Buckle up…here we go! Louisville (17-3, 6-1) is about to enter a crazy stretch of basketball games against ranked teams, with a little Boston College thrown in there for good balance. It starts today as the Virginia Cavaliers (16-4, 5-3) are in town and trying to stay in the ACC race. Usually when there are games on Saturday and Monday, they are paired together in the minds of fans. Well, this pair is Virginia and North Carolina, a huge two-game set for the Cards.
Monday could be one of the best atmospheres that the KFC Yum! Center has seen, but let’s not jump ahead of today yet. This could be an awesome game. Enjoy it. Here are some quick notes on the game. Has to be quick so I can go do some CSZ radio on 93.9 The Ville from 10-11, which you should check out!
Louisville went on the road Wednesday night and got the 91-83 win over Virginia Tech. Here is what Coach Pitino had to say after the game.
(Virginia Tech Buzz Williams) would make a great pro coach. I’m not trying to get rid of him. But he’d make a great pro coach because he puts you in pick-and-roll isolations that hurt Virginia, that hurt us. They hurt everybody with it. That’s the professional game. To use 15, 16 seconds of the clock puts you in situations that are very difficult to guard. So he does a lot of great things with the pick-and-roll. We had to win this game on offense tonight.
It is easy to get down on a team after a loss. Especially when you lose to your rival in such a close and emotional game. Forget that these are young men and that we as fans have literally nothing to do with the outcome of games (other than creating a good home atmosphere, sometimes). When you are as passionate about basketball as we are about our Louisville Cardinals, losses hurt, and they hurt bad. Now would be the easy time to be upset with them, right? Not me. Not with these guys. After two very close losses so far this season (on the road to good teams) and blowout wins against no competition, I can say something I never said last season: I love this team!
The picture above is a perfect example of why. Damion Lee just missed a shot that would have made his name remembered forever in the UofL-UK series. Freshman Donovan Mitchell had just sparked the comeback for the Cards that got them back in the game. Mitchell never was really an option on the final play. The young freshman could have hung his head at the buzzer. What did he do? He was the first to run over to Lee and console him.
Louisville defeated Utah Valley 98-68 on Wednesday night. Afterwards, here is what Rick Pitino, Trey Lewis, Donovan Mitchell, and Anas Mahmoud had to say.
The Cards beat Western Kentucky 78-56 on Saturday afternoon. After the game, Rick Pitino, Mangok Mathiang, Damion Lee, and Chinanu Onuaku gave their comments. Coach Pitino talked about the biggest loss that will come from Mangok missing the next 6-8 weeks.
The Cards beat Kennesaw St. 94-57 on Wednesday night and improved to 8-1 on the season. After the game, Coach Pitino, Donovan Mitchell, and Matz Stockman spoke to the media. I am sure we all predicted a Matz post-game interview this early in the season.
Sure, it has been a few days since the Red-White scrimmage at the KFC Yum! Center. But in the midst of all of this other talk surrounding the program, and with the football team on a bye, why not talk a little hoops on the court? Plus, I simply haven’t had as much time to sit down and put together something that I feel is worth posting about it. That is the main reason. I don’t have deadlines or quotas to meet on the amount of stories to post. So when I do something, I want it to be solid. Got off topic, here we go…
These are five things that I took away from the scrimmage on Saturday.
If you caught Rick Pitino’s latest blog on Tuesday, you saw that the head coach dropped some pretty cool information about possibly adding some J.V. games to the schedule.
We are working on playing 10 J.V. games this year. Some will be played at the Yum! Center on game day. It will give guys like Matz, Dillon and Ryan a chance to play major minutes and continue to develop.
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.
Photos by Tim Haag (@UofLBirdsNest)
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.
I wondered why everyone was using the same picture when writing about newest UofL Basketball signee Matz Stockman, apparently they aren’t easy to find. What I do know is this, he’s the tallest player in school history edging out 7’1 David Shrag (97), 7’0 current DJ Matt Simons (95), & 7’0 Beau Zach Smith (97). Yes Matt Simons is really a DJ but that’s not the point. Don’t really know a ton about Matz, but here is what we do know. The 7’2 238 pound Matz (pronounced Mots), and his Conan O’Brien-esque build, is Norwegian. The only video I have seen of him was this video @CrumsRevenge tweeted out:
He is tall and he can dunk…more things we know. I feel like as a member of CardNation that I should help him feel at home so I will speak a little in his native language.
Velkommen (Welcome)- We welcome Matz to the already loaded 2014 signing class which includes Shaqquan Aaron, Quentin Snider, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.
hei (hello)- say hello to the tallest front court we have had in quite a while when you add Onuaku to the mix
prosjekt (project)- He likely won’t be a day one contributor and may even Redshirt, but he will be a force to be reckoned with when he leaves the University of Louisville
bilder og video (pictures and video)- We really need more videos and media on this kid so that we can see what this kid is all about. He may be a Hajj Turner hype wise (no offense, can’t get mad) or may be a Dirk…I’m betting he is somewhere in between.
So to Matz we will leave him with, Velkommen til Louisville, de 2013 National Champions…never gets old
PRESS RELEASE from Louisville SID Kenny Klein:
Norwegian Matz Stockman Signs with UofL Basketball
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Matz Stockman, a 7-2, 238-pound forward/center from Oslo, Norway, has signed a national letter-of-intent to continue his basketball playing career at the University of Louisville.
We have found out who Rick Pitino’s mystery man is and his name is: Matz Stockman. Stockman is a 7’2 Norwegian Center with a 7’6 wingspan. The Norwegian center averaged 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds a game in the U18 European Championships in 2013. Other than that there is not much to go on for Stockman. In this article from Stockmans program CBA Academy Stockman’s coach said “He has the potential to be elite, it’s just a matter of time.”