Louisville Card File (Hoops): Lamar

There was a stunning moment — at least from my perspective — during Rick Pitino’s media day press conference.

One reporter’s query referenced that U of L only had two seniors — Chris Smith and Kyle Kuric — on the squad. Pitino, mid question, immediately chastised the questioner. “Three seniors,” he emphatically corrected.

Well, not exactly Rick. Jared Swopshire, from an eligibility standpoint, is just a junior. Nonetheless, The Rick was adamant that, for better or worse, this season would be Swop’s last. Say what you will about Louisville’s coach, he’s never been shy about throwing players overboard when he felt like it. I’ve dubbed it, “going Rodrick Rhodes on a kid.”

How’s that pledge of abandonment working out for you now, Rick?

Swopshire’s been rock solid in U of L’s first two games. He may not be the most fluid guy on the court, but he plays hard. He plays within himself and within the team concept. He never stops hustling. You know, the kind of effort and focus you want from every baller on your team. Yesterday, Swop went for 13 and 8.

To his credit, and a sign of his maturity, Swopshire indicated no resentment when I chatted with him after Pitino’s comments. All the more reason to keep this talent on the squad, I say.

Just guessing here, but I’m thinking, should Swopshire continue to contribute as he has so far, there will be a scholly for him next season. Pitino’s never been one to forget today, statements he made yesterday.

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Meanwhile Chane Behanan has opened his Louisville Cardinal career with two double doubles in a row. Against Lamar, he tallied 10 points, and nabbed 13 boards.

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Gorgui Dieng played a might better, but shows he’s still a year at least away from being a dominating presence.

Peyton Siva displayed a disturbing propensity to make wrong decisions yesterday.

Mike Marra joined the Injured Reserve list. Poor kid. Would have been a significant contributor off the bench for this team.

Good win. (Aren’t they all?) But there were harbingers of trouble ahead, right?

* * * * *

Pat Knight wins the Dana Kirk Timeout Award. Lamar used four of its timeouts by the half.

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I’d like to be more specific with my observations, but . . . I sat in the stands with my bride yesterday, like the real fan I am. I didn’t have notebook in hand to make notes.

So, most of my observations are of the scene more than the game. (Which game was hard to concentrate on, because the lady sitting in front of us, a former Card cheerleader¬† — she says — from yesteryear, was drunk and kept trying to engage us (and all those around) in inane conversations.)

Joey, the too loud, too enthusiastic, unnecessary, rah rah MC during commercial breaks has got to go. Soon. As in, yesterday.

The new blow up Cardinal needs some moves. Perhaps an internship with the ZooperStars is in order. He/ she could learn a thing or two from Harry Canary.

* * * * * *

One guy’s opinion is that it would be great if the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” became a Yum! Center Cardinal tradition. The thought of 22,000 fans singing and dancing along to the classic every game brings a smile to my face.

It would be unique. Given the song’s title and lyrics (Such as they are.), it would be appropriate.¬† A plus for the Cardinal game experience. Here’s a video with dance moves that would be appropriate for Cards’ fans of all ages.

If you agree, let the folks at the U of L Athletic Department know.

– Seedy K

5 Comments

  1. fred
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Chane Behanan is the new Rodney McCray. Now all we need is a new Darrell Griffith. Georgi either had a bad game or has not progressed as wished. My main takeaway was a really disturbing lack of judgement on Peyton Siva’s part. Bad passes, bad floor management. Thank God Lamar could not shoot straight. I don’t get the Swopshire thing…at all.
    We have named the new Cardinal bird: Michael. As in Michael Ballonbird.

  2. cbcard
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    1. Charlie Strong is the true Surfin’ Bird.
    2. Pat may have gone ballistic on calling timeouts but he didn’t throw a chair.
    3. Can’t believe Siva went for a wide open layup off a TO when he had Dieng six feet in front of him. Serves him right for loosing the handle and dropping the ball out of bounds. Note RP yanked him immediately.
    4. The Swop may turn out to be the most important player off the bench. We need him this year AND NEXT.
    5. Any clue why Zack didn’t play? I actually forgot to look for him on the bench.

  3. fred
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    CB, as to number 4, I couldn’t agree more. Thought about that when I was writing my post. Jared Swopshire off the bench? What coach wouldn’t want that?

  4. Mark
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    cb, I believe Dieng was trailing Siva on the break and opted for the, uh, turnover. Makes his decision that much shakier. He just headed for the bench. Swop has something going for him currently the rest of the team (save Behanan) lacks: focus.

    cd, Surfin’ Bird should definitely be the theme…

  5. cbcard
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Fred we are both right but I am more correct. Let me explain. We sit in the lower part of 103 so the play happened right in front of us.

    Yes Dieng was behind Siva when he fumbled the ball out of bounds but he had been six to eight feet closer to the basket when Siva was at the free throw line. He saw Siva wasn’t going to pass him the ball and instead was going in himself so he slowed up so as to not be in the way. That’s why at the end he was trailing.

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