When this season started, I think fans had expectations that Mangok Mathiang would come right in and fill the void left by Gorgui Dieng. Yes he is tall, from another country, and is built very similar to Dieng. But there is something people were not thinking about: they are NOT the same person. That may be hard to fathom, but Mangok Mathiang is not a clone of Gorgui Dieng.
Yes I know he had a full year to practice with the team so that means he should be like “sophomore Gorgui” right? I thought the same thing before the season started. Well he is a different person. It may take him longer to grasp certain concepts and apply them on the court. I think a few games into the season when people realized that Mangok still had a ways to go, they gave up on him and pretty much said he will never be Gorgui. Well his numbers this year aren’t too far off of Gorgui’s numbers from his freshman season.
After thinking about it for a few days, I finally made my votes on the poll. I checked up on the results as the week went on, just to get a feel for how everyone else was voting. That clearly didn’t influence my picks as you will see. When the question was first thrown at me a few weeks ago in a group text chat by Chris Tingley, it immediately started a debate: Who would your starting 5 be at Louisville in the Rick Pitino era? Everyone has their favorite players that just can’t be replaced by anyone else, and everyone has their reasons why they may have chosen certain players. So here is my starting 5 with a few reasons…
Now this wasn’t an easy choice for me. I’ve always been a ‘guard kind of gal’…if that’s a thing. This is who run’s the offense, my favorite aspect of the game. Some of my first cognitive memories following Cardinal basketball were lead by THE Reece Gaines. One word… Tennessee. I recall being on a field trip in from Audubon in the SAC at UofL (yes I was one of those annoying school kids causing extra lunch traffic…if you can imagine…) and our group ran into Reece Gaines on campus. I followed the elementary crowd asking for autographs not realizing at the time the significance of this run-in. Lo and behold, 15 years later I’d buy the man a shot of Patron at a Wicks Wednesday event after his return to Louisville to coach at Bellarmine.
While it has been recorded that even Dwayne Wade called Reece the best college player he had ever faced, my choice at the PG position in the Pitino era is without a doubt the one and only, Peyton Siva. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s my class’ point guard. Meaning him and I entered college the same year, a very important time in both of our lives. He, of course, finished before me… but whatever, man. I like to think that I watched Siva grow as a player his entire career at Louisville while I, myself, was searching for an identity in my own realm. For years I watched ‘fans’ bash the man’s game when he would turn the ball over in a critical moment or miss the potential game winning shot. But what do we expect from fans in a ‘microwave society’, as Coach P puts it. I never lost faith in Peyton and despite size difference favoring Reece, I’m looking at the guys’ hands. Peyton wears five titles… Big East Tournament Champion and MVP 2012 & 2013 and NCAA National Champion.
I am gonna start this off by being honest. I went to UofL to finish my Bachelors degree from 05-06 and was around that basketball team 365 since I had so many friends on that team. I may be a little biased. I may not be. Who knows? Oh yeah, I do. Well here goes my top 5 UofL players of the Rick Pitino Era.
Yes that’s a Rick Pitino bobblehead I got in 05 looking over my signed Final Four ball. I truly believe it is bugged……Sorry coach
First of all, thanks to everyone who voted on this. I think it was a really cool topic to vote on and discuss with other fans. Hopefully we can do more of these in the future. On the results, the % is rounded, so it may not equal exactly 100% for some reason. So without further adieu, here is the all-time starting 5 for UofL players under Rick Pitino that the fans voted…
My friend Chris Tingley posed this question to me a couple of weeks ago, and it is very interesting and fun to talk about. Of all the players that Rick Pitino has coached at the University of Louisville, who would be your starting 5? Now I will say that some players did play multiple positions, and after discussion, we decided to only have each player on 1 poll. So guys like Francisco Garcia, Larry O’Bannon, Ellis Myles, and Samardo Samuels had to be placed in only 1 category, even though we are well aware that those guys (and others) could be on different polls.
Please vote for each position. This will run until the end of the week on Thursday night, so that will give us time to get the word out all week and get as many people as possible to vote on this.
*First and foremost, we want to send our thoughts and prayers to Luke Hancock and his family. Luke’s dad, Bill, lost his battle with cancer and passed away on Monday. Bill was able to make the trip to the Big East Tournament as well as the Final Four in Atlanta. Here is a photo of the Hancock family in Atlanta.
This year’s NBA Draft is Thursday June 27! Here is a look at some of the mock drafts! Some of the sites did not have a 2nd round of picks, so that is hopefully why you don’t see Peyton Siva on all of them. I have said it before, I believe he has worked his way into the 2nd round of this year’s draft!
Here are some updated NBA Mock Drafts. The Draft will be on Thursday June 27. Gorgui Dieng has been projected as a 1st round pick for quite a while, and now Peyton Siva is starting to see his name on some of the draft boards as well!
Here are some updated NBA Mock Drafts. One of them has Gorgui going as high as 12th! Another also has him going to the Bucks, which reminds me of watching the draft a few years ago with my cousin Conley. He is a UK fan, and was watching for Jodie Meeks, and he said “Please don’t get drafted to Milwaukee or Toronto. No one ever hears of players again when they go there!” That is a pretty accurate statement! Meeks did get drafted to Milwaukee that night, but of course he has now made his way to Los Angeles, so anything can happen.
This year’s NBA Draft is Thursday June 27.
The 2013 NBA Draft will be on Thursday June 27. So yes that it almost 2 months away, and things can change in the draft order depending on how guys work out for teams, and what certain teams need. But here are some updated mock drafts since the deadline has now passed for early entries into the field.
Jason King, an ESPN.com writer, has released a preseason Top 25 poll for the 2013-14 college basketball season. He will release another one during the summer, and there will be plenty of other preseason polls to go around. But for now, he has the Cards ranked 2nd heading into next year. Here is what he had to say about the Cards…
By Justin Renck:
Louisville vs Duke. Pitino vs Krzykewski. A Final Four berth on the line. It doesn’t get much better than this! On Sunday around 5:05 pm, the Cards and Blue Devils will tip-off in Indianapolis, with the winner moving on to Atlanta in the Final Four. Back on November 21 of this season, these teams met in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, with Duke winning 76-71. Duke pretty much has the same team and plays the same way. The Cards are certainly a different team.
By Justin Renck:
WOW! Well that was an exciting game, to say the least. In the first half, it looked like Syracuse could not miss a shot. They even banked in a 3! Even when we got down 16, I wasn’t worried. However, I did think “Well, it is just destiny for Syracuse to win this last game.” But still, I know what kind of team we have. We go on 6-0 and 8-0 runs all the time. It would just take one of those to get some momentum back and make it a game again, and that’s what happened. This team never quit, they never do at all. So I never quit believing in them, ever.
By Justin Renck:
Now that we are into February, it is about time this Louisville basketball team turns things up a notch. We had 1 bad week, a stretch of 3 games. Well, those games were back in January. I said it then and I will say it again. If we are in Atlanta playing in the Final 4, we will look back at that week and just laugh, because people thought it was the end of the world for some reason. It was just a tough stretch.
By Justin Renck:
#5 Louisville (16-3, 4-2) @ Georgetown (13-4, 3-3)
By Justin Renck:
Villanova 73- Louisville 64
It’s been a while since I have had a post-game write-up. I figured I would come back and do one tonight after a Cards victory, and by the looks of it, I had plenty of things to write about. Wayne’s shooting, Stephan Van Treese sparking a 1st half run, Gorgui finding his offensive rhythm, and Peyton Siva’s double-double. Well obviously the Cards didn’t pull through, but there was still plenty to say, so here it goes. Read the rest of this entry
By Justin Renck:
#5 Louisville (16-2, 4-1) @ Villanova (11-7, 2-3)
January 22, 2013
8:00 ET WHAS; Big East Network; ESPN 3
Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, PA Read the rest of this entry