A comeuppance was a comin’. The comeuppance cometh.
The harbingers for last night’s L have been manifest for weeks. No offensive flow. Poor 3-point defense. Too many turnovers. Nobody on the wing who can score off the dribble. No backup in the pivot. A shorter bench than heralded.
Not only is Louisville not now the #4 team in the land, the Cards never were. The rating services that make sense had them in the 10-20 range, and even that might be a smidge too high.
Okay, now that I’ve vented my frustration over the season’s first loss by my beloved U of L Cardinals after 12 Ws, let’s take a look at what happened.
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First and foremost, Georgetown is a better team. JTIII is as boring personality-wise as they come. But he can coach, and his Princeton-style offense is always hard to defend. His teams are always steady, never woof, execute and play tough.
While perusing the Hoyas’ season stats before last night’s tilt, I noticed that they hit 37% of their treys, while holding their foes to 27%.
They were 74% from the charity stripe. And their five main guys hit 77%.
Plus there’s never been a Georgetown team that would give an inch under the boards.
Last night, the visitors were +8 at the free throw line.
Last night, the visitors were +6 on the boards.
Last night, the visitors were +9 in points off the bench.
Last night, The Rick had nowhere to turn when Gorgui Dieng was whistled for his 2d foul with 11:58 still to play in the opening half.
Last night, the Hoyas stalwart D rendered the Cardinals even more stagnant on offensive than they’ve been.
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All that negativitude notwithstanding, what Louisville did was stunning in the 1:57 stretch that started at the 3:58 mark when, with U of L down 11, Russ Smith nailed a trey to cut the lead to 8. Louisville only had two fouls, so, after a timeout, the Cards started going for steals, which strategy ratcheted up the intensity, and shook the visitor’s steadiness.
Dieng blocked a shot. Siva stole the ball and executed a +1. Siva stole the ball again, leading to a Behanan slam. Then Dieng stole the ball, followed by a Siva jumper. Dieng nabbed a defensive board, then layed in the tying shot on an assist by Siva.
Once dead in the water, Louisville had tied it at 63.
Alas, the tank was empty, and there weren’t enough pit stops to refill.
Otto Porter grabbed an offensive board and scored to secure the lead again which was never surrendered.
Henry Sims hit two free throws. Then Otto Porter hit four straight free throws. Ball game.
Otto Porter, by the by, who went for 14 points and 14 boards is a freshman. And the Hoyas aren’t going away in the future. Their 13 man squad has 10 freshman and sophomores.
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Since Zach Price isn’t ready for any minutes, or, at least The Rick doesn’t consider him ready for any minutes, the injury to Stephan Van Treese appears to be the one that hurts Louisville the most. Unless it’s the one to Wayne Blackshear, who, if healthy, might be able to score off the bounce from the wing.
Rakeem Buckles is surely not the answer. He went for 2/3 in 15 minutes.
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U of L stands 12-0 in its meaningless and not very helpful, opening Let’s Fill The Yum! And Rake In The Benjamins Series.
U of L stands 0-1 in the conference, 0-1 in the conference at home.
Next up: Kentucky.
It could be U.G.L.Y.
– Seedy K