Louisville Card File: Syracuse

Chatting up Mike Waters of Syracuse Post-Standard before the game, the Orange beat scribe called Boeheim’s team “schizzy.”

I’ll say.

Early on, the visitors took the lead with a 6-0 run. Then gave it up as U of L tallied 10 in a row.

Which Cardinal jaunt extended to 21-4 for a 40-30 halftime advantage. Then the guys in white scored on their first five possesions of the 2d stanza. Then gave up 5 in a row, followed by tallying 6 in a row on treys by Knowles and Kuric.

At which point, Louisville led by 20 with 15:22 to play.

Then the Orange tallied 8 straight in a minute. And inexorably cut into the Cards advantage the rest of the way, turning the afternoon delight into your basic ’10-’11 Cardinal Edition barn burner.

Both teams displayed split personalities.

It was — thank you, Rick James — super freaky.

* * * * *

The Cards won because they went 13/27 from beyond the arc. They almost lost because they only hit one of their last seven.

U of L also had 20 assists vs. only 10 turnovers, 5 of which were excusable because Rak Buckles was playing with one hand. Plus the Cards hit 8/11 from the line, four of which sealed the game at crunch time.

* * * * *

My desire to watch Gorgui Dieng and Fab Melo go head to head remains unrequited.

If you recall, Melo was a “lock” to matriculate at U of L. Up until National Signing Day, when he inexplicably signed with Syracuse.

After which recruiting “setback,” Louisville went out and nabbed Dieng, who, still recovering obviously from a legit concussion, didn’t play again yesterday.

Nor did Melo, who didn’t start for the first time all year, and didn’t take off his warmups.

Apparently the Brazilian missed a practice or two this week and didn’t advise the coaches in advance, or provide a reason, other than “family matters.” I’m advised he was already on Jim Boeheim’s shit list.

In the long run, the Dieng for Melo deal is going to serve Louisville well.

* * * * *

The zebras giveth. The zebras taketh away.

Against Notre Dame, Kuric gets teed up when he probably shouldn’t have.

Against ‘Cuse, Chris Smith was fouled and the stripes changed a 1+1 to two shots. Both of which he nailed to secure U of L’s W.

* * * * *

While Louisville’s offense bogged down a bit during the late meltdown, I’m not sure I can cite a bad shot taken then or, for that matter, during the entire contest. The Cards stayed within the game plan even when it bogged down and wasn’t effective because of better Syracuse D late.

Louisville played a mature, patient, tactical game.

* * * * *

Two notes on The Rick:

1) No tie. ????

2) It’s time for a new intro pep talk.

* * * * *

Even though U of L “cheerleaders” were wearing “Spirit Day” t-shirts, the crowd was mostly passive.

The more I sit in the Yum!, the more comfortable I’m getting with it. It is genuinely imposing.

That said, it is far less intense than Freedom Hall.

* * * * *

The Cards have now beaten the Orange seven (7) times in a row.

* * * * *

Before the game, the ever-professional and always-on-top-of-things Kenny Klein walked into the media room, nervously shrugged, and lamented, “No Perv.”

Indeed, Pervis Ellison, MOP of the ’86 champs who were feted at the half, didn’t show. Kind of like the second half of his senior season. Rim shot, please. (To be fair, Ellison has said he was far more injured than anybody except his teammate Kenny Payne knew.)

It’s always a pleasure to honor former Cardinals, especially champions. And to hear Billy Thompson, who, until he led the charge to that national championship, was one of the most excoriated Cards ever. One fan who sat behind my dad and me was so merciless and excretory, that we actually asked to have our seats moved.

One reason that squad was so tourney tough was its early season schedule. They were only 8-4 after the first dozen tilts. But had played 5 Top 20 teams, losing to four of them. None of which Ls mattered a whit when they were cutting down the nets in Dallas.

– Seedy K


  1. cbcard
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Buckles would have had only three turnovers if he had been playing with one foot. He stepped out of bounds twice, both times with his left foot.

  2. Birdie King
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Didn’t surprise me that Pervis didn’t show. No explanation or contact and that didn’t surpirse me either.

  3. fred
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The old guy in front of me was pissed again. “Twenty point lead! Down to three!” I hope he went home happy. Did those of us who follow basketball (and note the spread was 2) really expect the Cards to beat the “Cuse by 20 or 30? It’s a game of runs. When the runs were over we won. Done.
    I thought the Rick’s tie-less outfit was his attempt at joining in the “throwback” uni thing. Can’t image what else, unless he’s planning on a new look.
    I marvel at how PK can bend over, pick a ball off the floor, rise up in one motion for a three point jump shot…that goes in.

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