Louisville Card File: Seton Hall (Special Memory Lane Edition)

I had the pleasure during the game yesterday of sitting next to Bud Olsen and Don Goldstein, Cardinal stars of my youth.

More on that interaction, after a breakdown, such as it is, of the slogfest W over woeful Seton Hall.

* * * * *

Not sure there’s a lot of insight to be gained from Louisville’s workmanlike 18 point victory.

The return and enhancement of Gorgui Dieng’s 15 foot jumper is obviously a great sign. U of L’s pivotman was 10/11 from the field. along with 8 boards. 3 blocks. 2 steals.

All in all, a most splendid performance.

Luke Hancock went 4/4 from the field, hitting all three of his treys. He also had three assists. Plus he didn’t catch a cold after several Pirates blew by him, when he was attempting to play man D.

My guy Wayne Blackshear was MIA. He committed two fouls early, and sat a lot in the first half. Got his 3d 12 seconds into the 2d half, and was, well, like I said, nowhere to be found.

Nothing else really jumps out from the stat sheet.

Except, perhaps, 20/26 at the line, including Russ’s perfect 10/10. (The more hoops I watch this season, the more I believe the national title is going to be won and lost at the charity stripe. UK sealed the deal last night over Mizzou at the line. Michigan State lost to IU at the line. Florida lost to Missouri at the line. Etc, etc. It is a recurring theme.)

The not so good. Seton Hall outscored the Cards in the paint. Louisville only turned the 21 Pirate turnovers into 3 fast break points, and 17 total.

Other than that, well, my notes from the game about the action — or lack thereof — are pretty sparse. Not much memorable took place.

Which is not meant as a plaint. Just to show that Louisville wasn’t on full alert, and played down to the level of its seriously incapable opponent. (Sad to observe, that Kevin Willard hasn’t done a lot of turning around there . . . yet. I know Bobby Gonzalez left him a heap o’ heap, but still, this is a really bad team.)

Yet it was a Cardinal W. U of L stands 22-5, still 3d in Ken Pomeroy’s and Jeff Sagarin’s ratings, 6th in Real Time RPI and a consensus 3 seed at Bracket Matrix, with a chance to move up to the 2d line.

But, remember this as the regular season winds down and we head into the glorious time of year known as tournament time. Xs and 0s in a computer mean nada. Xs and 0s on a coach’s chalkboard mean little. The games are won and lost on the hardwood.

* * * * *

Now, for a trip down memory lane. (I know, I’ve always made fun of Earl Cox, when he’ll pull out one more Wah Wah Jones story. But, hey, it’s what we old farts do.)

Don Goldstein, who played for Peck Hickman from ’56-’59, was my Cardinal hero. He tallied 1016 points in his three year career. (Freshman were ineligible back then), and snared 868 boards. He was a Helms Foundation All-American his senior year, during which the Cardinals upset Kentucky and Michigan State in the Mideast Regional in Evanston to make it to the Final Four.

I asked him yesterday if he guarded Oscar Robertson in the consolation game? “Yes, and I held him to 36.

“I also held Wilt Chamberlain to 56 in a high school game. I told that story in the fall when I was inducted into the New York High School Hall of Fame. Everybody laughed . . . until I reminded them that Wilt once scored 100 against the Knicks.”

Bud Olsen was also a 1000 point scorer from ’59-’62, averaging 20.8 his senior season. He played on the Cardinal team that came within a missed jumper of upsetting top-ranked, Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek-led Ohio State in the ’61 Mideast Regional.

He was the best passing big man who ever wore a Cardinal uni. When I gave him credit for that, he smiled and said, “You know they didn’t keep assist stats back then.”

While The Rick was barking at his charges on the court, I asked the duo if Peck Hickman ever yelled instructions while the ball was in play?

Olsen: “He never talked to us while we were on the court.”

Goldstein, who hails from Brooklyn: “I never understood a word he said anyway, anytime.”

I asked the guys if they ever pressed, like Pitino’s teams do?

Goldstein: “One season, I was always so tired, I could hardly walk.”

When I suggested that the cigarette smoky arenas and playing in the arch support-less Converse Chucks might have been a factor, Olsen chimed in.

“One year, George Mikan talked Peck into using Keds. They were even worse. They were too wide.”

There was a famous U of L game with Seton Hall in the 50s, when a fight broke out at the Armory, that included some of the crowd. Neither played in that game, which occurred before their playing days.

Goldstein: “I remember reading about it in Life Magazine.”

Seton Hall’s star was an All-American center named Walter Dukes.

Olsen: “I was playing for San Francisco in the NBA. They brought in Dukes to take my place.

“He didn’t do it. They cut him.”

During the game, at halftime and after the final buzzer, several former Cardinals stopped by to chat up the duo. Jadie Frazier. Jerry King. And the guy I love to call U of L Baskeball’s great trivia question, Bill Windchy. He was Wes Unseld’s backup.

When Olsen reintroduced Windchy to Goldstein, he reached over and grabbed Goldstein and said, “I remember you. You were one tough son of a bitch.”

– Seedy K


  1. cbcard
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    What was “Hands” Goldstein doing here?

    No Mantel?

    I knew the late John Turner who overlapped with Goldstein and asked him one day who was the poor son of a bitch who had to guard West and Robertson in back to back games. John told me it was he. And he added WVU ran screen after screen for West and at the first time out Peck told John forcefully that he had to guard West. John said he replied “Guard him? I can’t even find him!”

  2. fred
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    The emergence of a dependable Gorgui Dieng 15 footer could be a season changer. For those who remember the 2009 regional final in Indy and a Michigan State Spartan by the name of Goran Suton, you know what I mean.

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    Posted April 10, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

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