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…
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.
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.
Rick Pitino held an impromptu Q & A (question & answer…you’re welcome) on Friday night with Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal. I will post just a little bit of that and then give you the link to read the rest.
Q: You said you were considering a change at center. Have you thought about going small?
Pitino: Well, we’ve done that before with Kyle Kuric. The only thing when you go small is it’s probably (freshman forward Jaylen Johnson) and Montrezl (Harrell). If you go small — you know, (freshman wing Shaqquan Aaron) and (sophomore guard Anton Gill) aren’t playing very well. I’ve gone long enough with Anton, trying my best to be patient … I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll go with David Levitch.
Is there anything else to be said? Well quite honestly, yes there is. It was a great game before Mangok Mathiang delivered the dagger to beat Virginia. Read that sentence again. My computer almost wouldn’t allow me to even type it. Terry Rozier gets trapped and delivers the ball to the open man. When you realize who that open man is and that HE IS ACTUALLY RISING UP TO TAKE THE SHOT, it was the classic “NO NO NO NO YESSSSSS” moment. And good for him. This may ignite him to finish the season strong. Or it could be the last positive thing he does. Who knows? Regardless, he had his moment tonight, and it was awesome!
“Well I’m buying beer because we finally got 35 deflections. And we needed it. Montrezl (Harrell) got 11. We needed the deflections tonight because our defense had to win it for us. The reason we got off to such a bad start- I haven’t seen our guys do this- on every drive to the basket, including Montrezl, we were trying to lean into the guy to draw the foul, and it was taking us out of our offensive rhythm by doing that. Then, when you have a start like that, the guys start to panic and they don’t want to shoot, as Chris Jones had a wide open three. But in the second half, I said, `Let’s just play defense every possession. We will win the game. Get our deflections picked up because we had 20 at halftime, and that’s what I want to see.’
Photos by Tim Haag (@UofLBirdsNest)
With all of the freshman now on campus for the University of Louisville basketball team, the roster on GoCards.com has now been updated. This includes what numbers each player will wear.
|#||NAME||HT||WT||POS||CL||HOMETOWN (PREVIOUS SCHOOL)|
|0||Terry Rozier||6-1||185||G||SO||Cleveland, Ohio (Shaker Heights/Hargrave Military Academy)|
|1||Anton Gill||6-3||185||G||SO||Raleigh, N.C. (Ravenscroft/Hargrave Military Academy)|
|2||Quentin Snider||6-1||170||G||FR||Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)|
|3||Chris Jones||5-10||175||G||SR||Memphis, Tenn. (NW Florida State College)|
|4||Dillon Avare||6-0||150||G||RS FR||Lexington, Ky. (Lexington Catholic)|
|5||Matz Stockman||7-2||240||F/C||FR||Oslo, Norway (Canaria Basketball Academy)|
|10||Jaylen Johnson||6-9||215||F||FR||Ypsilanti, Mich. (Ypsilanti)|
|12||Mangok Mathiang||6-10||210||F/C||RS SO||Melbourne, Australia (IMG Academy (Fla.))|
|14||Anas Mahmoud||7-1||205||F||FR||Cairo, Egypt (West Oaks Academy)|
|15||Trent Gilbert||6-0||180||G||FR||Georgetown, Ky. (Scott County)|
|21||Shaqquan Aaron||6-7||175||G||FR||Seattle, Wash. (Ranier Beach)|
|22||Akoy Agau||6-8||230||F||SO||Omaha, Neb. (Omaha Central)|
|23||David Levitch||6-3||180||G||SO||Goshen, Ky. (North Oldham)|
|24||Montrezl Harrell||6-8||240||F||JR||Tarboro, N.C. (Hargrave Military Academy)|
|25||Wayne Blackshear||6-5||230||G/F||SR||Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)|
|32||Chinanu Onuaku||6-10||230||F/C||FR||Lanham, Md. (Riverdale Baptist)|
We told you this morning that freshman Jaylen Johnson was enrolled at UofL, but at that time, he still needed to be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. According to WDRB’s Eric Crawford, that has now happened. It has not been made official by UofL just yet, but it is likely just a matter of time now before the 6’9 power forward is officially a member of the Louisville basketball team.
According to Jeff Greer of the Courier Journal Louisville freshman Jaylen Johnson is now enrolled at the school.
The Cards are expecting the 6’9 Johnson to give them minutes on the floor this season. Johnson is a versatile PF that will help back up Montrezl Harrell and could see limited minutes at the 3. Johnson will be behind the other freshman but seems to have been working hard on condition and ball skills while awaiting this process. All of the Cards 2014 class are now on campus.
Rick Pitino met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to give a summer update on the team. It’s only July, and there wasn’t any breaking news, but it sure was nice to hear Coach talk some hoops and about this year’s team! I expected it to be about a 20 minute press conference, but it ended up being just over 45! You can click here to watch the video of the press conference from CourierJournal.com. Below, I will give you the key notes from it…
The new Pelican…
-Pitino started out by talking about Russ Smith. He said that Russ wasn’t pleased with dropping to the 2nd round in the NBA Draft, and wanted to prove people wrong. Instead, Pitino said he should prove people right, and that’s the people that believe in him.
-Also with Russ, he got a guaranteed contract from the Pelicans. That is huge news, as second round picks have to make the team and are not guaranteed a spot just by getting drafted.
Future Louisville Cardinal Jaylen Johnson was in the finals of the dunk contest Friday night at Freedom Hall during the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. He finished 2nd with 74 points, as Isaac Copeland scored 79. Copeland will play his college ball at Georgetown.
Here are the videos of Johnson’s dunks. He put on a Louisville shirt to get the crowd into it. And he brought out his mom for some help with the second dunk.
Halftime of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is always an entertaining one. It is when they have the finals of the dunk contest and 3-point contest. At the Night of the Future Stars on the night before, they have the early rounds of those contests and then that sets up the finals for Friday night.
Tonight’s competitions both include future Louisville Cardinals. In the dunk contest, Jaylen Johnson will face off against Isaac Copeland (Georgetown) and Devin Robinson (Florida).
Here is a video of Johnson’s first dunk from Thursday night with a little help from his future teammates. Video courtesy of Jody Demling from Scout.com.
From the KDF Press Office:
April 14, 2014. Louisville, KY. – Tickets are still available for the 41st annual Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s this Friday, April 18. The roster includes one McDonald’s All-Americans, 2 Parade All-Americans, as well as University of Louisville signees Chinanu Onuaku, Quentin Snider and Jaylen Johnson and Indiana recruits Robert Johnson and Max Hoetzel. The game features 10 players ranked in the Top 30 nationally by recruiting services Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com. Nearly all of the players scheduled to participate are ranked among the Top 50 nationally. The players will also participate in the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars on Thursday, April 17, at Floyd Central High School.
Admission to the Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars is free with a ticket to the Basketball Classic. Some of the event’s most exciting moments have occurred during the Slam Dunk, 2-on-2 and 3-Point Shooting competitions. There will also be a one-hour autograph-signing session following the event, with a two-item limit for signing.
Today, this years KDF game rosters were announced and both teams have a lot of familiar faces that have graced the Cards recruiting board at one time or another.
(credit Evan Daniels)
Number at the end indicates national rank
Keita Bates Diop – Ohio State – No. 19
Leron Black – Illinois – No. 47
Trevon Bluiett – Xavier – No. 41
Chris Chiozza – Florida – No. 44
Bonzie Colson – Notre Dame
Brandone Francis – Florida – No. 37
Jaylen Johnson – Louisville – No. 62
Chinanu Onuaku – Louisville – No. 69
Devin Robinson – Florida – No. 24
Quentin Snider – Louisville – No. 32
Jonah Bolden – UCLA – No. 30
Angel Delgado – Seton Hall – No. 43
Isaac Copeland – Georgetown – No. 48
Max Hoetzel – Indiana
Robert Johnson – Indiana – No. 55
JaQuan Lyle – Undecided – No. 22
Dwayne Morgan – UNLV – No. 20
Goodluck Okonoboh – UNLV – No. 39
Romelo Trimble – Maryland – No. 35
Dion Wiley – Maryland – No. 28
Just a quick reminder, the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game selection show is today at 6pm on ESPNU. The Cards eligible for selection are Shaqquan Aaron, Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku. Shaq is an overwhelming favorite to make it with Onuaku coming in second according to popular belief. Good luck to all nominees and Go Cards!