Here is the video of the Senior Day festivities for the Men’s team for those of you that didn’t get to see it or want to see it again. Enjoy!
Here’s the Women’s:
*Video Courtesy of UofL
I don’t have the CBS Sports Network, but I am very glad I made the 20 minute drive to Portland to watch the game at my parents’ house. Gamecast updates or score alerts on ESPN just would not have done the trick. I would have missed out on maybe the best game that this team has played all season.
The title of this post was inspired by a tweet I sent out in the 2nd half while Russ Smith was making his ridiculous run.
Chris: I got the 1st half.
Russ: I will take the 2nd half.
Trez: I will dunk a lot in both.—
Justin Renck (@JRVille25) March 06, 2014
That is really how this game felt, you know after the initial “14 point deficit” thing we had going on. From the start, Chris Jones was hitting his shots. He finished 6-14 from the field and 4-7 from 3. And he made two more 3s that didn’t count and probably went unnoticed by most. When Mangok Mathiang was called for the illegal screen, Jones knocked down a 3 that obviously was waved off. A couple possessions later when Jones got fouled, he shot a 3 after the whistle and made that one too. So I knew that even though those did not count, he was in some kind of zone this game. It was just what he needed after how the Memphis game ended.
Date: Wednesday, March 5
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Site: Moody Coliseum (7,000)
Television: CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan, play-by-play; Pete Gillen, analyst; Kristine Leahy, reporter.
Radio: WHAS (840 AM). Paul Rogers, play-by-play; Bob Valvano, analyst. (Sirius 91, XM 91, 105.5 WLVK FM)
Last Meeting: UofL 71, SMU 63 (Jan. 12, 2014 at KFC Yum! Center)
Series Record: UofL leads 7-2 (4-0 in Louisville, 2-1 in Dallas, 1-1 neutral)
UofL National Ranking: 9th USA Today, 11th Associated Press
Officials: Joe DeRosa, Tom Eades, Mike Sanzere
When the Louisville Cardinals (24-5, 13-3) face off against the SMU Mustangs (23-6, 12-4) Wednesday night, they will try to do something that no other team has done this year: beat SMU on their home floor. Southern Methodist is 15-0 at home this season, and prior to tip, they will be honoring their two seniors, Nick Russell and Shawn Williams. Needless to say, the crowd will be energized for this one.
Photo by Tim Girton/Louisville.com
Vegas knows, right? They did have Charlie Strong as the 2-1 favorite to be the next head coach at Texas. I have to say that when I first heard that, I laughed and thought it was crazy. If you ever keep up with odds and spreads on games, you will be surprised just how close that they usually are. I remember when Kentucky played at Auburn this year, the spread was 7 1/2 or something like that. A lot of people thought that was really low. Auburn went to the free throw line to shoot 3 shots, down by 10, with 8 seconds left. They made 2, and lost by 8. That is just the first example I thought of from this year. That is how close a lot of the games are if you pay attention to the spread.
Well for the last couple of weeks, Vegas has had the Louisville Cardinals projected as a 1 seed in their bracketology. They just released their latest version, and the Cards are still there. I like our team anyway, but I obviously like that Vegas is still sold on us.
ESPN.com’s Myron Medcalf posted an article today about the Louisville men’s basketball team and how it has been tough to replace the leadership of Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, as well as the loss of Chane Behanan. I will post some of the more interesting quotes from the article.
“It’s different. It’s a lot of sacrificing that you have to make. I’m willing to do it, but it’s really tough and Peyton had, probably the toughest job last year, managing everybody. And he did a good job with it. I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps.”
It has been almost a full day since the “Meltdown in Memphis” (just came up with that one) so I have had time to gather my thoughts about the game. Actually I pretty much knew soon after it ended how I felt. It was very frustrating to watch the end and how that unfolded, yet after the loss was complete, it didn’t make me lose hope in this team. There are a few reasons, but the main one is this: I don’t get bent out of shape about regular season losses. And to be consistent, I don’t celebrate too much about regular season wins either.
We are Louisville. We don’t storm the court because we are one of the top programs in the country. So what that also means is that we are judged by how we perform in March. Yes, the Memphis game was March 1, but I mean in NCAA Tournament play. We stumbled down the stretch heading into the tournament just two seasons ago, and that is putting it lightly. Think about our last 6 regular season games that season: we lost at home to Syracuse by 1. We beat DePaul in overtime by 8, yes it took overtime to beat DePaul. We lost to Cincinnati and then beat Pittsburgh by 3. On Senior Night, we lost to a terrible South Florida team by 7. We finished out the regular season with another loss to Syracuse, this one on the road. That gave us 9 losses for the regular season (we have 5 right now). What did we do after all of that? Went to Madison Square Garden and won 4 games in a row to win the Big East Tournament, and won another 4 in a row to make it to the Final Four.
Russ Smith began Thursday night’s game against Temple as the 10th all-time leading scorer in UofL men’s basketball history. He entered the game with 1,707 total points. After scoring 24 points against the Owls, he passed up Herbert Crook (1,723) and Charlie Tyra (1,728). Smith now has 1,731 points. What is most impressive about this? Russ scored a total of 38 points his freshman year!
Career Scoring Leaders
1. Darrell Griffith – 2,333
2. DeJuan Wheat – 2,183
3. Pervis Ellison – 2,143
4. Reece Gaines – 1,945
5. Milt Wagner – 1,836
6. Derek Smith – 1,826
7. LaBradford Smith -1,806
8. Russ Smith – 1,731
9. Charlie Tyra – 1,728
10. Herbert Crook – 1,723
Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com
The following article was written by Jason King of BleacherReport.com. It is a great read. He interviewed former Card Chane Behanan and Behanan goes into detail about some of his problems at UofL. He talks about going to Houston and what John Lucas has done for him. I will post the first half of it and then provide the link to read the rest on the actual site.
HOUSTON—As he smoked marijuana in the streets of Miami, just a few blocks from the team hotel, Chane Behanan said he felt much like he did the night he helped Louisville win the 2013 NCAA title.
“Like no one could touch me,” Behanan said.
Not the Miami police, who could’ve arrested Behanan had they seen him taking tokes from a joint during that nighttime stroll in late December. Not coach Rick Pitino, who had suspended the 6’6” junior for a month in the fall because of his weed habit. And certainly not the University of Louisville and its silly random drug tests.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rick Pitino met with the media to preview the upcoming game against Temple. As always, they discussed much more than just the opponent.
Click here to see the full press conference. Here are the main points from it.
*Wayne Blackshear will play against Temple.
*With Blackshear having a concussion, this last layoff between games wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
*They did have an intra-squad scrimmage this past Saturday.
*Television has been the reason for the scheduling that has the Cards with unusual longer breaks between games.
2014 Center Anas Osama Mahmoud is becoming a name to watch on the Louisville radar. While I still think Michal Cekovsky is the first choice Mahmoud has been turning heads on the recruiting scene. Mahmoud recently visited the Cards and plans on taking a visit to Minnesota and a few other places in the near future.
The 7’2 Center moves as good as most guards with the ball in his hands and could be a force under Pitino. A recent article from Roundball Rundown praised Mahmoud’s performance in the recent National Prep Invitational saying:
“Coming over from Egypt in September to West Oaks in Florida, the talent that the recent import has brought to his Sunshine State based squad is absolutely fascinating to watch. Standing a legit 7’1, Mahmoud can do things on the floor that some 6’5 prospect cannot even do. More of a face-up power forward than a center, the Egyptian big moves remarkably fluid for his size and stature on the perimeter. He can step out and shoot the 3, display an unbelievably graceful floater in the lane, and post-up his man and use an effective up-and-under move on the block. Defensively, Mahmoud posted four steals in his first outing, and once his competitors saw him compete, he altered many shots in and out of his area and was super effective in throwing away shots at the bucket due to his light feet and giant length.”
Rick will watch Mahmoud this weekend so this will for sure be something to watch in the coming months.
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com
Rick Pitino said today that junior Wayne Blackshear suffered a concussion in practice on Monday and will not travel with the team to their game at Houston on Wednesday. He suffered the concussion when he was elbowed in the head by Akoy Agau.
Blackshear started last game against UCF and played the power forward spot, giving the Cards a smaller lineup, but one that seemed to work. We will see how this changes things in the lineup on Wednesday, but Pitino did say that he needs a big game from “Big Hustle.”
“We need a big game from Stephan Van Treese,” Pitino said. “It’s his time to evolve. We need some monster games from him where he grabs 12 or 13 rebounds. It’s time for him to step up now. He’s a veteran basketball player who needs to step up, and he’s capable of doing that.”
The Cards face Houston on Wednesday night at 9:00 pm ET and it can be seen on ESPNU.
Joe Namath because…well why not?
There has been a lot going on in Louisville sports lately, highlighted by football commitments every 5 minutes (seems like it). So I figured I would get you all caught up here on what has been going on. Consider this your one-stop shop for recent Louisville news. But come back and check out the site later if you want to of course. There will be a lot of links in this post so if you haven’t been able to keep up with news lately, it is all laid out for you.
*National Signing Day is this Wednesday February 5. We will keep you updated on what players become official members of the Louisville football team. Always an exciting day. The day of the fax machine!
*Some people started to get worried about this year’s football recruiting class. Some of us laughed at those people, and for good reason. Petrino and his staff have been getting commitments left and right lately, and here they are (as of now)…
Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Football team won’t be the only team hosting some important visitors tomorrow night. The Louisville basketball team will have a couple of elite shooters form the 2014 and 2015 class on campus for the UCF game. 2014 SG Lyrik Shreiner (AZ) (Pictured Above) and 2015 SG Luke Kennard will both be in attendance tomorrow night.
Rick has made it clear he wants to add a shooter to this 2014 class and Lyrik is just that. The 6’4 SG was looking into reclassifying to the 2015 class but recent interest from the Cards, UConn, Memphis, and the Kansas Jayhawks may have him rethinking that choice . Earlier this year Lyrik broke the Arizona state record going for 65 points in one game……yea he can fill it up folks. Don’t know if the Cards can land a commitment this weekend but Lyrik Shreiner would be an absolute steal and a great add to the 2014 class headed into the ACC. You can follow Lyrik on Twitter @Cyborg2Cold
2015 5 star SG Luke Kennard (OH) will also be in the house. While this one looks to be headed Uk’s way the Cards may be the only team that can unseat the Cats for Kennard. Kennards team will also be playing at Fairdale High School at 6pm on Saturday.
If you read the title of this post, you may think it isn’t a big deal, just another award for Rick Pitino. Then when I say that the runner-up was Tom Jurich and in third place was Teddy Bridgewater, you may think that this was a poll done on Louisville’s campus. This is actually the Lexington Hearald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year, and it is voted on by media members in Kentucky. So yes, in a Lexington-based newspaper, the top 3 vote-getters were Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich, and Teddy Bridgewater. Not too bad. Other interesting finishers in the top 10: Charlie Strong and 9th and Russ Smith at 10th.
Top 10 in voting
1. Rick Pitino
2. Tom Jurich
3. Teddy Bridgewater
4. Dominique Hawkins
5. Kenny Perry
6. Makayla Epps
7. Antonio Andrews
8. A’dia Mathies
9. Charlie Strong
10. Russ Smith
Pitino becomes the first person to win this award three times. He also won it in 1990 and 1996. In 2013, Pitino led the Cardinals to a National Championship, was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had a horse (Goldencents) run in the Kentucky Derby, got a tattoo, caught a marlin, and drank a lot of coconut water.
Your move 2014.
The 2014 recruiting class for men’s basketball at Louisville is in my opinion one of the best in a while. So it is important for Coach Pitino to keep up the momentum going into the 2015 class. On Thursday that momentum will continue. 2015 Guard Antonio Blakeney from Orlando comes in for his official visit. He is 6-4 and 170 pounds. His game is reminiscent of Jeremy Lamb’s, formerly of UCONN. Florida is the other team in this to watch in this recruiting battle according to CSZ’s recruiting analyst Steve Rummage. You can follow him on twitter at @blakeney96. He also looks at home with the word Cardinal on his jersey. Here are some videos to familiarize you with Mr Blakeney.
The Cards are 17-3 on the season yet the overwhelming feeling is the Cards are just starting to click. Many of us have questioned our hotel reservations in Dallas over the past few months but the light seems to be getting brighter. Nick Wiggins of Bleacher Report is one that believes the Cards are right on track. In Wiggins article Louisville Basketball: Why the Cardinals will make a third straight Final Four Nick gives his reasons why he hasn’t quit on the Cards just yet! Here is a few quotes from the article:
“Rick Pitino has proven to be a master at getting the most out of his players. There is a reason he has taken three different schools to the Final Four, won national championships at two different schools and is in the Hall of Fame. Pitino and his ability to “coach up” his players is the first feather in the cap for the Cardinals.”
On Sunday, 2015 small forward Brandon Ingram got an offer from the Louisville Cardinals. Ingram is 6’7 and 180 lbs from Kinston, North Carolina. He also has offers from North Carolina, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Minnesota, VCU, and more. Ingram was actually visiting North Carolina this weekend before getting the offer from the Cards. Here is how the 4 major recruiting services rank him…
*ESPN- 5-star player, 13th best player in the country, #1 player in North Carolina, #1 small forward in the country.
*Scout- 4-star player, 9th best small forward in the country.
*Rivals- 4-star player, 31st best player in the country.
*247 Sports- 4-star player, 6th best small forward in the country, #1 player in North Carolina, 26th best player in the country.
Louisville offered. 🔴⚪️⚫️—
Brandon Ingram (@B_Ingram13) January 27, 2014
Here are a couple of highlight videos.