We’re not going to do our radio show tonight and I didn’t want you guys to think I’m ducking any questions or any responsibilities. To be quite honest with you, I’ve been recruiting every night this week and I have not slept a wink in 48 hours.
I’m totally saddened, to the point of disbelief, over the incident. We’ve built a very strong culture here of discipline and doing the right things, and I’m very proud of all the players that have gone through here and done the right thing, and this comes at a time when we’re all shocked, extremely disheartened, and very much saddened for everybody involved. Our prayers go out to every single person involved in all of this.
Well, the Courier-Journal has reported what got Chris Jones kicked off of Louisville’s basketball team. And it is bad…very bad. We pretty much knew the news about his threatening texts were not what got him dismissed. If it were only that simple. Here are some excerpts from the article, which you can read here.
FINALLY!! (The Rock Voice) Ok maybe not that extreme, but we are excited to announce that will we now venture into the realm of the podcast! The Cardinal Sports Zone Podcast will debut this Monday, March 2nd at noon.
Justin, Jeremy, and myself are all avid sports talk listeners and enjoy all the shows from 93.9 The Ville to the podcast put on by our friends over at The Crunch Zone. Quite frankly, we just want to throw our two cents in. We also see the serious need for something “Louisville” to listen to in the mid day hours. (I mean I know CardNation how much we all enjoy KSR……………..yea me neither). We hope to solve both of these problems with this podcast.
“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.
The following is an excerpt from Jeff Greer’s article in the Courier-Journal. After doing some extensive research, Greer has learned that Chris Jones plans to visit John Lucas to work on anger management. Lucas is a former NBA player and coach who runs a program in Houston to help athletes overcome different issues such as drugs, alcohol, and anger management. Chane Behanan also worked with Lucas for quite some time after he left Louisville last season.
“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.
Per Louisville SID Louisville point guard Chris Jones has been suspended.
Coach Pitino comes on around 1:40:30 of the teleconference.
Well it’s (the snow) pretty bad for Louisville, KY. The only way we get rid of snow here is the sun coming out so we don’t handle it as well as Syracuse, where we’re heading. We know Syracuse has always been a tough place to play for anybody. They’re playing extremely competitively right now. Three of their players are averaging 38 or 39 minutes right now. So their best players are on the court, and we have to be ready for a very active 2-3 zone.
Ryan McMahon is best described as a “sharpshooter.” The 6’1 shooting guard just received a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville on Thursday night, and a commitment could be coming very soon, quite possibly even today.
McMahon is from Sarasota, Florida and plays for Cardinal Mooney High School. He doesn’t have many offers at all, and Louisville is by far his best offer. ESPN rates him as a 4-star prospect. McMahon visited Louisville for the North Carolina game a couple of weeks ago.
Steve Jones of the Courier Journal did a full story about it, and here is some of that.
“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.