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.
During his radio show on Monday night, Rick Pitino said a couple of things that hinted at the possibility of sophomore Terry Rozier returning to UofL next season.
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…..
These weren’t bad to watch. The pass from Quentin Snider is a lot tougher than he made it look.
“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.'”
Anybody know what the heck happened in those last 30 seconds? Wow! Louisville battles all the way back after looking so bad offensively and they finally get the lead back at 48-46 with 1 minute to go. Then with 25 seconds left Georgia Tech scores, and “just like that, in the blink of an eye” Terry Rozier gets a layup and the Cards lead again by 2 with 22 seconds left. After a turnover, a missed shot, and clutch free throws by Wayne Blackshear, Louisville held on to beat Georgia Tech 52-51. I plan on this being a few quick thoughts. We will see…
This team still has some fight left
Regardless of what Chris Jones did or didn’t do to get himself dismissed from the Louisville basketball team, the fact is that it happened and now it is over with and time to move on. There will surely be people for the rest of the season that play the “what if” game if the Cards struggle. “Well, if Chris Jones was still there….” and so on and so on. Bottom line: it doesn’t matter now. Chris Jones is not on the team. “What if” scenarios are for discussion and don’t mean much more than that. This team still has talent. Although Jones is very talented himself, it feels like this may be a case of addition by subtraction when it comes to the locker room and team chemistry. Because of that, I feel like a new season of Louisville basketball begins tonight at Georgia Tech.
“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.’
Rick Pitino met with the media on Friday afternoon for about 20-25 minutes to talk about the Miami game, along with many other things. He talks about Chris Jones, Wayne Blackshear, team meetings, and much more. Here is the transcript.
There are a lot of big games that come into play when you’re in a league like the ACC, but by far this game has the most significance to us at this time. It’s probably the most important game for us that’s come in here this year with more significance than just an outstanding opponent. Because if you look at the standings, if our hope is to finish in the top four and get a double bye, we suddenly go with three other teams, including Miami, record-wise. So we need a win desperately at this point. There’s a lot at stake for both teams and certainly we need a very loud, very enthusiastic crowd, we need great defense from our team, need a lot of emotion tomorrow afternoon.
You know, we played well. I thought Quentin Snider played outstanding. It wasn’t his play, it was Wayne Blackshear not getting in foul trouble. We had to go substitute out of weakness rather than strength. But I thought we moved the ball great in the first half, did a lot of really good things. We missed a lot of shots that would have kept us in the game in the second half, wide-open, we had two in the corner.
But what’s stopping us from being a very good basketball team is the last three years we’ve been one of the most feared defensive teams in the nation, with steals, turnovers, and we’ve just been void of both. I’m going to put out there on Kenny (Klein’s) web site to try and motivate our guys — who’s getting the deflections. Again, we’re falling short of it, so I’m using you to motivate my players.
Nevermind the freezing temperatures outside. If you get on social media, the world seems to be ending and it has nothing to do with weather. It has everything to do with Louisville losing their second basketball game in a row. This game had plenty of storylines if you are a Cards fan, from a suspended point guard to a senior not exactly stuffing the stat sheet. Here are just some of my quick hitting thoughts after the 69-59 loss at Syracuse. I won’t try to paint a National Championship picture, but I also won’t act like we should give up the sport for good after this season. This will just be honest opinions from yours truly, a fellow fan of the Cards.
Chris Jones did it to himself
How would he do in a dunk competition? He can dunk with authority, but are his dunks flashy enough for a competition?
Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon.
“Well, we obviously felt pretty good with about 12 minutes left. I thought we were doing some good things. I thought we came out of that halftime and really went out aggressive offensively, started getting stops, getting rebounds, getting loose balls and got going offensively with transition. We got going and finished around the basket and took good shots, but after that we didn’t get any stops. We didn’t get any rebounds. At one point we were up four on the glass, we end up losing by ten somewhere down that stretch of about 12 minutes we lost out on 14 rebounds, so you’re certainly not going to win in that situation and it got away from us in that regard. We had 10 turnovers for the game. We want to be just below that, but you’re going to have a few. A couple of them were key. I thought Louisville hit some tough shots too that we guarded pretty well. But it is extremely disappointing because I thought we came out and did some good things, especially some adjustments in the first half and at halftime and really were aggressive offensively and just played more aggressive attacking. But it got away from us the second half.”
“I am really, really excited about this game tonight because we had a surprise at the beginning of the game, that Wayne Blackshear couldn’t play and then Quentin Snider had to come in and give us a good performance and he did. So I am really, really happy. Obviously, I am kind of amazed that Montrezl Harrell could play the entire game without a break and play as hard as that. His motor is kind of incredible, but the only bad thing is we are shooting 50 percent which is good execution, the other team is not, but we did not get a steal in the first half. The reason our press is not as successful is that we are not trapping. We are letting them clear us out and in the second half we went after them, and our 4’s and 5’s made a lot of key plays. So we are playing good defense, our offense executed well, but we got a big lift tonight from guys that don’t normally play, I thought Quentin (Snider) did an excellent job.”
Right after the game ended, Coach Pitino did a quick interview with the ACC Digital Network. He raves about Montrezl Harrell, and says they caught a bad break with Wayne Blackshear.
Some pretty good clips here, including the pass from Quentin Snider to Montrezl Harrell for the dunk that didn’t even count. It was also good to see Anton Gill get a dunk. That looked like something he has been waiting to do for nearly two years now.