Louisville Card File: Rutgers

I know this horse has been beaten so to death, it’s been lying on the ground for weeks, waiting to be carted off to a British sausage factory.

I’m still going to beat it a bit more. Because I can. And, because it needs to be done.

Last night in Piscataway, Wayne Blackshear fashioned his career game . . . so far. (If The Rick gives the Windy City kid a chance, he’ll have many more.)

Blackshear was 7/11 from the field, including 3/5 from downtown. 2/2 at the line. He added a block, an assist, a rebound and played tough D.

19 points.

He was especially huge when the Cards were struggling early. Coach’s pet Luke Hancock was doing nothing as a starter. When he committed a turnover, Knee Jerk Rick finally inserted WB in the lineup.

He scored the next seven Cardinal points.

He actually opened the second half on the hardwood, playing a big role in kickstarting U of L’s run with a 3 and a couple FTs.

Sooooooooo, why my concern?

Coach Pitino rewarded Blackshear’s stellar play with . . . 14 minutes of PT. (For comparison purposes only, Luke played 27, tallying 5 points.)

14 minutes. Gimme a friggin’ break.

I know he had four fouls. And I understand that when he came out after that 4th one, the game was well in hand and his stellar balling wasn’t needed. But still . . .

These kids crave being on the court. Blackshear has earned more playing time.

* * * * *

Rutgers, whose coach is as wacky as that Henderson kid down at Ole Miss, scored the first deuce of the second half, to knot the game at 28. That came at the 19:19 mark.

The second media timeout came with 11:46 to play, right after a Russ Smith trey made it 51-30.

Easy math. U of L had outscored the home team 23-2.

I don’t care what schlepper league foe you’re playing. When you win on their court, in February, by 20 points, holding them under the half century mark, it’s a good thing.

Rutgers beat Pitt (#6 in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings) there.

So, I’m only going to carp a bit more. It would be unfair to complain about the Cards play too much. Because, as the UPS commercial goes, I’m happy.

* * * * *

Gorgui Dieng had another dominating defensive game. 6 intimidating blocks. 8 rebounds.

But, am I the only one wondering why there aren’t offensive sets that get him the ball on the block, so he can just turn and shoot? A flip hook. A quick 5 foot bank shot. (I ask the same question about Chane Behanan and Silent L. Though the latter did it get it there once, unfortunately missing the short turnaround J.)

I’d also offer that Dieng handles the ball way too much in the backcourt after inbounds plays. And he handles it way too much far from the hoop above the key.

* * * * *

Now, for your viewing pleasure, one more look at Russ’s thunder slam.

You might want to turn down the sound. Bob Wenzel, he of the consistently inane “insight” and “expert commentary,” laughs in a manner which may induce inadvertent, involuntary projectile vomiting.

Smith had a typical game. 3/11 shooting. But he was 6/6 at the line. 5 rebounds. A steal. And 4 assists.

While remaining irrepressibly implacable.

* * * * *

Keeping the horse metaphor — we are gaining on Derby season — Peyton Siva is the one this team is riding.

He was steady. 9 points. 7 assists. Two steals.

Two more significant team stats. 15 assists vs. 15 turnovers. Not so good. 13/17 at the FT line. Good.

* * * * *

The following warning is provided, so you may get properly immunized in advance.

Next stop: ESPN Game Day in South Bend.

Which means Richard “Digger” Phelps shall be more insufferable and cloying than ever. He loves the Irish. He hates the Cards.

See your family physician for proper inoculation.

– Seedy K

5 Comments

  1. doug
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    What is going on with slow starts in college bball games???
    Last night’s early scores and time remaining:
    Baylor 7 Ok.St. 2 12:46
    Marq. 13 SFlor. 3 13:16
    St.J 15 UConn 7 10:21
    Mich St. 13 Minn. 6 6:49

    2,3 points in 7 minutes, 7 in 10, 6 in 13 minutes! Could have been football scores.

  2. david
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    CDK is exactly right. If we are giving Ricky the benefit of the doubt perhaps he is trying to keep Wayne from thinking about leaving early. He might’ve gotten 50 the way he was playing (what a beautiful shot he has) if he had played the amount of time he deserves.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–there is a reason Hancock went to George Mason. He is a decent, not great, mid-major player. But he is, indeed, the coach’s pet, and when it comes to Ricky, that is a good role to have.

  3. Mattchew
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    That driving dunk by Russ is the best I’ve seen by a Card since Mark McSwain’s tomahawk against North Carolina in the ’86 NCAA Tournament.

    I can’t believe there were too many UofL fans up there for the game, so the crowd’s roar I think gives an indication of just how awe-inspiring that dunk must have been to see in person.

  4. fred
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Comments have been heard that Blackshear may have some kind of chronic respiratory issue. One of the local reporters noted how hard Blackshear was breathing in another game where Rick pulled him for Hancock. Something for you to research, Mrs. SeedyK.
    As to sets for Gorgui, I don’t see UL running sets for ANYBODY. The offense doesn’t seem to go that way. There’s Siva to the Paint- high pick and roll for Siva, then dish/shoot/pass. Then there’s Give The Ball to Russ. That’s about it.

  5. cbcard
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    My son said there were quite a few Cards fans there. There are a lot of Louisvillians living in Manhattan.

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