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
“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
Perhaps I should wait until more information comes out. That is probably what a journalist or a professional would do. But since I am nothing more than a fan, I can let these things out whenever.
I am well aware that this could be a huge overreaction post. I know that going into it. After all, we don’t really know the reason (yet) that Chris Jones has been suspended. So if that reason ever does come out and it isn’t a big deal, this could all be for nothing. However, I am not just writing this to pile on Jones since he got suspended. These won’t really be new thoughts from me. He has always walked a fine line to me on a number of things. So this definitely is not a situation where I thought “Oh Chris Jones got suspended. He must now be a bad guy and I am going to write about it.” Not true. These thoughts have always been there in the back of my mind. But now just seems like the appropriate time to let them out. Speaking of that, there are a couple tweets that show that this probably isn’t just no big deal, and it could last more than a game.
“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.”
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.”
Rick Pitino and Terry Rozier met with the media on Friday afternoon to preview the North Carolina game. Here is Pitino’s portion of the press conference, transcribed by Jeff Greer of the Courier Journal.
Pitino talks about the Tar Heels, the recent intrasquad scrimmage, Terry Rozier’s NBA draft stock, and much more.
Opening statement: I guess, when I got on the plane or the bus ride back from Boston, checked out the ACC scores, I was quite surprised. And that’s the nature of any great conference — it’s full of surprises because the bottom is very close to the top. Boston College played Virginia to the mat; they pulled away at the end. We pulled away at the end. Any great league has to have the bottom close to the top, and the teams in our league at the bottom. Georgia Tech, I believe, was winless and just blitzed Miami at Miami. So that’s the sign of any really good league. If you’re not on top of your game, you’re going to come away with an L. Carolina’s playing much better than the first time we played them. They’re on a winning streak, they’re playing with more scoring, more confidence and they’re better than the last time we faced them, so we have to be better.
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.”
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.
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)|
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.
Last night at the KY/IN All Star game Quentin Snider showed why Louisville fans are extremely excited about seeing the local product in the KFC Yum Center next season. Snider finished the night with 37 points (6th highest in history of the game), 5 assist, and 7 rebounds in a 104-94 loss to Indiana. The Kentucky Mr. Basketball was 6 of 11 from behind the 3 point line, a stat that should have all UofL fans smiling big today.
While this was a KY vs Indiana All Star game all eyes were on the PG match up between Snider and Mcdonalds All American James Blackmon. Blackmon finished the night with 41 points but both players made it clear they would find their way on the floor for the Cards and the Hoosiers next season. The second of the two games will be held tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
This is my second day off of only two days in the past 4 months. I’m trying to recover from what the hell I just experienced. I took a leap over Christmas ‘break’ when I saw an ad for the Derby Festival looking for an intern for the 2014 season and completed my junior year with the credit hours to be a student and a half. Umm yeah. We all think we’re pretty busy, right? No, no, no. A moment of silence for my finals, please.
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