Louisville Card File: DePaul

Nothing like playing DePaul to help right the ship.

The all-time series now stands 36-21 in the Cards’ favor, but most of those Blue Demon Ws were during the Meyer Era. Ray, not son Joey.

Yesterday’s W was the 8th in a row for Louisville. An object of beauty, it was not. Mandatory, it was.

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Is there anything positive to be gleaned from the victory, other than that the bleeding abated for one blustery winter’s day?

Yes.

If Gorgui Dieng stays through his career, he could be America’s dominant center when he’s a senior. For somebody still learning the game, still toughening up, he’s becoming a presence on the floor.

If Kevin Ware learns a game where he can dribble with his right hand and bust a move to his right, he could be a really effective college player.

If Russ Smith develops some prudence about his game, we could be comparing him to Kemba Walker. The kid is super quick. He has good instincts at both ends of the court. And, if his shot selection matures, he will be dynamo, a great college player.

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While the Cardinal vessel is not listing on its side like the Costa Concordia, do not confuse yesterday’s W as a sign it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

The effort was strong, but the execution still lacking.

U of L committed more turnovers (17) than assists (16). Six of those errors came from Peyton Siva. Though he also had almost half of Louisville’s assists (7).

The Cards were again burned for a disturbing number of threes. With 3:02 left in the game, and the visitors only down 8, DePaul had canned 10 of 21 treys. Fortunately they missed their final 2, to puff up Louisville’s final victory margin to a deceptive 17, 76-59.

Louisville continues to look confused and awkward on offense. Too much dribbling. Way too much dribbling. And standing about waiting for something to happen. U of L had only one crisp offensive possession, which came soon after a 2-11 run midway through the second half allowed the Blue Demons to cut the Cards lead to 5.

After a DePaul tally with 6:58 to play, Louisville advanced the ball quickly up court with passing not dribbling. Three or four nifty passes in the front court led to a Siva-assisted Rakeem Buckles 12 foot jumper.

Other than that, the only offensive highlights were Russ Smith’s one on one moves — when they worked — and Chris Smith’s 4/5 shooting from beyond the arc.

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This week’s a big one for Louisville’s post-season chances. It reminds me of the situation with the ’06-’07 Cards, who, in the middle of the league slate, had lost 2 of 3, with a Monday/ Saturday journey to #7 Pitt and #12 Marquette on the horizon. They trapped the Panthers by 13, then Jerry Smithed the Warriors, not losing again until the second round of the Big East tourney.

You think Marquette is remembering its meltdown last year in the Yum!? And, Pitt, the one team in the conference underachieving more than U of L, is liable to be severely hungry and 0-6 when Louisville arrives Saturday, along with a yawning Game Day crew, wondering “What are we doing here?”

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Best Performance of the Day: Cincinnati Firecrackers jumpropers at the half. Clearly.

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. fred
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    The best thing that happened to Rick Pitino yesterday was the thrashing the Tar Heels took from FL State.It showed it can happen. I thought Louisville was a lot loser yesterday. Although I still don’t understand passing up an open three for a contested shot closer in, They also shot 50%. Of the four box scores in the paper this morning, only the Rutgers women had more assists than TOs. Not UL, not UK, TN or DePaul.

  2. gnash001
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I surprised that after that one stretch in the second half, after both teams threw the ball away three consecutive times apiece, we didn’t hear the announcer say “The past two minutes of play have been brought to you by Heitzman’s bakery. Always fresh turnovers!”

    Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

  3. bob
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    There were a number of positive actions we can take from the dePaul game.

    We won.

    Chris Smith is starting to be the player that he can be.

    Ware can help us on both ends of the court.

    Maybe the “rock star” will let Russ Smith play his game.

    The Cards have some good game film to show them what to do and not to do.

    If Siva will understand he can be the star of the team by just running the offense, he does not have to play like Sosa nor can he play like Russ Smith.

    We do not have long to see if the Cards can keep it going. (3:30 today)

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