Either by nature or professional choice, he’s chosen to be a negative presence, always finding flaws when breaking down a team or situation. (I’ve been accused of the same, so I know it when I see it.) I have been inclined to believe Gottleib has a particular animus when it came to U of L, but further observation indicates he doesn’t just pick on the Cardinals.
Which I mention, because of a salient observation of his yesterday during one of the endless reflections throughout the day and evening on Louisville’s wobbly W at DePaul.
Considering that the Cards played from behind most of the day — at one point they were doubled up at 17-34 — and that they eventually prevailed in OT, Gottleib commented, “With Louisville, this is what you get.”
Meaning, I decipher, it’s never going to be easy for this edition of the Cards.
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And, frankly, it rarely is, easy for Louisville that is, though the team continues to display an endless supply of grit and determination.
Donning my Doug Gottleib mask for a moment, I feel compelled to mention that DePaul (11-15, 2-12) tallied 48 points in the paint. Giving up that much around the hoop is one thing when playing #2 Syracuse (49 of 52 total in the paint Monday), but is entirely different matter — and not a good sign — when taking the hardwood at the Rosemont Horizon.
(By the by, Bob Wetzel, a color announcer capable of some decent analysis, Louisville did not play Villanova last season on that court, as you mentioned during yesterday’s telecast.)
Eleven first half turnovers is disturbing.
67% free throw shooting is disturbing.
DePaul beat Louisville down court way too often. I kept thinking of a quote oft uttered by Denny Crum, “You have to have a healthy respect for your opponent.” I don’t believe the Cards did yesterday. Nor did The Rick, who, in his pre-game comments, mentioned as how he was going to get PT for Zach Price and Angel Nunez, as if the game was going to be a walkover.
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Thank heavens for two walk ons and an afterthought. Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith and Russ Smith tallied 61 of U of L’s 90 points. Kuric’s rebound of Dieng’s missed front end of a +1 at 83-79 with 1:21 to play in OT was big. Siva followed with 2 FTs in that possession to essentially seal the deal.
Louisville was 21/42 from the field after halftime.
While it is encouraging to see some offensive sets during which there is motion, cutting and passing instead of Siva or Russ Smith dribbling for most of the shot clock, I must ask this of The Rick, why did it take so long to install those plays?
While it was obvious that there was a new offensive game plan, am I the only one who thought Gorgui Dieng should have had a few more touches?
I must never forget one of my favorite theories of hoops in February. All conference Ws on the road are huge, no matter the opponent.
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I for one am glad the Cardinals play South Florida in the Yum! this season. The Bulls are a much better club than in the past, and a trip down there would have disaster written all over it.
In the same vein, I believe the Cincy game up there on Thursday will be the most telling of the season. The Bearcats will be ready, but are beatable. A W in the Queen City was perhaps the best harbinger of good things to come during The Rick’s one Final Four season on the Belknap Campus.
If the Cards can win 3 of their last 4, and play Syracuse strong in the season finale, I’ll feel much better about the team’s chances to make it past the first round of the NCAA.
– Seedy K