The Courier Journal’s Jeff Greer has an extensive Q&A with Rick Pitino posted and it covers a lot of topics. It really is an informative read. I just wanted to point out a part of it that is interesting when he talks about this season’s team. We knew that the chemistry wasn’t the best last year. In fact, I found it hard to cheer for the team sometimes. They weren’t unlikeable, they just maybe weren’t as likeable as I would have wanted to see. That is just a personal opinion, but one that I know some people do share. Something was just different.
Pitino mentioned it several times last year. Chinanu Onuaku addressed it while practicing for the USA U19 team. The older guys hung out with their girlfriends and the younger guys mainly hung out with each other. The older guys didn’t have patience they needed. It was like a team divided. That should not be a problem this season, and here is some of that Q&A where Pitino discusses it with Greer. He says that this team could be a fan favorite…
Louisville sophomore Chinanu Onuaku has the opportunity to win a gold medal this afternoon. His USA team will play Croatia for the FIBA U19 World Championship today at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Through 6 games in this tournament, all wins, here are Onuaku’s per game stats:
He is really doing it. Chinanu Onuaku is shooting free throws underhanded in the FIBA World Championship games, and I hope he keeps it up for this season at UofL. In yesterday’s 83-53 win over Iran, Onuaku finished with 2 points, 5 rebounds (all offensive), 2 assists, and only 1 foul in 14 minutes. He was 2-4 from the free throw line. Here is video of one of those makes.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that the Louisville Cardinals appear to be one of the teams that will be playing in the Battle for Atlantis in the 2016-17 season.
That is a great start to the field that will battle it out in the Bahamas. The first thing that sticks out to me is a possible matchup against Michigan State. As you know, the Cards will play the Spartans this coming season in the ACC/Big10 Challenge. So there is a chance that they could meet for the third consecutive year in the Battle for Atlantis.
The summer has gotten off to a good start for Louisville sophomore Chinanu Onuaku. Not only has he improved his free throw shooting by going with the underhanded shot, but he went and tried out for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team with 20 other players and ended up making the final roster of 12.
Chinanu Onuaku was 14-30 from the free throw line last season for 46.7%. Near the end of the season, head coach Rick Pitino said that Onuaku had been practicing free throws underhanded. It turns out that the underhanded method just may be a thing for Onuaku this coming season. He has even started to utilize the shot while he is in Colorado trying out for the USA U19 World Championship Team.
Louisville sophomore Chinanu Onuaku is in Colorado Springs, Colorado trying to make the USA U19 World Championship Team. Training camp began with 21 players and Onuaku survived the first cut that took it down to 16 finalists. The team will eventually be cut down to a final roster of 12 players when camp ends on June 21.
From usab.com, here are the final 16 players:
On Saturday, training camp will begin for the 2015 USA Men’s U19 World Championship Team. The camp will be from June 13-26 in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the United States Olympic Training Center. 21 players will participate at training camp. Finalists will be announced on June 15, and the roster will eventually be cut down to 12 players.
The 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship runs from June 27-July 5 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Why is this news that Louisville fans should care about? Because Chinanu Onuaku is one of the 21 players that will be trying out for the team. I think it would be great if he makes the team. Obviously, if he doesn’t and he is still in Louisville, he will be working on getting better on the court. That is a given. But if he can work on his game while also getting to go through an experience like this and getting to travel and play with other young talented players, it will only make him better and probably more mature.
Here is a roster breakdown from USAB.com:
There is always something to talk about in the world of UofL sports, even basketball in the month of June. Newcomers on campus, upcoming trips, and injuries unfortunately. This is just a quick rundown to get you caught up on some things lately.
*Chinanu Onuaku has been selected to participate in the U19 USA Basketball Camp that runs June 12-26. There are 24 players invited and the team will be cut down to 12.
*Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come in his one year as a Louisville Cardinal, but Trey Lewis already finds himself injured with an abductor strain.
Sophomore Center Chinanu Onuaku was selected as one of 24 players who will be participating in the USA basketball Men’s U19 training camp that will be held in Colorado June 12-26. This camp is a try out to make the 12 man team that will go on to play in the FIBA U19 World Championships later this month in Greece.
The team now coached by Arizona’s Sean Miller is the same team that Montrezl Harrell was a member of in 2013. That summer really helped take Trez’s game to another level and you have to think Pitino hopes to see the same from Nanu.
From Press Release per Louisville SID Kenny Klein:
The 6-10, 230-pound Onuaku from Lanham, Md., started 26 games as a freshman in helping the Cardinals post a 27-9 record last season, reaching the final eight teams in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last eight years. An All-ACC Academic team selection, Onuaku averaged 3.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and was ninth in the ACC with 42 blocked shots last season.
I had to put a time in the title of the post because there seems to be news every few hours with the basketball team and roster. So this is just to update you on what has been going on with the Cards and what we could see happening soon.
One of the roster questions appears to have been answered. According to the Courier-Journal, big man Chinanu Onuaku will return to the University of Louisville. After Rick Pitino’s press conference on Monday to wrap up the season, there was a question as to whether Onuaku would be one of the players that would transfer out of the program.
Soon after the press conference, it was learned that Anton Gill would transfer. The other two question marks appeared to be Onuaku and Shaqquan Aaron. There is still no word on Aaron just yet, but it is good to hear that Onuaku will be back.
Rick Pitino met with the media on Monday afternoon for almost 30 minutes to wrap up the season, which saddens me. It is about 8 days too early, but it happens. He said that Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell will both go pro, and also hints that a couple of players could transfer.
Since the press conference this afternoon, we learned that sophomore Anton Gill will transfer.
Transcript from Courier-Journal.com. Edited by me.
Before I leave on the recruiting trail, we had individual instructions and I missed you guys so I wanted to say goodbye to you one last time. You know, there’s good and bad in every season, and I’m not going to mislead you and tell you that it doesn’t hurt. Outside of the Christian Laettner loss, I think this was probably the second most-bitter defeat that we have faced, because, you know when Mangok made that first free throw which shouldn’t have gone in, I said, we’re going to win this thing and for a span of a short period of time all I could think of was, ‘We just have to play defense for four seconds.” At first there was three-point-something, and they changed it. And I said all we’ve got to do is play defense for four seconds and we’re in the Final Four, because I was positive the second one would go in after that luck. And it didn’t go in. And we missed a lot of free throws down the stretch, a lot of layups down the stretch, and that’s the bad.
There is no clever intro to write for this one. The Cards were in complete control on Thursday afternoon against the Tar Heels and wound up losing the game. Sometimes, that is a matter of one team just coming back and taking the game from the team that was winning. Other times, the team with the lead just gives it away. This one was the latter. Rather than talking about where to watch the rematch with Virginia on Friday night, we have nothing to do until Sunday, when the brackets come out. Here are a few thoughts from the game, and I am not here to sugarcoat anything.
Open for a reason
Well that one didn’t turn out very well. The Cards got down early, but rallied with an 11-0 run to start the second half to tie the game up. From there, it was a back and forth battle, with the Irish pulling away in the last few minutes. Louisville drops to 2-1 in their new season that I proclaimed them to have, and have one big regular season game left when Virginia comes to town on Saturday.
Nobody likes to relive losses, so if anyone is even reading this, thank you. I won’t take up much of your time. Just a few quick hitters from the game.
Rozier trying to impress?
Well there are times that this season has gone by quick, and times it has gone by slow. It seems like the last month has gone by at the snap of a finger. Now we’re faced with two really difficult games to get to a double bye. Our fate is in our hands, and we’ve got two very difficult teams to go against. One team is, percentage wise, the best offensive team in the country. The other team is the best, well one of the premier defensive teams in the country. So certainly we have our hands full. But I think our guys are up for the challenge. We’ve got to do a lot of things well to have any chance of beating either one of those teams.
This week on 55…..
We are coming to the end of another season of 55. Don’t worry though, still 3-4 episodes left this season and I am confident it will be renewed for a third season. Seeing that I am the only one who could approve or cancel 55 I would have to be a dufus to deny the approval. (Shout out to Steve) Speaking of Steve. Did you tune into the brand new CardinalSportsZone podcast yesterday? We will talk about that too. The ACC Championships have wrapped up for some and are about to gear up for others. Where did the Cards start the week in the polls? Find out here.
Without further adieu, here are the most ridiculous, outlandish, interesting or just downright obnoxious things I have heard this week. THIS is 55…..
“I’m as proud of this basketball team as any game I’ve ever coached because I’ve never seen a team have so many open looks from layups to wide open shots off good ball movement and (the shots) not falling. Earlier this year we had the same thing happen and we got down and we didn’t play good defense. But these guys kept their attitude and just focused on one thing: winning the game. You know Georgia Tech is just like us. We have two better players than them, but they’re just like us. They run great stuff, but the ball doesn’t go in. They’re not a good shooting team and we’re not a good shooting team. And that’s the most frustrating thing because they do so many great things offensively and so many great things defensively, and so did we. But when the shot doesn’t go in, you struggle. But they’re a team that played Duke to the wire and had them. Notre Dame in overtime. They’re young right now and they suffer the same things we suffer and that’s ‘you have wide open shots and they don’t go down.'”