Louisville Card File: West Virginia

My favorite moment of the game was Chane Behanan’s defense on the sequence that ended at 1:43 on the clock with Deniz Kilicili’s 5th foul.

CB fought for every inch of hardwood. The zebras let the guys jostle each other like sumo wrestlers. The Mountaineer pivot would try to post up. CB would get a leg in front and body him from the spot. And so it went for most of the possession. Kilicil finally established position for a second, and got the ball. At which point he made his clumsy, indelicate, but usually effective head and shoulders fake, barreling backwards to the bucket.

Thereby knocking down Behanan who, having established his territory like a wolf pissing in the woods, was perfectly situated.

Foul. Buh, buy Deniz, you scraggly ol’ Mountaineer looking dude.

On the ensuing possession, Chris Smith hit two FTs for an insurmountable 4 point lead.

Ball game.

* * * * *

So, yes, I was all ready to give The Rick my usual heaping platter of shit for lying before the game about Wayne Blackshear’s status. Was going to debut against DePaul. Then a setback, don’t know when he’s going to play. Instead the Golden Arches AA played 20 minutes, scored 13, hitting 5/9 from the field, 3/5 from what Mike Pratt calls Treyville.

Then in his post game show, The Rick admits he was sandbagging Bobby Huggs, so he couldn’t prepare. Sweet.

Blackshear also grabbed 4 boards and started his day on the court with a steal.

Not bad.

Combining his numbers with Kyle Kuric’s 17 points and one stupendous — game winning — steal, and the 3 spot has given your team a pretty respectable day at the hardest place to play in the Big East.

* * * * *

U of L was 10/22 from beyond the arc.

U of L hit 13/15 free throws.

The Cards scored 22 points off 11 West Virginia turnovers. Which means they averaged 2 points off every one of the home team’s gaffes. Which, all things considered, is, well, almost perfect. I mean they could have tallied threes on those possessions, but who is going to quibble, right?

Louisville committed only 8 turnovers.

* * * * *

My second favorite sequence of the contest was that :28 second burst late in the first half when Louisville cut a 13 point deficit to 6, and arguably stayed in the game. The Cards did not want to be down double digits at halftime.

Down 27-40, Blackshear hit a three at 3:02.

Siva took it the hoop for a deuce at 2:43.

Russ Smith stole the inbounds pass and laid in another bunny nine seconds later.

The Mountaineers were back within shouting distance.

* * * * *

The Cards D was mighty fine at crunch time.

WVa scored its second to last field goal with 5:52 to play. And didn’t score again until Kevin Jones converted a +1, five minutes and a second later.

After which walk on Kyle Kuric closed the deal with a heady steal and two FTs.

By the by, KK kick started the Cards at the other end of the game, hitting two improbable treys in the first four minutes. One off the dribble. The other, off a curl. Two threes, neither a spot up. Nice.

* * * * *

It was a big win. A HUGE win.

Louisville hung really tough.

But you got to admit, we had ants in our pants when they gave up a 0-12 West Virginia run in the first half between Blackshear’s first two hoops. Then there was the moment that U of L failed to score on a 4 on 1 fast break.

But enough of that.

The ‘Cuse comes a callin’ for Big Monday. Sean, Bill and Jay, don’t bother knockin’, the house will be rockin’.

– Seedy K


  1. Rick
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    like a wolf pissing in the woods

  2. c d kaplan
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, you know, staking out territory. :-)

  3. doug
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I’m a little confused on the how the rule must read regarding assessment of technical fouls for ball tossing. There must a certain height limit that is deemed “permissable”!
    But seriously, with exception of recent flameouts in the most important tournament, kudos to Rick for improved February play and road toughness.

  4. c d kaplan
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Some tournament toughness in March would be nice. Let’s hope this is the year, U of L again advances past its opening tilt in the Dance.

  5. fred
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I think Bob Huggins is a good coach. Were it not for Kenyon Martin’s broken leg, he would have the same number of rings as The Rick. But I remember his teams at UC and especially one CUSA final at the Hall against UNC-Charotte and Bobby Lutz, when, as the game tumbled to it’s conclusion not to the liking of the Bearcats, Huggins was yelling at his players AND his players were yelling back. The fans were yelling at the players and the players were yelling back at the crowd. In contrast, I cannot recall a player who ever yelled back to Rick Pitino. There’s a discipline and a boundary at work there and I always felt, that in tight situation, things broke down at UC and it might be the same at WVA. Kilicili and his buds came unwound at the end. They didn’t handle their frustration with poise.

  6. MattChew
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    As maddening as their rebounding was in that first half, the Cards were playing methodical, well controlled basketball (that 4 on 1 bust notwithstanding) well enough, that I always felt they were in the mix for most of the afternoon.

    I have a good feeling about the Syracuse game – as they are the terrible rebounding team – so CB and Dieng should be able to pick up some of the slack.

    And Blackshear is as good as promised – that much is apparent.

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