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.
Coach Pitino met with the media after Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage. He talked about many things, including Quentin Snider and Trey Lewis playing together, Mangok Mathiang being out, Chinanu Onuaku’s fouls, and more.
He was also asked if the scrimmage was a relief after everything that is going on, so he went into some scandal talk for a few minutes.
On today’s show, we talked about who we would each WANT as the starting QB for Louisville this season. Not who we think it will be, but our preference. I give a terrible answer, but pick somebody in the end. Perrin Johnson joined us, which was a treat. We had our most callers we have had so far and had a great time. Click the soundcloud link below to give it a listed. As always, we are on 93.9 The Ville on Saturday mornings from 10-11 a.m.
Things are really beginning to heat up in UofL sports and we squeeze all of it that we can into our 1-hour show on 93.9 The Ville! If you missed it today, you can click the soundcloud link below and check it out. We spent about half the time on basketball and half on football. What do these Puerto Rico games mean? Is Quentin Snider’s development slowed down by Trey Lewis/Damion Lee being here? And on the football side of things, we had Brandon Marcello on the show. Brandon is Auburn’s beat writer for AL.com and had some great insight into Auburn’s team and how he thinks the fans there are looking at Louisville. Check it out!
Here is the final score from the second game on Tuesday, provided by Kenny Klein. I am having a little trouble getting the box score up from the first game. Click the link below to view the stats.
Fans will be able to get a glimpse of the 2015-16 Louisville Cardinals basketball team starting tomorrow as the Cards begin their 9 game (6 day) stretch in Puerto Rico. If you are able to catch any games, the schedule is listed below.
University of Louisville Exhibition Games Schedule
vs. Puerto Rico National and Junior Teams
Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum of Puerto Rico (17,024 seats)
5:30 p.m. Louisville vs. PR Junior team
8:00 p.m. Louisville vs. PR National team
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 just wrapped up his press conference where he talked about new transfer Damion Lee, new assistant Ralph Willard, and the Cards’ trip to Puerto Rico this summer. He obviously said a lot of things worth mentioning, but one thing near the end seemed to stick out when talking about the offense.
It is no secret that the Louisville Cardinals will look much different in the 2015-16 season. Personally, I am very excited for it and to see this team of mostly young guys develop and have their own identity. There are still a couple of spots left to fill for the Cards, and I will give a little update on where things stand. About a week and a half ago, Steve posted a list of potential transfers that UofL could bring in. Trey Lewis was first on the list, and of course we know he will be a Cardinal. So this is really the first update we have posted since then.
If you are wondering how UofL has so much room for all of these guys, here is why. In all, there are seven open spots to fill due to the departures of Wayne Blackshear, Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell, Chris Jones, Shaqquan Aaron, Anton Gill, and Akoy Agau. Five of those have already been filled by Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Raymond Spalding, Ryan McMahon, and Trey Lewis. So there are two spots left. Who are the biggest names to fill those spots right now?
What we had been hoping for is now official, and that is that Cleveland State’s Trey Lewis has officially decided to transfer to the University of Louisville to play his final college basketball season for Rick Pitino in 2015-16. It was supposed to be down to Louisville and Ohio State, but the Cards won this battle without Lewis taking his planned visit to see his hometown Buckeyes. That is pretty nice.
Lewis is listed at 6’2 and 185 lbs. He can play either guard position. That will give the Cards a very good three man rotation between both guard spots with Lewis, Quentin Snider, and Donovan Mitchell. So looking at it like that, you were going to have a backcourt with a sophomore and a freshman playing the bulk of the minutes. Now you throw a senior into the mix to bring experience, not to mention he is just a solid basketball player.
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.
A good 25 minutes of a Rick Pitino press conference. He talks NC State, “morons” that call into sports talk radio shows, and has a lot of laughter. Good stuff.
Well, we’re obviously excited to be in the Sweet 16. We took a day off yesterday because a West Coast trip knocks a lot out of you. So today I’m sure we’ll have a little bit of a sluggish practice trying to get our feet back, but I think the adrenalin is going to be very high and we’re looking forward to playing another ACC basketball game, and we know how good NC State is because they beat us by 8-10 points at home. Not too many teams do that and they did it. We also realize they’ve won 8 out of 10, their frontcourt’s playing extremely well and their backcourt’s playing outstanding and they’ve beaten some pretty damn good teams on their court. We know it will be a hard-fought game, it’s not only an outstanding team we’re playing, but there’s a lot at stake.
Transcript from ASAP Sports. Edited by me.
COACH PITINO: Well, I couldn’t be more pumped up, more excited because we beat such a great team. Sometimes I hate these press conferences because you listen to the other guys up here first and you just bleed for a group like Northern Iowa, who the reason we played so well tonight is the amount of respect we had for them. We knew they were a great team, statistically, five seniors, we know they’re beautifully coached, so sometimes it breaks your heart even in victory. We are so pumped and so excited because we know the feeling on the other end, but for us, this is the first time in history, according to go Kenny Klein, that this is four Sweet 16s in a row. And Louisville’s had a very rich tradition. So we’re very proud of that.
These two guys kind of amazed me, because I prod them the whole game because I can’t take them out. Montrezl was just working so hard and he was so dead, and I kept saying: You got to give us more, son. You got to give us more. You can’t tire. And I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t know how both of them do it, but they have done it the whole year. They have carried a team on their back that it has many problems and tonight we played our best game of the season. Defensively we did a lot of good things, switching from zone to man, back to zone, back to man. And then offensively, that’s the best we have executed with swinging the ball, east to west, and then attacking north to south. So I’m real proud of these guys. Two guys that are going to go on to — I won’t say greener — I could say greener pastures, because they probably will be, but they’re tremendous basketball players. It’s been an honor to coach both of them.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
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.