Louisville Card File: Ohio University

This is why I take notes during the game.

Off the top of my head, were I asked, I’s say the key play of the game was Kyle Kuric’s unbelievable block of a layup on a Bobcat fastbreak. It led to a second chance Chane Behanan follow shot on the ensuing possession, after Gorgui Dieng rebounded a missed Russ Smith trey.

But the facts are these. After that sequence, U of L led 43-40.

In a matter of moments however, Louisville had squandered a second half lead that once was nine, falling behind 43-49 with but 3:55 to play.

So, yes, that Kuric defensive gem was, well, a gem, typical of why this walk on has become a Cardinal fan fave, and a key team cog emanating from that one for the ages performance against Syracuse in the Freedom Hall finale. But . . . it wasn’t the key play of the game, as my memory might have tricked me into thinking.

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BREAKING NEWS FROM U OF L. It is 2:45 on Saturday, and I just sat down at the computer to finish this blog. And here’s the important part of an email just received from SID Kenny Klein: “University of Louisville forward Stephan Van Treese has been sidelined indefinitely after reinjuring his left knee in practice on Saturday.”

So it goes.

Now back to our regularly scheduled bloggery.

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Pitino utilized his tricky matchup zone/ man to man hyperflex defense during the entire game.

Until, that is, the final 3:55 with the Cards down 6, at which point after a TV timeout, he went straight man to man. The Bobcats were held to 5 points the rest of the way, while the Cards tallied 16. Good move, coach.

That Cardinal run followed an Ohio run of 17-2 which grabbed that six point advantage after Louisville had run out to a 41-32 lead on a 9-0 run.

Yes, Dick Vitale, we know. It’s a game of runs.

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Peyton Siva looked woefully rusty. He drove into double teams, made sloppy passes and lost his dribble.

He did however come through at the end, making good decisions. But he’s a long way from playing at a Final Four level.

Gorgui Dieng tallied ten points and nabbed a career high 16 boards, 10 of which were off the offensive glass. He committed a relatively modest — for him — three fouls. Dieng needs to stay in the game. With Van Treese hurt and Zach Price ever the freshman, Dieng’s development and presence are more important than ever.

The game’s leading scorer Kyle Kuric played the entire forty minutes for the second game in a row. Of a possible 200 minutes in the Cards’ 5 tilts, he’s been on the court for 176. That’s more than 35 minutes/ game. Peyton Siva and Chris Smith are next closest in time played, at 7 minutes a game less than Kuric. Oh yes, the kid’s not even on scholarship.

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In case you forgot the exact sequence, here’s how the Cards grabbed the tilt by the short and curlies in the last four minutes.

Kuric 3.

Chris Smith two free throws.

Kuric 3 to tie it at 51.

Chris Smith again for snow bird after a steal and break out.

Behanan on a monster drive slam, then two for two at the line to seal the deal.

Louisville did not play well. But it was good victory.

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At the beginning of the game, Pitino reverted to one of his favorite strategies on offense. He kept going to the middle to Dieng and Behanan, attempting to establish a significant post game. Reminded me of the one UK game when ex-Wildcat Marvin Stone toiled for Cards, when Louisville threw inside on the first ten trips down the court.

Most of the game, however, the Cardinals played on the perimeter, looking like Wisconsin. Read: methodical. Uh, boring.

Playmakers needed. Paging Wayne Blackshear. Or a playing within himself Russ Smith.

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Still no “Surfin’ Bird.”

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I’ve always liked Clark Kellogg. He’s a might too cute as an announcer, but knows the game and conveys that.

I’ve had a chance to chat him up on a couple of occasions, and he’s always been friendly, welcoming and forthcoming.

His son plays for Ohio. Kellogg the Elder was in the house last night. Sitting in the end zone. Deep end zone. Bob Uecker seats. Section 120, Row CC. He took in stride some good natured kidding from back benchers a few rows higher.

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During the last timeout, with the game on the line, we got yet one more Kroger tee shirt toss. Way to get the fans fired up.

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Listening to Jim Kelch do the pre-game, and the post game interview with Kyle Kuric, I was reminded what a good announcer he is. No pat questions. Specific inquiries about pertinent moments in the game and how they played out.

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Doug Mann did a hell of a version of the national anthem.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. cbcard
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    My favorite Clark moment would be early in the 79-80 season when I realized the Cards were really for real.

  2. Phil
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Amen to that cbcard.
    Also, CD, Siva had a couple crucial free throws on a very questionable blocking foul to keep the margin at 3 with just a handful of seconds left.

  3. Seedy K
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Good point, Phil. Thanks for the addition.

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