

Louisville was an incredible 8/15 from beyond the arc.

And behind 41-42.

* * * * *

I’m not sure I understand why Terrence Jennings plays any significant minutes. (Not that he’s the sole problem on this oft feisty, but eternally flawed squad.) In 22 minutes, he got 3 boards and was beaten repeatedly on D.

Goode, Dieng and Van Treese aren’t exactly the second coming of Unseld, Tyra and McCray, but . . . (one guy’s opinion) they give U of L a better chance at winning.

That said, Yarou owned the baseline as if Wells Fargo had deeded it over to him before tipoff.

How many times did he drive the endline past a matador post defender for a lay up? Correct answer: Way too many.

* * * * *

From the get go in the second half, Nova was faster to the ball, scrappier and more focused. It didn’t take but a minute — Pack up the bus, Stevie Mass — to realize Louisville was toast.

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Soooooooooooooooooooooo, where does that first conference L leave the Cards?

Just where I thought they’d be. 2-1 with the most important stretch of games this season coming up. How the Cards lost last night is more disturbing than the L itself. Villanova is better. Unfortunately, so are a lot of other teams in the conference. And around the country.

You’ve read it here before, and now you’re reading it again. Louisville needs to win its next 4 games to have any chance to go dancing in March. Marquette, St. John’s and West Virginia at home, along with Providence on the road, are Must Wins.

Otherwise, the Cards will be waking on Selection Sunday after a fitful night’s sleep in a state of bubblecity.

Hopefully, Peyton Siva will play within himself, Preston Knowles will become a little more judicious in his shot selection, Stephan Van Treese will continue to improve and start making those bunnies, Gorgui Dieng will continue to develop, George Goode will get a chance to prove he can be more of a factor, Terrence Jennings shall find a comfortable place on the bench, Mike Marra will regain his shooting touch, Rakeem Buckles will heal, Elisha Justice and Russ Smith will accelerate their maturity and The Rick will teach his players proper blocking out techniques.

* * * * *

But, hey, not to worry, Red & Black Nation, you’ve surely heard about the fifth grader — Little LeBron, he’s called? He’s wanted to be a Cardinal his entire life. He’s going to be the linchpin of The Rick’s greatest recruiting class ever. For sure.

– Seedy K


  1. Jason Puckett
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    It could be worse.

    It could be like the 1999-2000 season where, after the Cards laid down to Gonzaga in Tucson, they returned to Louisville with something like six departing seniors and only two LOI’s with zero recruiting prospects for the spring.

    Sure, they ended up with Ellis Myles (because no one else was recruiting him) and Joseph N’Sima.

    Again, it could be a LOT worse…

  2. Seedy K
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that you mention Ellis Myles. He’s the only player of the Pitino Era (though recruited by Denny) who immediately comes to mind who fully bought in and reached full potential with Pitino’s demeaning Marine Drill Sargent type of coaching. 

    You are right, it could and has been worse.

    But, for $2 million +/ year and all the peripheral BS, U of L fans deserve a lot more than we’re getting and paying for. 

  3. gnash001
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I often wonder if it’s that Marine Drill Sargent practice regimine in October that contributes to the nagging injuries that the players suffer, especially in their junior and senior seasons.

  4. fred
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This was a predictable loss. We played #7 in the country on the road. No one should be shocked we lost. Disappointed? Sure, but not expected. This is a team with NO starters from last year in uniform. We have a talent gap no matter how much they block out. TJ needs to just sit on the bench and be a practice player. His version of a jump hook is really just a prayer. He has no real idea of where he’s supposed to be or do. I look at his stats and Georgi’s and the minutes each got last night and I scratch my head. Marra who was supposed to be our big offensive gun has TJ’s spot at the end of the bench. This was our first really significant game of the year: a game on the road we were NOT suppose to win.. and we didn’t. The next most significant game is Saturday…at home where we should win. We’re going to have to hold serve on the teams ranked below us and show well against those above us.

  5. J J
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    But, for $2 million +/ year and all the peripheral BS, U of L fans deserve a lot more than we’re getting and paying for.

    I could not agree more. The man simply wears me out. But he can do no wrong in king Jurichs eyes.

  6. cbcard
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    We are paying the price for two (or more) years of weak recruiting. The only meaningful contributor in the senior and junior classes is Knowles. You can’t have your two upper classes that weak and win in very many leagues much less the BE.

    And look at the frontcourt:
    1. Jennings is physically weak compared to the guys he goes against, doesn’t like contact, has no desire to rebound, and has the worst hook shot since the hook was created. By my count he is 0 for the season. Also he would be banned from professional boxing because of the concrete padding he has on his hands.

    2. Dieng has potential but is very raw. He needs to bulk up and build up strength and that can’t happen until the off season. My opinion is he has an upside and should play as many minutes this year as his body (and PFs) will allow to help him gain experience. But for this year he will have problems against physical players.

    3. Van Treese can help us rebounding but it depends on the matchup. Compare his South Florida game against the Nova one. And while he gave me not one but two heart attacks by making both of his FTs he just can’t shoot. In these last two games he is 6 for 13. While that may not sound so bad at first, when you consider not a single shot was taken from more than 3 feet it is awful. And he isn’t too much of a passer either.

    4. Buckles got a bad break (no pun intended) with his injury but we need him as a four. The problem is he too often plays as a three.

    5. Kuric, Marra, and Chris Smith are trying hard but they wouldn’t stand out as a four for Scotty Davenport. Talk about having to play out of position!

    I believe every one of the guys I have mentioned is a good kid and one that is trying hard. But against top level competition we are sending out a team armed with pistols against guys in tanks. The supply chain has been broken for several years and it shows.

  7. Seedy K
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    If the supply chain is broken, it’s time for a new quartermaster.

  8. J J
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Seedy I get the feeling you’ve grown tired of the Rick as well?

  9. Seedy K
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Now what in the world would possibly make you think that? :-)

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