Louisville Card File: Georgetown

This was inevitable.

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.

* * * * *

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.


* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

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.

In Rupp.

It could be U.G.L.Y.

– Seedy K


  1. Hendricks
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Man, you just don’t like Pitino. I realize that’s not something you’re trying to hide, and that’s a valid opinion, but maybe you need to drink more of the cool-aid. These are kids, they play there rear ends off for you nightly, no matter which Benjamin raking opponent is on the other side. This team was not going to go undefeated, quit hating. Twice you noted your own negativity and kept at it. Lighten up man. They’ll win plenty of games because like it or not, that’s what Pitino does. Wins basketball games. As a Card fan, I’m not scared of UK or anyone else because I’m also a college basketball fan and realize that anything can, and often does, happen. Try for a happy new year man. You can do it.

  2. c d kaplan
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I think Rick Pitino is a very good, if no longer great, coach, though I do not care for some of his personality traits. I don’t think he’s coaching, and certainly not recruiting, as well as he did during his stint at Kentucky. I agree, and have written, this team — as last year’s — gives maximum effort, displays true grit. And, yes, Pitino does win games, except, of course, for the last two first round games in the NCAA, and a regional final with the #1 seeded team in the Dance.

    I am not a Hater. I love U of L basketball as much as anybody, and have since 1952. But I try to call it as I see it, not through rose colored glasses.

    I daresay there are very few Louisville fans who weren’t expecting significantly more success during the Pitino Era after he was hired. I’m tired of all the “building up the brand” talk. U of L had a great “brand” when he arrived, despite the fall off in Denny’s last seasons.

    I stand by my position that Pitino has underperformed while at U of L. Not to mention his marital peccadillo, which was embarrassing.

    If so inclined, you can read my preview of the UK game here:


  3. bob
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hey Chuck, what is not to like about Pitino?

    He is not responsible for the players we have.

    He is not responsible for our half court offensive.

    He is not responsiblefor our in-bound plays.

    He is not responsible for the defense that
    continues to foul 50 feet from the basket.

    He is not responsible for the lack of playing time for young players so they gain experience.

    He is not responsible for having 7 hurt players at one time.

    He is not responsible for two in a row first round NCAA losses.

    He could not be responaible for any of these items or why would he be making $3.5 million per year.

  4. Mark Hanley
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    the most disturbing developement of last night’s game,was CRP’s insistance on playing Buckels and Behanan at the same time….for fairly long chunks of clock…..they both have the same skill sets(although,Behanan’s upside is considerable…Buckel’s not so much)and do the same stupid things…….and when on the court at the same time,these flaws show up in an exponential manner…..in other words,they take up too much of the same space……hope Blackshear is truly the second comming…cause all I’ve been able to see in Ware,is the ability to waves his arms around in a frantic manner..as for Price…I agree with CRP…..not even close to ready for prime time….never thought I would hear anyone loning for the return of SvT…LOL

  5. Thomas Bleuel
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Let me start by stating that I have never been a Pitino fan! I have always been a Louisville fan, but my fandom took a serious hit when Denny “retired” under pressure from Jurich and fair-weather fans influenced by the David Hawpe/Pat Forde/Rick Bozich Curious-Urinal Crum-bashing that took place during his final four years! (Sorry cd…I know that’s a run-on sentence….there will probably be more!) To me, Pitino is the anti-Crum, and that’s not a good thing! I never liked him when he was at uk, and I still can’t get used to seeing him on our bench now! I never wanted, nor ever will I want, what uk had/has!! I agree that there was nothing wrong with our “brand” pre-Pitino! The slide U of L took in Denny’s last years was due in large part to the aforementioned negative press of our once great local newspaper, and the blown-out-of-proportion ncaa violations Forde and Hawpe were so proud to have uncovered…which in turn, hurt recruiting! Denny never lost his ability to coach…just look at some results from his second to last team…we beat 3 top ten teams that year, handily I might add (N. Car., Syr., and Utah)…with much less talent than we’ve had in any year Pitino has been here! Our “brand” before we became the university of pitino….(Why does he seem to have an invisible bubble of protection around him?)…was that we would consistently have a top five strength of schedule (Denny would play anybody, anywhere, anytime!), which always prepared us for tournament time, if it didn’t allow us to go undefeated or be ranked #1! Pitino schedules a bunch of patsies to pad his record and create false confidence in the players, so that when we do play someone decent…(Georgetown)…we’re not prepared! Also, in 30 years, I never once saw a t-shirt with Denny’s name on it, nor did his players have their names on their jerseys (why give the opposition help identifying who to look out for in game situations?)…It was Louisville Basketball!!! Since Pitino was hired, before he even coached a game, fans were already drinking his milk…”Got Pitino?” Now it’s Pitino-ball!! Annoying! Not what Louisville basketball was or is supposed to be!! Furthermore, just compare the records of Denny and Pitino in overtime games, or games decided by less than 5 pts….Nobody was better than Denny at making adjustments DURING the course of a game…in regards to x’s and o’s, nobody was better than Denny!! In contrast, if Pitino’s pregame scouting-report game plan isn’t working, he rarely has answers….all of this and more is why we’ve lost games we should not have lost since Pitino’s been here! If Denny had the players that Pitino’s had since he’s been here, I’m pretty sure we’d have been to more than one Final Four in the last ten years!!
    Another point of annoyance with Pitino as our coach is his exorbitant pay, which was more than double what Denny ever got, without him ever coaching a game for us! I do believe that our only NCAA Championships still were under our “old brand”! The only good thing about having Pitino as our coach is how much it upset so many uk fans…but even that novelty is wearing off!!
    I know Denny’s not coming back, but why didn’t we consider Davenport to replace him…a true Louisvillian, and class act!! Will he be given consideration when Pitino leaves? Probably not….Pitino will get to pick who he wants to replace him….his son more likely!! Blah!!!
    The only thing Pitino’s good at is talking…which allows him to recruit and motivate, but beyond that?
    I gave up my season tickets when Denny retired, and the sad thing is that I haven’t really missed going to the games! I used to live and breathe Cardinal basketball…it got me through the winter doldrums…never missed a dribble for over 20 years (I’m 42)…but it just hasn’t felt the same, because it isn’t, and I can’t fake a feeling! On the bright side, I probably needed a little perspective on the seriousness I put into my passion for Louisville Cardinal basketball back in the “old” days!! Now it doesn’t feel as good when we win, but it also doesn’t hurt as much when we lose!! I’ll get season tickets again when Pitino leaves and we hire someone with LOUISVILLE connections, not Pitino connections!!
    P.S. If we beat uk this Saturday, I’ll take it all back….just kidding!!

    Thanks for letting me vent a little on your page!!! Go Cards!!!!

  6. Seedy K
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Bob, I think you’re right. It’s time we give The Rick a raise. 

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