Moderator: We’ll go ahead and get started with an opening statement from Coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.
Pitino: Well, we’re very excited to move on. The first round is very difficult. We knew it would be a fight. These two young men down the stretch made big plays for us, and we have been calling it Madness for years, but out of my 20 NCAAs, I think this is the craziest I’ve ever seen it opening up early. There’s a lot of reasons for it. Give you just some examples, I thought Jim Calhoun on television today made an excellent analogy. He said, you know, if you limit Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, to a few throws per game and keep his numbers way down, then the possessions don’t go…don’t favor the Patriots.
This is just a quick clip of some of the press conference following the win over UC Irvine. I will try to get the full transcript posted at some point.
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
This week on 55…..
We talk about everything in the world of Cardinal Athletics. We talk the latest episodes of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcasts which you can find at CardinalSportsZone.com/podcast (Cheap Pop). We go over the silent (K) assassin and new commits, uniforms,rescheduled soccer and the Big Snack! Just a few more episodes of 55 left for the regular season. What’s next in the ever-changing world of 55? Clues later.
Without further adieu, here are the most ridiculous, outlandish, interesting or just downright obnoxious things I have heard this week. THIS is 55…..
I think we messed up defensively on that last play by running into the screen but our guys did so many good things tonight. I’m really happy we won. It would’ve been a really difficult loss because we got our 35 deflections, we were eight for eleven on the break, we moved the basketball, and their focus on the scouting report was outstanding. I was so happy Mangok made that shot because it was a big lift for our basketball team after playing real well. What we tried to do, obviously we didn’t have a lot of time to, was run a lot of motion. We were hoping that Terry could get in the lane, look down low to Montrezl if he couldn’t turn the corner. Mangok was the 64th option.
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 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?
Check out these photos from the North Carolina game on Saturday. These were taken by Tim Haag. Follow him on twitter for more great pictures @UofLBirdsNest.
Here are Coach Pitino’s comments after the thrilling comeback win over North Carolina on Saturday. The video is from TheCrunchZone.com and the transcript from the Courier Journal is also included.
(Opening Statement) “As far as playing at home, what’s really applicable is what John Wooden said a long time ago, `Be quick but don’t hurry.’ That’s really the reason why we haven’t played well at home, we are rushing things offensively, from the pick and roll on and not letting our movement set in. In the second half, we didn’t do it but I am real excited because we didn’t play well offensively and we won it. This team needed to get back to, I told them in the one timeout we were up 11 at their place and now we are down 11 and we need to get this game back, but I needed the old Louisville team back. I can’t have the one that just wants to score and they dug in, the rebounding was a big edge in their favor, in the second half we held them to two and we got 22 second-shots ourselves. Real, real proud of our guys, took a heck of an effort to win the game but we believed we were going to win it.”
Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen after a loss is a lot of time off between games. It feels like the Cards haven’t played in a month. They will finally hit the court again on Sunday at 4 p.m. when they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on the road. The game will be on CBS.
Rick Pitino talked about the game at his press conference on Friday afternoon. Here is what he had to say.
“As you all know, Pitt’s had a great winning record at home, nearly 88 percent, and certainly, they have a great home court with their student body. It’s always been a tough place to play, and we’re looking forward to it. Obviously it’s a nationally televised game, and I know our players are fired up about it.”
Coach Pitino met with the media on Friday afternoon to preview the Duke game. The Cards will face Duke on Saturday, one week after facing North Carolina. These are regular season games for us now people. How cool is that?
Video from Howie Lindsey of CardinalSports.com. Transcript from Courier-Journal.com.
Opening statement: Well I like 12 o’clock games much better than 9 o’clock games so we’re looking forward to this. Certainly this conference is different on every given night. Any time you have a large conference, you’ll see things that you don’t expect. Certainly, you did not expect the Miami victory that way in the last 10 minutes of the game. But nonetheless Duke presents a lot of problems for us that we have got to take care of in order to get a victory.
Video from TheCrunchZone.com
“The first unit guys played really well and passed the ball really well. They did a lot of really good things at executing, making extra passes, and executing. Their team was totally overmatched, and I think they worked really, really hard, and I just wanted to make sure that they weren’t embarrassed in any way possible because they worked so hard. It was good that we gave some guys an opportunity, with a big game coming up, to play. And real, real proud of the way our starters played tonight, they did a terrific job.”
The Cards defeated Clemson on Wednesday night by a final score of 58-52. For most of the game, it wasn’t pretty. But pretty or not, Louisville now finds themselves 14-1 and 2-0 in the ACC. Here are my 5 quick thoughts from this game…
1. Montrezl foul trouble hurts
With 14:36 left to play in the first half, Montrezl Harrell picked up his 2nd foul and went to the bench for the rest of the half. With 1 foul already, Harrell made the unwise decision of trying to take a charge. Even if it was a charge, you are putting a 50/50 call in the hands of the referee. Picking up that charge is probably not worth the other side of the coin, which is you sitting for the next 14:36. For what it’s worth, it was the correct call as a block and it wasn’t really close. You just can’t put yourself in that position if you are Montrezl.
Coach Rick Pitino spoke to Terry Meiners on Monday afternoon about the Kentucky game, a lineup change, and more. You can click the link and listen to the interview, or check out the full transcript below from courier-journal.com.
One of the main reasons I have this website is to be able to voice my opinion and have a forum to do it on. Rather than send 50 tweets or make a Facebook status (which I rarely do about sports anymore) about a particular game, it is easier to be able to make a post on here, where I have all the room that I need. If people choose to read it, then that’s great. If not, well I still survive so it’s OK.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Louisville-Kentucky basketball game on Saturday afternoon. Like I did a few times during football season, this will be a post of thoughts from me without watching the replay yet on TV. It is always different being at the game or watching at home, where you can hear the announcers and probably have more information. I am not sure I will watch the game again, but these are just 5 thoughts that stick out just from being at the game and seeing it only once.
When the Cards and Cats take the court on Saturday afternoon in one of the most anticipated regular season games of the season, Kentucky will do so with a significant height advantage. This is a pretty well-known fact, however I feel it is still worth noting. I knew Kentucky overall was just tall, but looking at the heights side by side, it is pretty staggering.
An ugly win is better than any kind of loss. Go Cards!
On Sunday evening, the 4th ranked Louisville Cardinals (8-0) will return to action in the 13th Annual Billy Minardi Classic, which honors Rick Pitino’s late brother-in-law who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. This year the Cards will face UNC Wilmington (3-2), who are coached by former UofL assistant Kevin Keatts. He was with UofL for 3 seasons.
Louisville enters the game as heavy favorites, I believe by around 28 points or so. But in just five games this season, the Seahawks of UNC Wilmington have scored over 100 points twice already. They beat VMI 110-93 and St. Andrews 105-47. Their last game was on December 3, so they have had 11 days to prepare for this game.