Louisville Card File: Pikeville

Now that the L is silent, what’s a pundit who covers the Cardinals to do?

Write ‘ouisville instead of Louisville? U of ( ) instead of U of L?

How quickly has frosh forward Montrezl Harrell grabbed the attention of the Cardinal Nation?

There was the monster headline on the C-J’s sports page today sure, but more salient is this. My buddy Graham is a close to the vest kind of guy, disinclined to emote in any effusive manner. Well, here are the texts I received from him last night during the game.

@ 7:39: “We love Montrezl.”

@ 7:45: “Did I tell you? We love Montrezl.”

@ 8:16: “Maybe I forgot to tell you. We love Montrezl.”

@ 8:42: “Thank you Va Tech.”

So, yes, that 19 point (9/11 from the field), 13 rebound performance seems to have energized an already pumped U of ( ) fan base. Thank you indeed Virginia Tech for firing Seth Greenberg. Not only is he a great addition to ESPN’s hoops lineup, but his dismissal was the proximate cause of young Mr. Harrell’s abdication and journey to the Belknap Campus.

* * * * *

The flip side of the coin, of course, is how power forward in residence Chane Behanan will respond to the new kid in town?

When I got home, there was an email from Charlie, another die hard ‘ouisville fan. It read: “Late in the first half tonight Montrezl (What is up with the silent “l”?) drew a charge.  While I was watching the court Sharon swiveled her eyes to the U of L bench.  She told me every guy on the bench was clapping and cheering except for one guy.  I’ll give you three guesses who.  The first two don’t count.”

Behanan is currently in The Rick’s dog house for matters which have not been made public. I’m advised they aren’t serious.

What is serious is how the Behanan/ Harrell situation plays out. Will Chane realize that competing every day in practice for PT can only help his already considerable game? Does he understand and accept that having a two-headed monster at PF only makes this deep and talented squad more formidable? Or, will he pout, perhaps negatively affecting the esprit de corps of the team?

During The Rick’s tenure, there’s always been a soap opera. Stay tuned.

* * * * *

Because our memories tend to be short, let me remind one and all about whom we were buzzing after last season’s exhibition against UPike.

Uh, that would have been Chane Behanan. He led the team’s scorers with 16, while grabbing 7 boards in 24 minutes of play.

If Behanan stays classy, this team shall be a beast along the front line.

* * * * *

Some fans, after watching that other heralded newcomer Luke Hancock, were wondering out loud what all the buzz is about?

“I am unimpressed,” advised my nemesis David at the half.

Hancock did open the game with turnovers on U of ( )’s initial two trips down the court. He steadied somewhat. He appeared a little out of sync to me. Then again, he hasn’t played in a real game for over a year and a half, and is still recovering from injury.

I personally like his game. He does play slower than the rest of this very quick bunch. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am charmed by his jump shot. It reminds me of mine. No lift at all. But the guy likes to take it to the hoop, and should be spending a lot of time at the charity line.

At 11:32 in the opening half, he made a great baseline move for a reverse layup on an inbound play after a timeout.

(A few minutes later, Gorgui Dieng scored on an inbound play, followed by a Silent L score on an inbounds. Even though this game technically doesn’t count, I would remiss if I didn’t mention that’s three more sweet inbound plays than the Cards had all last season.)

* * * * *

Other quick observations:

This team’s D could be scary good.

I don’t like that Siva had four fouls. He still reaches in some, and seemed to be pressing a little to make things happen instead of allowing the game to come to him. For the Cardinals to meet expectations, Siva needs to be injury and foul free the entire season.

Dieng and Harrell have a nice high/ low chemistry.

Russ Smith simply makes things happen. The vast majority of the time, good things.

Wayne Blackshear is smooth. And if Kevin Ware has improved even half as much as The Rick has hypebolized, there will be a two headed monster at SF to join the one at PF.

Zach Price has trouble holding onto the ball, but I love his hustle, how he fights for post up position and how he hits the boards.

How neat is it to have somebody like Stephan Van Treese as your 4th or 5th best big man?

* * * * *

Peripheral observations.

I hate, hate, hate that fans now vote for a song to be played using Twitter. Talk about ruining the fan experience. Those votes by applause were fun and jacked up the crowd. Now everybody’s grabbing their smart phone. Baaaaaaaad move!

Like the new intro video. Less Pitino. More iconic moments from Cardinal hoops history.

The black warmups are, uh, interesting. For seem reason, I feel compelled to compare them to the white warmups that UK wore last season. The white ones worked better, more refined. But I daresay what U of L wears during lay up lines shan’t affect its game.

Matt Doherty was sitting along press row, apparently scouting for some entity or another.

Anne Kordes is one tough broad. And I mean that as the highest of compliments. Another great Jurich hire.

UPike star Jamar Briscoe used to play at UNC Charlotte.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. bob DeSpain
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, Wayne Blackshear will be the biggest positive difference compared to last year’s team.

    Here is a guy that can get to the front of the rim while being under of control. It has been a while since we had someone who could do that.

    He also makes his free throws.

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